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Thread: Question from a out of stater

  1. #1
    Regular Member Bill45's Avatar
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    Question from a out of stater

    So, after reading the sticky on Montana laws, do I read it right that you can ONLY open carry in a restraunt? That concealed carry is illegal? and if the restraunt serves alcohol even in the non-bar area that carry is prohibited?

    If this is so I have been breaking the law for years every time I drive through Montana.

    Bill in Washington

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill45 View Post
    So, after reading the sticky on Montana laws, do I read it right that you can ONLY open carry in a restraunt? That concealed carry is illegal? and if the restraunt serves alcohol even in the non-bar area that carry is prohibited?

    If this is so I have been breaking the law for years every time I drive through Montana.

    Bill in Washington
    You are partly correct. If the establishment does not serve alcohol then you may open or conceal carry no restrictions.

    To be safe, any establishment in which serves alcohol whether its in the non-bar area or not, you are prohibited from conceal carry and are required to open carry. The whole establishment is typically considered off limits for conceal carry due to the wording of the law. This would include places like Applebees, Montana Club, Red Robin, Actual Bars, etc.

    I understand your confusion, I will update the sticky montana laws post to help clarify.

    The actual law regarding conceal carry is 45-8-328(c) which is quoted below:
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA 45-8-328
    45-8-328. Carrying concealed weapon in prohibited place -- penalty. (1) Except for legislative security officers authorized to carry a concealed weapon in the state capitol as provided in 45-8-317(1)(k), a person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place if the person purposely or knowingly carries a concealed weapon in:
    [...]
    (c) a room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed under a license issued under Title 16 for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
    [...]
    *There was an attempt to fix this law this legislative session and the last legislative session, both times the bill was vetoed by the governor.*
    Last edited by slapmonkay; 05-04-2015 at 02:16 PM.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member Bill45's Avatar
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    OK, So, I would assume that the best play here is to just open carry everytime one enters a restaurant. Even if the outside temp. is -20, just remove your coat as you enter. This law could cause problems if you are entering an unfamiliar restaurant that serves drinks and you do not know it.

    It's a shame the law has not been clairified. If this law was enforced (assuming your concealed gun was noticed) a lot of unsuspecting folks can be caught up in a New Jersey style situation like that woman who crossed over from a neighboring state into New Jersey and got arrested for what was leagle in her state but a major felony in Jersey.
    For instance in Wa. only the area that is off limits to persons under 21 is a no gun (any gun concealed or not) area. Which is a stupid law too as you can get just as drunk and stupid in the "family" eating area as at the bar.

    How did Montana get a anti-gun Govenor? I expect firearm morons in Washington governent but Montana is a suprise.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapmonkay View Post
    You are partly correct. If the establishment does not serve alcohol then you may open or conceal carry no restrictions.

    To be safe, any establishment in which serves alcohol whether its in the non-bar area or not, you are prohibited from conceal carry and are required to open carry. The whole establishment is typically considered off limits for conceal carry due to the wording of the law.
    I'm curious where you get this interpretation. The law specifically states "room," and in most family-style dining establishments the bar area is clearly delineated as a "room."

    From what I've read about this, it's clearly a gray area, so to state that restaurant carry is "open carry only" is somewhat misleading.
    Last edited by pongo000; 12-12-2015 at 04:04 PM.

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pongo000 View Post
    I'm curious where you get this interpretation. The law specifically states "room," and in most family-style dining establishments the bar area is clearly delineated as a "room."

    From what I've read about this, it's clearly a gray area, so to state that restaurant carry is "open carry only" is somewhat misleading.
    For instance, Applebee's, McKenzie River Pizza, etc are places where there is no clear divisional wall between bar and restaurant, therefore it's all considered 1 room. Also, some places have draft taps in the restaurant areas to help in serving. Then you need to wonder, how open of a floorplan makes a room? When it comes to gray areas its typically recommend to error on the side of caution.

    A fix to the law is in the works (did not make it this last legislative session). It is noted on both conceal carry sites and here at open carry that to be safe you should not conceal in a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages. You are however welcome to do as you please or consult an attorney.

    For reference the MT info from a concealed carry site, note the restaurant carry info: http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/montana.pdf

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    Last edited by slapmonkay; 12-12-2015 at 04:15 PM.
    I Am Not A Lawyer, verify all facts presented independently.

    It's called the "American Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it. - George Carlin

    I carry a spare tire, in case I have a flat. I carry life insurance, in case I die. I carry a gun, in case I need it.

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