Montana Concealed Carry Permit Information

Click here to view the Montana Concealed Carry Permit Map at the bottom of the page.

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Concealed Permit:
Shall Issue to Residents only.

Issuing Authority:
Montana Department of Justice – Applications are available from the local county sheriff’s office.

NICS/Background Check:
The sheriff shall conduct a background check of an applicant to determine whether the applicant is eligible for a permit under 45-8-321, may require an applicant to submit the applicant’s fingerprints, and may charge the applicant $5 for fingerprinting.

Permit Valid For:
The permit is valid for 4 years from the date of issuance.

Permit Issued Timeline:
A county sheriff shall, within 60 days after the filing of an application, issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon to the applicant.

The fee for issuance of a permit is $50. Renewals are $25.
$5 fee may be charged for fingerprinting.

1. United States citizen
2. 18 years of age or older
3. Hold a valid Montana driver’s license or other form of identification issued by the state that has a picture of the person identified. An applicant must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months.
4. An applicant for a permit under this section must, as a condition to issuance of the permit, be required by the sheriff to demonstrate familiarity with a firearm by:
a. Completion of a hunter education or safety course approved or conducted by the department of fish, wildlife, and parks or a similar agency of another state;
b. Completion of a firearms safety or training course approved or conducted by the department of fish, wildlife, and parks, a similar agency of another state, a national firearms association, a law enforcement agency, an institution of higher education, or an organization that uses instructors certified by a national firearms association;
c. Completion of a law enforcement firearms safety or training course offered to or required of public or private law enforcement personnel and conducted or approved by a law enforcement agency;
d. Possession of a license from another state to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise, that is granted by that state upon completion of a course described in subsections (3)(a) through (3)(c); or
e. Evidence that the applicant, during military service, was found to be qualified to operate firearms, including handguns.

Required Documents:
1. A photocopy of a certificate of completion of a course described in subsection (3), an affidavit from the entity or instructor that conducted the course attesting to completion of the course, or a copy of any other document that attests to completion of the course and can be verified through contact with the entity or instructor that conducted the course creates a presumption that the applicant has completed a course described above.

Renewal Information:
The permit must be renewed for additional 4-year periods upon payment of a $25 fee for each renewal and upon request for renewal made within 90 days before expiration of the permit. The permit and each renewal must be in triplicate, in a form prescribed by the department of justice, and must, at a minimum, include the name, address, physical description, signature, driver’s license number, state identification card number, or tribal identification card number, and a picture of the permittee.

Change of Name or Address:
A person with a permit to carry a concealed weapon who changes his county of residence shall within 10 days of the change inform the sheriffs of both the old and new counties of residence of his change of residence and that he holds the permit. If his residence changes either from or to a city or town with a police force, he shall also inform the chief of police in each of those cities or towns that has a police force.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Permits:
Replacement of a lost permit must be treated as a renewal.

Informing Law Enforcement of Carry:

Automobile carry:
Without a permit, loaded firearms may be carried in plain view, console box, glove compartment or commercial gun case; firearms may not be concealed on one’s person in a vehicle.

Places off-limits when carrying:
1. Portions of a building used for state or local government offices and related areas in the building that have been restricted
2. A bank, credit union, savings and loan institution, or similar institution during the institution’s normal business hours. It is not an offense under this section to carry a concealed weapon while:
a. using an institution’s drive-up window, automatic teller machine, or unstaffed night depository; or
b. at or near a branch office of an institution in a mall, grocery store, or other place unless the person is inside the enclosure used for the institution’s financial services or is using the institution’s financial services.
3. A room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed under a license issued under Title 16 for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
4. All buildings owned or leased by a local school district that are used for instruction or for student activities

Alcohol and Drugs:
A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence if he purposely or knowingly carries a concealed weapon while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. It is not a defense that the person had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon. A person convicted of the offense shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months or fined an amount not to exceed $500, or both.

Deadly Force / Castle Doctrine:
Montana is a Castle Doctrine state and has a stand-your-ground law.

