How to Sell a Gun in Montana

Montana is the fourth largest state in the U.S. by land size and well-known for its permissive gun control laws. Seen as a necessary tool for self-defense, hunting, and protecting farm animals from predators, firearms are deeply woven into the fabric of Montana's culture. In fact, according to violent crime statistics from 2009 to 2010, Montana was among the top five safest states in the country.

Written by:
Manny Perovic
June 10, 2023
minutes read
Map of Montana

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State Laws for Private Sales in Montana

To understand how to sell a gun in Montana, it's crucial to first comprehend the state's legal landscape surrounding firearms.

Photo representing mountains of Montana

Montana law does not require registration, a license, or a permit for residents to purchase or possess firearms. Furthermore, non-residents are not prohibited from purchasing firearms in the state. There are no laws requiring a waiting period before purchasing a firearm. In essence, Montana makes it straightforward for residents and non-residents alike to buy and own guns.

Age Restrictions

In Montana, the buyer must be at least 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, and must be at least 21 years old to purchase handguns.

License and Permit Requirements

Montana does not necessitate a license to purchase or possess a firearm. However, carrying a concealed handgun requires a permit; the applicant must be at least eighteen years old and have lived in Montana for at least six months.

Restrictions and Prohibitions

The state has restrictions for certain groups of people. For instance, those convicted of a felony involving a dangerous weapon or individuals required to register for the sexual or violent offender registry are prohibited from owning a firearm.

Open Carry Regulations in Montana

Open carry, or carrying a gun in plain sight, is legal in Montana for anyone over the age of eighteen. Minors over the age of fourteen can open carry with parental supervision. Open carry is permitted in various public spaces, including restaurant areas (unless prohibited by signage), private vehicles, roadside areas, parks, forests, and the state's wildlife management areas.

Federal Laws Pertaining to Firearm Sales

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Even though Montana has its own set of laws regarding firearms, federal laws must also be considered when selling a gun.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 Requirements

When purchasing from a licensed firearms dealer, buyers must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473, also known as the firearms transaction form.

ATF's website form 4473- Firearms Transaction Record Revisions

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

FBI's website National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

In line with the Federal Brady Law, a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check is mandatory. This is performed by the firearms dealer to verify the purchaser's background. If the background check disqualifies the sale, the purchaser can appeal to gain the necessary clearance.

Federal Restrictions and Disqualification Categories

Federal laws disqualify certain categories of individuals from owning firearms. These include individuals with a felony conviction, those under a domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order, mentally ill individuals, individuals who unlawfully use or are addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana), those with a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, individuals who have renounced U.S. citizenship, and illegal aliens.

Specialty Weapons: Federal Regulations and Requirements

As with Montana state law, federal law requires a $200 transfer tax, federal registration, and a Class 3 or NFA federally licensed dealer for the purchase of specialty weapons.


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Conducting a Private Gun Sale in Montana

When it comes to private gun sales, Montana does not impose specific regulations. However, federal laws still apply, making it illegal to sell a gun to someone who is known or reasonably believed to be prohibited from owning firearms. The typical procedure involves meeting in a secure location and exchanging money for the firearm. However, it is important to keep in mind that penalties exist for illegal transactions and possessions.

Consequences of Selling Restricted Firearms

Selling a restricted firearm to those not legally able to own one, or to a person who is legally prohibited from owning a gun, can lead to serious legal ramifications. Breaking state or federal gun laws during a transaction can result in a criminal charge.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

Penalties for illegal firearm possession vary. Possession of a sawed-off firearm, for instance, carries a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of $200 to $500. Subsequent offenses or offenses after a felony conviction can result in up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine. A convicted person unlawfully possessing a firearm faces a minimum of two years and a maximum of ten years in state prison.

Specialty Weapons in Montana

Buying specialty weapons, such as machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, silencers, or grenade launchers, requires a $200 transfer tax, federal registration, and a Class 3 or NFA federally licensed dealer. However, Montana does not restrict the purchase of what some call 'assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.

When selling a gun in Montana, you also need to be aware of local regulations, the legitimate display and transportation of firearms, and the risks of selling to legally restricted individuals.

Local Government Regulations on Firearm Sales

According to the Montana Attorney General, local government entities cannot impose additional regulations on the sale, transfer, or purchase of firearms. Section 45-8-351 of the Montana State Laws also restricts local government from regulating the purchase, sale, or transfer of firearms, including any related taxes, licenses, or ownership procedures. Exceptions include regulating the discharge of firearms for public safety purposes and the carrying of weapons to public areas, as well as the possession of firearms by certain groups.

Photo representing Montana Code Annotated 2021- Restriction On Local Government Regulation Of Firearms

Legitimate Display and Transportation of Firearms

Montana law does not restrict the legitimate display or transportation of firearms at public events and across jurisdictions. For example, a legislative security officer with a concealed weapon permit can carry a concealed weapon in the state capitol.

Selling to Legally Restricted Individuals

As previously mentioned, selling a restricted firearm to those not legally able to own one or to a person who is legally prohibited from owning a gun can have severe legal consequences.


