Montana Governor Gianforte signs Permitless (Constitutional) Carry

Screen shot from Montana Public Access video, cropped scaled and text added by Dean Weingarten

U.S.A.-( On 18 February 2021, Governor Greg Gianforte signed Montana HB102 into law. The bill is the largest, most comprehensive reform of Montana gun laws in the history of the state. A previous AmmoLand article discussed the details of the law.

Many of the reforms in the law have been sought for decades, but have been thwarted by Montana Governors. Democrat Governors vetoed Constitutional Carry bills three times in the last 15 years.

In 2021, Governor Gianforte said he was looking forward to signing  HB102 on February 4th, in an interview on

“There are a number of pieces of legislation moving through the Montana legislature,” said Gianforte. “I’m looking forward to getting them on my desk. One of those bills is HB 102, which would provide for constitutional carry here in the state. I’m looking forward to signing that bill, and if there are attempts to infringe on our state’s rights as it relates to our constitutional rights, know that I will work side by side with our Attorney General to oppose any of those efforts.”

HB102 passed the legislature on the 9th of February and was sent to Governor Gianforte on 11 February. A week later, on 18 February, the bill was signed in a video-recorded ceremony.

When a governor publicly signs a right to keep and bear arms bill, it indicates they actually support it, rather than are ashamed of it.

Montana becomes the 18th State to restore Constitutional Carry. Constitutional Carry is a reasonable approximation of a return to the state of law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. At that time, no permits were required to carry arms either openly or concealed.

The carry of arms was essentially unregulated in the first thirty years of the new republic. Early gun laws were designed to prevent slaves from carrying arms without their owners’ permission.

The regulation of concealed carry by states gained ground after the Supreme Court ruled the bill of rights did not apply to the States in 1833.

Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry. Alaska restored Constitutional Carry in 2003, Arizona in 2010. An additional 15 states followed, including Utah and Montana this year. The other 13 states in order of passage, are:

Wyoming, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

A study published in the Journal of American College of Surgeons showed no effect on violent crime rates over the 30 years previous to 2019, as nearly all states removed significant restrictions on the legal carry of firearms. From the abstract:


During the study period, all states moved to adopt some form of concealed-carry legislation, with a trend toward less restrictive legislation. After adjusting for state and year, there was no significant association between shifts from restrictive to nonrestrictive carry legislation on violent crime and public health indicators. Adjusting further for poverty and unemployment did not significantly influence the results.


This study demonstrated no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime. Policy efforts aimed at injury prevention and the reduction of firearm-related violence should likely investigate other targets for potential intervention.

The principal reason to restore Constitutional Carry is to restore the rule of law and of limited government. The fact that no have is caused is a good thing. The enormous benefits of the rule of law and the limited government could not be measured by such a study.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Sadly, people in the constitutional carry states must still get permits from their states so they can travel armed to many other states. And, there are states in which they may not carry at all. I’m a retired cop, and every non-violent, non-insane adult should have the same right I have, which is to carry nationally with my retired LEO ID card (with a mandatory carry enhancement unless I am either legally barred from possessing a firearm or unable to pass a basic firearm competency test). I still can’t carry in lots of government buildings, but generally I have a… Read more »


I travel all across the nation. Have done so since the 70’s. I have also carried for well over 40 years. The one most important thing I have experienced in all the travels and all the carrying? If you don’t do anything stupid, or illegal, you don’t get arrested!


One small act for a man. One giant leap for free men and women. State by state we take this country back. The Constitution means what it says. Every word of it.


Thank you to all our congressmen and women and senators who supported this . Also to Greg Gianforte for signing this into law . Montanans can now carry concealed and exercise our second amendment rights accross the entire state !


Congratulations, Montana! When I think of Montana, I would have thought such would have been in place already for decades. Glad to see it is finally reality.


Having spent a few days in Missoula, Mt I am not surprised. Of course it is a college town so there is that.


Isn’t it funny that college towns always seem to be demonrat and have the highest percentage of crime?


