The Missoula, Mont., City Council’s Health and Safety Committee introduced a draft ordinance last week that would require gun shows and private firearm transactions to include a federal background check. Currently, licensed firearms dealers are required to run a check on gun buyers, but there is no federal or state law that requires the same check for private parties. The ordinance is under consideration by the Missoula City Council, and a hearing will be held Oct. 19.
Lawyers for the Montana Shooting Sports Association have released a three-page response outlining legal and practical problems with the draft ordinance, arguing that, while the city does have authority to suppress firearm possession for target groups, it has no authority to regulate sales and transfers. An informal poll conducted by NBC Montana also shows roughly two-thirds of respondents opposed to the ordinance.