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Q. for fellow MT residents

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MTMilitiaman, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    So I was always told that it is perfectly legal to carry a concealed weapon in a backpack or purse in MT because state law only considers a weapon concealed if it is covered by clothing, and backpacks and purses aren't considered clothing. I was thinking about trying to get some members of my family together to get a .38 for my sister to keep in her purse. She just had a kid and has been putting serious thought into the subject since she has so much to protect now, but I wanted to be certain I was informing her correctly if I told her she could carry it in a purse without a permit.

    There seems to be some ambiguity here and I can't find any further clarification in the Montana State Code that clarifies whether backpacks and purses are considered clothing.
  2. CB900F

    CB900F Member

    Feb 22, 2003

    I'm not sure & have never looked into the issue since it doesn't apply to me. But, my opinion is that it's a pretty thin thread to hang the consequenses on if you're wrong. It's so easy to get the concealed carry permit in this state that I can't see a good reason not to do it in her case. Hell, everybody oughta have one.

  3. rborensr

    rborensr Member

    Sep 14, 2005
    did you look up all of the subtitles to the law? There is an exception in there that states when involved in and outdoor activity. The county Sheriff told me this when I went to apply for a concealed weapons permit, he said I really didn't need one in the state of Montana.
  4. Leethal

    Leethal Member

    May 30, 2012
    Billings, MT
    45-8-315. Definition. "Concealed weapon" means any weapon mentioned in 45-8-316 through 45-8-318 and 45-8-321 through 45-8-328 that is wholly or partially covered by the clothing or wearing apparel of the person carrying or bearing the weapon, except that for purposes of 45-8-321 through 45-8-328, concealed weapon means a handgun or a knife with a blade 4 or more inches in length that is wholly or partially covered by the
    clothing or wearing apparel of the person carrying or bearing the weapon.

    > Once a weapon is put into something like a purse or a camera bag, AND is "worn", such as carrying it draped over a shoulder, it is considered "covered by the wearing apparel".

    > I took a Firearm Safety Class through the Adult Education part of our school district.
    It is associated with the NRA.

    > We asked about this specific question, and that is what we were told.
    If you carry the weapon in something like a briefcase or a purse,without a shoulder strap, it is legal. But once it is part of your clothing it is not.

    >With that said, I am NOT a lawyer.
    > I hope this helps.
  5. westy39

    westy39 Member

    May 30, 2011
    That depends, will the good judge look at a purse as a piece of clothing or just a purse. I can speak from some experience as I have seen it go either way. I suggest she just make her life easy and just get a concealed weapons permit, then there is NO problem. There are purses made with a compartment to act as a holster for a handgun. You can always call your local judge and ask,,, but not all judges in Montana see things the same.
  6. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Just get a permit and don't worry about it.

    In all seriousness, it looks like a woman's purse is not an issue according to handgunlaw.com:


    Now, I would have to state you may not want to place a handgun in a purse and carry it if you are man, especially in Montana, the cows wouldn't know how to handle that.:neener:
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  7. CharlieBT

    CharlieBT Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    I think post No. 4 is correct. If your sister is in an incorporated town or city, having a handgun in her purse, a brief case or back pack that can be "worn" is going to be perceived by some LEO as concealed carry. I don't recall a Montana Supreme Court case directly on point. Thus the reigning ambiguity. I believe federal LEO have similar views. Best to get the permit, IMO. Good luck.
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