We’ve been working on it for half of my lifetime, but we were always thwarted by our stupid Governors! We might’ve forced it past even them a few times, but we had a hard time getting enough support, since we could already open carry, pretty much anywhere except federal buildings, sans any government permission slips.
But now we did it, and congratulations us! And Gianforte, who, remember, body slammed some idiot reporter while running. I think that’s what put him over the top. We don’t mind a bit ‘o violence in Glazgow… 🙂


Yippee! Thank you Governor Gianforte. Can’t imagine this happening under the former Gov. Lickspittle Bullock.


just to recap – does this about cover it? “It’s clear as day – it’s right there in plain English!!! I’m as certain of it as I was Trump was going to win in a landslide. I’m as certain as I was when, after Trump lost, when I said he was going to declare martial law and then . . . the thing . . . was going to happen and he would remain as president. I’m as certain as I was when I said Xiden was never going to take office – you would have to be on LSD not to see… Read more »


I think you missed one, but, YEP! That pretty much sums it up!


While I’m delighted that more states are adopting “constitutional carry” or “shall issue” for concealed carry, I can’t help but notice a kind of parallel between gun restrictions (gun control) and the Jim Crow (racial discrimination) of years back. Jim Crow varied, sometimes markedly, sometimes little, between between the states or municipalities, Of course, there were states without any legal racial restrictions. This is exactly the situation today with regard to Second Amendment rights. Gun ownership is just as much a right, by the Bill of Rights, as equal rights for everyone, regardless of race, religion, etc. Adopting this narrative… Read more »


Firearm ownership (self-defense) IS a natural, God-given, human and civil right. That right’s existence flows from mere human existence, in the first place! It is not a permission [never has been, never will be a government grant], and therefore no government may legitimately restrict it (the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment affirms the restriction of governments – not of citizens). And that permanently ends that discussion.

When a government [regardless of whatever artificial/deceitful bovine manure excuse, like ‘public safety,’ for example] “outlaws” firearms, the guns do not become illegal. The government does! Remember that, Biden…


Shouldn’t faze the sheepdogs much, though.


Not a bit.


Yea Montana. I hope all of the states that have implemented constitutional carry can keep it if biden try’s to make it go away or kamalatoe with their executive orders. I hope that if anything like that does happen, that we will declare themselves a sanctuary state from Federal gun laws. It works in kommiefornia oregone and washingtown for criminals that are in the country illegally so it should work for guns too.

Just for fun.

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Unlike living in Prison State Australia, it’s a real elation to read of the same spirit as drafted, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”, once more animating a free people 230 years on, for what is 2A Constitutional in America would get one years in the slammer in Australia.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mike

As I explain to my relatives in Australia, here is the fundamental difference. I am a citizen of a Constitutional Republic. They are subjects. I thank God every day that my Grandmother got on that boat from Sydney to San Francisco in 1905.

Ol' Sapper

What exactly is this sentence (last paragraph) supposed to say? “The fact that no have is caused is a good thing.”


Amen. Technology is why I have grandchildren! LOL


Try to insert “harm” in place of have.


So, what exactly IS “Constitutional Carry” ? I always see our state Idaho listed in these articles as you can carry anywhere and not need a CCW permit….while I wish it was, that is simply not true. According to Idaho Statute 18-3402 you must have a CCW permit unless you are NOT in a city limits (counties only), or on your own property. In your vehicle, permit required. Inside a city limits, permit required. Ok, so where does that leave you….it depends.


Correction, that’s Statute 18-3302.


(4) Subsection (3) of this section shall not apply to restrict or prohibit the carrying or possession of:
(f) Any deadly weapon concealed by a person who is:
(i)  Over eighteen (18) years of age;
(ii) A citizen of the United States or a current member of the armed forces of the United States; and
(iii) Is not disqualified from being issued a license under paragraphs (b) through (n) of subsection (11) of this section.


Subsection 4 negates subsection 3. I believe Idaho only passed this 1 or 2 years ago. A quick call to the Sheriffs office could clarify.


H.B. 516 was passed in Idaho and allows for all Americans to carry a concealed firearm in the state without a permit. It was signed by the Governor March 25th 2020. This extends Idaho’s constitutional carry bill, which until now only applied to residents.


The RIGHT to keep and bear arms only exists because good men keep up the fight to maintain it on that is the ONLY reason!,cannot%20prohibit%20the%20possession%20or