UPDATE: The below article was written prior to Jan 1st, 2021 and at the time it was written one could take an online class and apply for a Virginia non-resident permit. That is NO LONGER TRUE. This article is outdated and the reader should note that Virginia no longer accepts online training. The main takeaway? In Montana you need to take an in-person class to qualify for the permit and there is no longer any loophole to get around that.
There has been an influx of companies that have appeared on the internet offering online video only concealed carry classes. In addition to our own in-person training network and online store, we also offer an online concealed carry course.
If you have been researching trying to understand the implications for Montana and online concealed carry training, this article will serve as a guide to navigating all the state specific laws and will help clarify what you need to know.
The first thing to be clear on is that ONLY Virginia will issue a permit to any person in the country, who has taken an online only concealed carry class, and mails paperwork in remotely. None of the other 49 states will do that. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no implications for Montana as we will clarify below.
The Online concealed carry classes have become popular nationwide because the Virginia Non-Resident permit is valid in 29 states of the country. So, while an online only class only qualifies a person to get a Virginia permit, that Virginia permit is still valuable in 28 states other than Virginia.
Now, the map below represents the states that honor the Virginia Non-Resident permit and as you can see Montana is green on this map. This effectively means that you can in fact obtain a Virginia Non-resident permit INSTEAD of our Montana permit and legally carry concealed in Montana the same as someone who has the Montana permit.
Now that doesn’t mean it’s the best option, only that it is a legal option you have. Here are a few reasons we think you should strongly consider taking the required Montana training and obtaining a Montana permit.
- Online Concealed Carry classes are generic in the law they teach, meaning that upon completing the class you will not have been taught anything about Montana Where you can take the firearm, when you can and can’t use it in your defense, etc. A local in-person class is going to cover those topics.
- Online Concealed Carry classes are not interactive. You may be able to email the instructor with some questions but in an in-person class you can get immediate answers to the questions you have AND hear the answers to questions your fellow students think to ask.
- No firearm training course, online or in-person, is sufficient to fully prepare anyone to carry a firearm for personal protection. Firearm training is a lifelong pursuit that begins for most people in a basic concealed carry class. Approaching this education with the mindset to find the cheapest and most convenient training option is not the best approach. Further, after this basic class you will need to seek more training and having established a relationship with a local instructor and training organization is going to be necessary at some point regardless.
Now regardless of all that, it is also worth noting that independent of the Virginia Non-Resident permit being an option for the local carrying of a concealed firearm or not, a lot of people choose to obtain it in addition to a local permit since it can also expand the number of states where you can legally carry.
Specific to Montana if you have our local permit and also choose to take an online concealed carry class and obtain a Virginia Concealed Carry permit, then you would add New Mexico to the list of states where you can now carry. That is the state that does not honor the Montana permit but does honor the Virginia Non-Resident Permit.
So if you are interested in expanding your reciprocity via the Virginia Non-Resident permit you can learn more about our Online Concealed Carry Class here.