Montana AG Says City Background Check Ordinance Is Illegal

posted on January 28, 2017

An ordinance in Missoula, Mont., calling for “universal” background checks has been declared in violation of state law. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox issued an opinion Thursday and spoke to NBC Montana, where he stated that “Missoula’s ordinance is outside of its authority.”

The ordinance in question was passed in September following pressure from groups like Moms Demand Action. It requires gun owners to complete background checks on private transaction—meaning they would need to run checks on everyone including family members, friends and co-workers before they could legally sell them a gun.

Missoula City Council member Bryan von Lossberg, who sponsored the legislation, believes universal registration is effective and necessary. For the moment, though, he has no current plan to appeal the attorney general’s decision. Fox’s position is the law unless it is overturned by a court.

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