Montana reserves to the state the right to sue a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer for abatement, injunctive relief, or tort damages relating to the design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition sold to the public.1 The state may bring such lawsuits on its own behalf or on behalf of a local governmental unit.2
In a products liability action in Montana, firearms or ammunition may not be considered defective in design on the ground that their benefits do not outweigh the risk of the injury they pose.3 Montana law further provides that in a products liability action, the potential of firearms and ammunition to cause serious injury, damage or death does not make them defective in design, and cannot proximately cause injuries or damage resulting from the discharge of a firearm or ammunition.4 According to the law governing products liability, such injuries or damages are proximately caused by the actual discharge of the product.5 However, the law does not apply to a products liability cause of action based upon the improper selection of design alternatives.6
For provisions limiting the powers of local governments to regulate and prosecute shooting ranges, see the Montana State Preemption/Local Authority to Regulate Firearms summary.
For detailed information about government and private party lawsuits against the gun industry, the status of litigation involving gun industry immunity statutes in various states, or pending gun industry immunity legislation, visit the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Gun Industry Immunity page.
See our Immunity Statutes policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.