Privacy, the New Montana Drivers License Law & Concealed Weapons Permits

Privacy, the New Montana Drivers License Law & Concealed Weapons Permits
By Gary Marbut-MSSA

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Privacy, the New Montana Drivers License Law & Concealed Weapons Permits
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Montana Shooting Sports Association

Missoula, MT –-( For those interested in personal privacy, there was a law passed in the last session that makes your residence address your default address for your Montana Drivers License.

However, this is not the ONLY address you may use on your DL under the new law.

For privacy reasons, many people like their primary address to be a Post Office Box. In some places, there is no residential mail delivery and the only choice is a P.O. Box.

Under the new law, you must provide your residence address when you apply for your DL, BUT YOU MAY HAVE YOUR P.O. BOX LISTED AS THE ADDRESS ON THE FACE OF YOUR DL.

You’ll probably have to insist with the DL clerk. That clerk will seriously WANT to put your residence address on the face of your DL. However, the law clearly allows you to choose to have your P.O. Box as the address on the face of your DL.

The same is true for your CWP. When you submit an application for a CWP, the Sheriffs Office will probably require you to provide your residence address, but if you wish and ask (even insist), the SO should be willing to put your P.O. Box on the face of your CWP, instead of your residence address.

(Note also, you must provide your SSN to apply for a Montana CWP, but the Sheriff should NOT put your SSN on your CWP ID card – your SSN should NOT be in your wallet. You may have to insist with the SO about this too.)

Why does all this matter? Well, suppose you are a single woman. If you lose your purse, the purse finder knows where to find you if your residence address is in your purse, perhaps with your house keys. Others may just wish to fly as low as possible on the radar screens.

There is a small problem with having only your P.O. address on your DL and CWP – buying firearms from a federally-licensed dealer (FFL). Congress allowed the BATFE to require you to provide an “address” on the BATFE Form 4473 when buying from an FFL. The BATFE has illegally expanded on the grant of congressional authority by telling FFLs that they may not sell a firearm to a buyer unless the buyer provides his or her RESIDENCE address on the 4473 AND that resident address is also verified by the buyer’s government-issued ID.

The BATFE wants to know where to send a SWAT team at 3AM when you’re sleeping to collect the gun you purchased, if they should choose to do so.

There are workarounds for this problem. You may still buy any legal-to-own firearms from private individuals with no paperwork, at least until the anti-gunners persuade Congress to “close the gun show loophole,” a euphemism for making it illegal to transfer a firearm without creating a federal government computer record of the seller and buyer for EVERY transfer.

So, if you have a P.O. Box on your DL and CWP, you can still buy firearms from private (non-FFL) sellers without paperwork and questions about your residence address. Many of the sellers at gun shows do not have FFLs. If you are visiting a gun show and looking for a particular firearm, it’s perfectly okay to ask the seller of that firearm if he has an FFL, and choose to buy from somebody else if you wish.

Here’s another workaround. Take a copy of your utility bill to a sporting goods store and buy a Montana Conservation License (the precursor to hunting and fishing licenses), using your utility bill to verify your residence address, and put your residence address on the Conservation License. Then, use your Conservation License (government issued) to verify your residence address for a firearm purchase from an FFL. This is not a complete solution because you’ll still have to enter your residence address on the 4473, and because all these forms of ID are connected in the data banks of the Montana Fusion Center (a joint state/federal data mining operation at the Montana Department of Justice), but at least it does allow you to buy firearms from an FFL if you have your P.O. Box as the address on your DL and CWP.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana

About Montana Shooting Sports Association:
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