Open Carry:
Unrestricted in most public areas and generally accepted.

Localities with Varying Laws:

Forms & Links:

Montana Department of Justice – Concealed Weapons

NRA-ILA: Montana Gun Laws

We try to keep the information on this page as up to date as possible but due to changing laws it is your responsibility to verify all information. The information on this page is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site, emails or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between i156 LLC and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of i156 LLC.

  • Brett

    In Montana the application for the permit is pretty straight forward until you get to the last page where they ask, “Why do you want a permit to carry a concealed weapon?”

    It would be helpful if examples of answers to this type of question were included on this app. I know why I want one, to protect myself and my family, as well as, exercise my rights according to the 2nd Amendment. What I don’t know is whether that’s an acceptable answer for the application.

    • ZIM

      To answer your question Brett. I am a CCW permit holder in MT. All you have to answer for the last question is: For self defense.

      • Petd911

        On mine i stated for self defense and eas of purchase.

    • Bubba

      I put that do to increased attacks at places my family and I frequent, movie theaters, parks, and such, that I wanted the license for protecting my family from all the meth addicts and mentally unstable portions of our society. I got my license last month.

    • coyoteboy

      I don’t really know what or why the hell they have that question on there my self. I just wrote Its my god given right! there was no question about my answer.

      • Elizabeth

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. Or…”It’s none of your business why. Because I can!”

    • Jayne Cobb

      Totally agree, that last question is completely inappropriate. I mean, having to get a permit (permission) from the state to begin with is inappropriate, but that last question on the application seals it.

    • Melanie Gagnon

      That is a perfectly acceptable answer. I have had to apply for gun permits for myself and work. If the permit is just for yourself I have always written for self protection and target practice.

  • Scott

    I am glad Montana does not forbid concealed carry as some states do, but I still have a problem with the restrictions: So I’m in a bar, and some criminal busts in, shoots the bartender, and looks like he might shoot someone else–I am forced to comply because I am a law-abiding citizen and have no effective means to defend myself and others. Same scenario goes for banks, Federal buildings, etc. If I were a criminal, the best place to strike is a casino, since I know there is money, and no law-abiding CWP holder can fight back since drinks are served there. Really stupid.

    • KyleinCSpring1

      Scott, for you I can understand. But expect the worse, for not all people are like you and I. They go in for a couple, wind up staying, getting sauced up and lose prospective of their true surroundings. I would rather have a sober you or me there than a drunk trying to aim with us in the background. <

    • Jayne Cobb

      Both the bank and bar restrictions need to be repealed eventually. Especially the bank. Duh.

    • 2Atotherescue

      Or, in some of those cases, a person can be armed and open carry legally. Whether a persons likes OC or not, if you want to be armed, and comply with the law, just OC the pistol. Problem solved!

      **DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an attorney. Speak to an attorney before doing anything I’ve suggusted here. I will not be held responsible for anything done here, that were suggested, or implied, by me. You accept and assume any and all risk and/or liability. **

  • Mr Nic

    If your in a bar or bank, you can openly carry as long as its not partially covered by an article of clothing. Also consuming alcohol while carrying is a huge no and as a ccw holder you should know better.

  • tony

    what kinda background check do they do befor you can get a permit ??

    • John

      If there’s a reason not to give you a permit, they will probably find it and not give you one.

    • Melanie Gagnon

      The check your criminal background, mental background and ask for 3-5 people whom you know and trust that can vouch for you and your personality as a responsible person.

  • Casey

    I see that Montana requires 3 references that you have known at least 5 years. I have references, problem is most of my friends are liberals and don’t approve of me applying for a CWP. Do they really call these people up and talk with them? I’m leary of who I should acually use.

  • Pashta

    Why would they ask for references? Isn’t this a “shall issue” state? Do they really have the right to require all this information? I don’t have 3-5 references that aren’t related to me. I don’t hang out with many people and don’t work. I should not be required to do so to be able to defend myself.