Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Domestic Violence & Firearms in Montana.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2 March
Domestic Violence and Firearms in Montana
Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants
Montana does not strictly proscribe domestic violence misdemeanants from purchasing or owning firearms, unlike federal law. However, courts do have limited authority to regulate firearm use and possession by anyone who has used a firearm to perpetrate domestic violence. Namely, a court may prohibit the domestic violence offender from using or possessing a firearm that was used in a domestic violence assault. In addition, a court, at its discretion, may have the county sheriff in the domestic violence offender's county of residence revoke or deny renewal of a concealed weapons permit.
Montana defines domestic violence (which it terms "partner or family member assault") as:
- Purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury to a partner or family member;
- Negligently causing bodily injury to a partner or family member with a weapon; or
- Purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in a partner or family member.
Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Montana prohibits subjects of certain domestic violence protective orders from possessing or using certain firearms. District courts, justices' courts, municipal courts and city courts are authorized to issue a temporary protective order that prohibits the respondent from possessing or using a firearm used in an assault. In order to secure a temporary protective order, a petitioner is required to file a sworn statement asserting that the petitioner:
- Is in reasonable apprehension of bodily injury; or
- Is a victim of one of the offenses listed in Montana Code Ann. § 40-15-102, which includes partner or family member assault, and has a relationship to the respondent if required by Montana Code Ann. § 40-15-102; and
- Is in danger of harm if the court does not immediately issue a temporary order of protection.
Thereafter, a court will grant a temporary protective order prohibiting the offender from using and possessing a firearm used in an assault only if it determines both that the petitioner will be in danger if it fails to act immediately and that the firearm restriction constitutes appropriate relief. Federal law is broader.
Removal or Surrender of a Firearm at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident
Montana requires a peace officer responding to a call about a partner or family member assault to seize the weapon used or threatened to be used in the alleged assault. The seized weapon may not be returned to the offender until:
1) the offender has been acquitted; or
2) return of the weapon is ordered by the court.
Montana does not require the removal or surrender of firearms for persons subject to a domestic violence restraining or protective order…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]