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Can You Shoot on Your Property in Montana?

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Apart from the Rocky Mountains and huge wilds that Montana is known for, the state is also known to have the most permissive gun laws in the US. Following the amendment of the concealed carry law in 2021, you will no longer require a permit to carry a firearm in Montana.

In addition, there is no state law that requires the residents of Montana to have a permit for possession of shotguns, handguns or riffles. Purchase of these firearms is also legal and no state permit is required.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in Montana?

Yes, it is legal to shoot on your private property in Montana. In fact, the discharge of firearms on private property is said to be part of Montana’s culture and heritage or better yet, the shooting culture in Montana like the locals call it.

a mountain in gardiner montana

This culture is precious to the residents because through these weapons, they can protect themselves and their properties. If you are new to the state, the people of Montana will be proud to help you learn their shooting culture, especially if you are moving to the rural parts of the state.

In the rural areas, residents are more independent and aware of their rural lifestyles. Protecting themselves and their property is more of a personal initiative. This is why you have the right to be and feel safe on your property.

However, this does not give the people of Montana the right to use deadly force with just a mere perception that they might be in danger. You can only use deadly force if you are certain that you are in serious danger or if you believe without reasonable doubt that your property is at risk.

Where to Carry and Not Carry a Firearm in Montana

With the permit-less concealed carry and possession of firearms in Montana, you would expect it to be okay for residents to carry their weapons with them at all times. Surprisingly, there are places where you are not allowed to carry a weapon at all.

Places to carry;

  • In a vehicle
  • In the state parks
  • In the national forests
  • In a rest area along a roadside
a standing man aiming with a rifle

Places not to carry

  • On trains
  • In a government office or any other building used by the state
  • In bistros or any other place where alcoholic drinks are sold.
  • On or around school grounds or any other building that is used for student activities
  • In or around any financial institution including banks, loans related organizations and credit union institutions

Are There Restrictions on Firearm Possession in Montana?

Yes! Montana might be one of the states that have very lenient gun laws in United States. But it is also one of the many states that have specific limitations for firearm possession. As confusing as this may sound, there are specific scenarios where possession, use and/or transport of firearms is totally prohibited.

Under federal law;

  • It is a crime to own or discharge a machine gun for any aggressive or offensive acts in Montana. The law, however, does not prohibit the possession of a machine gun as a keepsake, a decoration or for scientific tenacities.
  • It is unlawful for anyone in Montana to possess, transport, purchase or sell a silencer with the intentions of using it to commit a felony.
  • It is a crime for anyone who has been convicted of a felony in Montana to be in possession of any firearm. This also applies to minors who have been in detention.
  • Lastly, persons with a history of drug and substance abuse may be denied the right to carry, possess or transport a weapon in Montana.
man aiming while lying down

Conclusion

There is always an option to visit local shooting ranges in Montana. Firearms can damage property, cause serious injury and even death in many cases. We should remember how to use the firearms safely. In as much as you use a firearm to deter invaders and keep yourself and your property safe, it is illegal to carelessly discharge your firearm.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.