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Open carry near school. Missoula, MT

Orneryman

Newbie
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Missoula, MT
Hello everybody,
My name is Anthony.
I recently purchased a Glock 17 for my own protection and recreational shooting.
I would like to open carry while walking my dog, running errands ect.
My problem is, I live exactly across the street from an elementary school, and I've read all the laws on where I can and can't OC but i can't find anything on weather I can leave my house with gun on my hip and walk down the road near this said school.
So my question is obviously, is it considered a school zone if i walk on the opposite side of the street? Or only if I'm on school property? Any incite would be appreciated.

Thank you.

P.S- This is my first post on the forums, I've been reading posts on here for a couple days now and I love the community so decided to make an account.
 

MattinWA

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
278
Location
Spokane Washington
Welcome friend.

Montana law allows carry, except inside of school buildings.

The highly controversial federal GFSZA (gun free school zone act) states that you must have a state issued permit to be within 1,000 feet of a school with a loaded pistol. However local jurisdictions do not enforce this archaic law (your local sheriffs deputies, city police, state police, will not or should not enforce it)
There has been ruling both for and against the gfsza, as well as amendments to the law, so I recommend doing your own research to determine if you need a montana permit.
In my opinion and carry experience you should never be stopped for this unless you are on the feds radar for some other reason.
 
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MattinWA

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
278
Location
Spokane Washington
Private property is not deamed a school zone, so unless the buildings/properties in the area are other public buildings/properties, this doesnt apply (stores, houses, ect are generally private property)
Walking down the public street would be considered part of the school zone if you are within 1000 feet. You are also in the clear if you carry unloaded, but I dont know why anyone would do that...

Navy is right ^^^ unloaded and in a locked opaque case, sorry bout that :)
 
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MattinWA

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
278
Location
Spokane Washington
Thx navy.

I walk my dog near schools (its hard not to, im surrounded by them in the middle of spokane) with my pistol openly carried and I leave my licence (ID) and permit at home. I have never had an issue.

Interesting about montana is they are a little more restrictive on where you can carry then I am used to, they dont allow carry in finacial institutions, and also let local municipalities decide if they want to allow carry in parks and other public areas. Check your local laws.
I would spend sometime looking at the gfsza and decide for yourself. If it bothers you, as much as I hate to say it, getting a ccp would exempt you from the gfsza, yes even effects openly carried

Any place alcohol is sold, dispenced AND consumed is also off limits to you, permit or not

Also montana law does not specifically define loaded vs unloaded, but generally loaded also includes rounds in a magazine inserted into the firearm, not just round in the chamber
 
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Orneryman

Newbie
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Missoula, MT
(vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.

This here, does this mean I can pass through the school zone lawfully to get to where I need to go?
 

MattinWA

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
278
Location
Spokane Washington
This here, does this mean I can pass through the school zone lawfully to get to where I need to go?

If you are going to hunt AND have written permission from the school (get everything like that in writing) AND Is unloaded im afraid getting the state's ccp might be easier to avoid any complications.
 
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Orneryman

Newbie
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Missoula, MT
Thanks for the information guys, kinda sucks i cant leave my house without my gun being unloaded and locked away... I'll contact my local sheriff to clarify my questions a little more and see about the licensing I need to open carry while passing through a school zone.
 

MattinWA

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
278
Location
Spokane Washington
Thanks for the information guys, kinda sucks i cant leave my house without my gun being unloaded and locked away... I'll contact my local sheriff to clarify my questions a little more and see about the licensing I need to open carry while passing through a school zone.

To obtain a Montana concealed weapons permit, a person must: 
have been a Montana resident for at least six months 
be a U.S. citizen 
be at least 18 years old 
Montana Hunter Ed Course/State Approved Course/Any National Firearms Group Trainer
or  DD214
Applications are available from the local county sheriff's office. This site provides a sample application so people can review what is required and gather the necessary documentation prior to going to their sheriff's
Costs about $60 montana is shall issue so u will get a permit as long as you are not otherwise disqualified, (they need a valid reason not to issue)
Handgunlaw.us
 

Orneryman

Newbie
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Missoula, MT
To obtain a Montana concealed weapons permit, a person must: 
have been a Montana resident for at least six months 
be a U.S. citizen 
be at least 18 years old 
Montana Hunter Ed Course/State Approved Course/Any National Firearms Group Trainer
or  DD214
Applications are available from the local county sheriff's office. This site provides a sample application so people can review what is required and gather the necessary documentation prior to going to their sheriff's
Costs about $60 montana is shall issue so u will get a permit as long as you are not otherwise disqualified, (they need a valid reason not to issue)
Handgunlaw.us


Yup, I already printed a copy of my hunters ed ceterficate and an application for my cwp online. I'll be heading to the sheriff's office soon. Thanks again.
 

Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,331
Location
Valhalla
Somebody already addressed this question earlier, in a more informative way I must add. Your bold typed answers did nothing for my questions.

You are new here, so not up to speed. Gutshot has special dispensation from the Administration to type in that manner so that he may see what he is doing - he is visually challenged.
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,309
Location
Montana
Hello everybody,
My name is Anthony.
I recently purchased a Glock 17 for my own protection and recreational shooting.
I would like to open carry while walking my dog, running errands ect.
My problem is, I live exactly across the street from an elementary school, and I've read all the laws on where I can and can't OC but i can't find anything on weather I can leave my house with gun on my hip and walk down the road near this said school.
So my question is obviously, is it considered a school zone if i walk on the opposite side of the street? Or only if I'm on school property? Any incite would be appreciated.

Thank you.

P.S- This is my first post on the forums, I've been reading posts on here for a couple days now and I love the community so decided to make an account.

Hello Orneryman,

Welcome to Open Carry Dot Org (OCDO). There are a few things that will affect what you can and can't do here in Montana. Generally though you can open carry in most places.

Specifically in regards to schools, school grounds and school zones or areas here is what you need to know for Montana.
  • MCA 45-8-361 makes it illegal to ENTER a school building with a firearm (includes knifes etc as well)
  • MCA 45-8-351 (2)(a) lets local governments to restrict firearms on school grounds if they so choose.
  • MCA 45-8-360 Gives every qualified resident of Montana an exemption to the FEDERAL gun free zone law (FGFZ) 18 USC 922 (q)(2).

So in regards to state law, the summary is:
  • You may NOT ENTER school buildings
  • State law does not care if you enter school grounds but local municipalities may enact laws restricting it (in this case you would want to check Missoula code [Below])
  • You are by default exempt from the FEDERAL gun free zone law, which typically restricts 1000 foot radius around a school

Looking at Missoula city municipals codes:
  • MMC 8.58.010 makes it illegal to carry IN a school building.
  • No other mention is made as to if school grounds are off limits, which means school grounds are OK by state and local statute.

So in summary, you should be okay carrying a firearm on a sidewalk thats on the same side as the school or adjacent to the school. You should even be okay on school grounds if you're picking up a student for instance.

I carry near a school fairly often and have no issues.

I am providing this information as is, it should not be considered legal advice, you should contact a lawyer if your concerned.
 
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slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,309
Location
Montana
Wow lots of out of state replies while I typed that, too bad there is a lot of misinformation :banghead:.
 

Orneryman

Newbie
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Missoula, MT
Thanks you very much for this informative post slapmonkay.

I'm still going to get my carry permit just to be safe.

But in regards to OC I'll contact a lawyer/ local sheriff to verify this information.

Thanks again for your time
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,309
Location
Montana
Interesting about montana is they are a little more restrictive on where you can carry then I am used to, they dont allow carry in finacial institutions, and also let local municipalities decide if they want to allow carry in parks and other public areas. Check your local laws.

[...]

Any place alcohol is sold, dispenced AND consumed is also off limits to you, permit or not

Most of the restrictions you list are only for CONCEALED CARRY (MCA 45-8-328).

Montana by statute does not explicitly deny access for OPEN CARRY to any location other than a school building. However, local municipalities can restrict public buildings, parks and school grounds. The language regarding alcohol establishments, financial institutions, etc are specific to concealed.

See here for the info opencarry.org has on the state: http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=267
 

Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,331
Location
Valhalla
Asking a good gun rights attorney is an excellent idea. Asking a LEO for legal advice not so good - fraught with huge problems.
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,309
Location
Montana
Thanks you very much for this informative post slapmonkay.

I'm still going to get my carry permit just to be safe.

But in regards to OC I'll contact a lawyer/ local sheriff to verify this information.

Thanks again for your time

It would be safer to get a CWP, then you would not be relying on MCA 45-8-360 for your gun free zone act exception. I wouldn't expect any issues if you did not get it though. Just FYI, most of the time, getting your first CWP is quite a dog and pony show, lots of hoops to jump though (training docs, interview, fingerprints, etc). You will probably have to setup an appointment at the sheriffs convenience.

As for verifying information, I would not recommend the sheriffs office or other police units for information. Most of the time they provide invalid information that matches their agenda or ease of life. A lawyer that knows 2nd amendment law would clearly be preferred.
 
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