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Tips to Sell Safely and Get the Best Price

To ensure a successful sale, make sure your firearm is in good working condition, clean, and well-maintained. Provide an accurate description of the firearm, including its make, model, caliber, and accessories. Prepare a comprehensive bill of sale and include relevant documentation, such as receipts and warranty information. Finally, complete the sale and transfer ownership in a legally compliant manner by adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Cleaning and Maintenance

It's a good idea to ensure your firearm is in good working condition and properly cleaned before selling it. This can also increase the firearm's value.

Photo of a rifle in a case

Accurate Description:

When preparing your firearm for a private sale, you should aim to provide an accurate description of the firearm. This includes information about the make, model, caliber, and any accessories that come with the firearm. An accurate description will help ensure a smooth transaction with your ultimate buyer.


Prepare a complete bill of sale that protects both parties in case of disputes, including the following information: sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm details (such as make, model, and serial number). Additionally, be sure to include any relevant paperwork, such as purchase receipts and warranty information.

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Completing the Sale and Transferring Firearm Ownership:

Once you've found a legal buyer, complete the sale and transfer ownership of the firearm in a legal and compliant manner. Be sure to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.

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Using Cash for Arms to Sell Your Guns

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Using Cash for Arms is a safe and secure option for selling your firearm. By choosing a reputable buyer, you can ensure a smooth and legal transaction while getting the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in Montana?

Yes, it is legal to sell guns in Montana. Montana generally has permissive gun laws and recognizes the right of individuals to buy and sell firearms. Private individuals can engage in face-to-face transactions to sell firearms without the involvement of a licensed firearm dealer or the requirement of a background check.

Can you buy a gun in Montana without a license?

Yes, you can. Montana does not require a license to buy or own a gun.

How much is a handgun permit in Montana?

The fee for issuance of a permit is $50. In addition, the sheriff may charge the applicant $5 for fingerprinting.

Can someone from out of state sell a gun in Montana?

Whenever a private individual, not a gun store, sells a firearm across state lines (meaning to a person who resides in another state), a federally licensed firearm dealer must be utilized in the buyer's state of residence to facilitate the transfer.

Do you need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Montana?

No permit is required to purchase a handgun in Montana. 

What do you need to sell firearms in Montana?

To sell firearms privately in Montana, no specific state permits or requirements are needed. However, it is important to comply with federal laws and exercise responsible practices. Verify the buyer's eligibility, avoid selling to prohibited individuals, consider using a bill of sale for documentation, and exercise caution when conducting private firearm sales.

Does a gun bill of sale have to be notarized in Montana?

In Montana, a gun bill of sale does not have to be notarized by law.

What is the process to buy a gun in Montana?

To purchase or possess firearms, a Montana resident does not require registration, license, or permit. Montana state law does not prohibit any sales of firearms to residents from out of state, but you can’t purchase a gun if you are a non-resident.

What documents I need to buy a gun in Montana?

A registration, license, or permit is not required when purchasing or possessing firearms, as it is in most states with lax gun control attitudes. The right to carry a concealed handgun is the only permit required in Montana.

What are the rules for gun ownership in Montana?

Montana is a shall-issue, permitless carry state, with concealed weapons permits processed on a local level by the county sheriff's office. No permit is needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual, there is no waiting period, and there is no firearms registration in the state.

Are Montana gun laws strict?

Montana's gun laws are known for being among the most permissive in the United States.

Does Montana have a gun registry?

Montana does not have gun registration, licensing, or owner permits

How much does it cost to transfer a gun in Montana?

When a private individual, rather than a gun store, sells a firearm to someone residing in another state, the transfer must be facilitated by a federally licensed firearm dealer in the buyer's state of residence. The fees associated with this process can vary depending on the specific FFL (Federal Firearms License) involved.

Does Montana allow private gun sales?

Yes, Montana allows private gun sales.

Can you gift someone a gun in Montana?

Yes, as long as the receiver is not a prohibited person and the gifting is not being used to circumvent a background check or other laws. 

Who can't own a gun in Montana?

In Montana, individuals are prohibited from possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony, including offenses committed with a dangerous weapon that results in an additional sentence. Additionally, individuals who are required to register as sexual or violent offenders due to a felony conviction are also prohibited from possessing firearms.



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Cash for Arms adheres to all necessary protocols to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, preventing the sale of firearms to prohibited individuals.



Cash for Arms pays all costs involved in the transaction, making it a hassle-free and cost-effective option for selling your gun.



We pay within 24 hours of receiving your firearms.



Safe and Secure Transaction: Multiple Selling Options: Cash for Arms offers multiple selling options to suit your needs, including selling outright or cash consignment.



By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.


It cannot be stressed enough that breaking state or federal gun laws during a transaction can lead to a criminal charge. Therefore, ensuring compliance with all relevant laws when selling a gun in Montana is critical.


The content presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only. has made significant efforts in compiling, formulating, and ensuring high-quality information and materials. Nevertheless, we do not affirm or guarantee the complete accuracy, exhaustiveness, appropriateness, or timeliness of the information displayed on or linked to this website. Any reliance upon the information found on this website or through the associated links is done solely at the user’s discretion and risk. The information provided here does not amount to legal advice.  We are not legal professionals specialized in firearm laws, and our content should not be taken as such. Users are fully responsible for adhering to the laws and regulations applicable to their local jurisdiction concerning the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.