What Pre-Emption Law? Background Checks Advance In Missoula

posted on September 25, 2015

On Wednesday, the Missoula, Mont., City Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee advanced a measure that would make nearly all firearm sales/transfers subject to the same process currently mandated for retail sales. The ordinance, which received a single dissenting vote, will go before the full City Council next month—and supporters believe it could receive enough votes to become law. 

The measure has drawn support from Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action group—a perfect barometer of bad legislation if there ever was one—and also from Missoula Mayor John Engen, who claims the city has a responsibility to “take a small action … that could make a difference in our community.” 

With even some councilors admitting criminals likely won’t follow the new protocols, it’s hard to see what difference it could make, outside of impacting Missoula’s bottom line: Opponents claim the measure violates state pre-emption laws, and will almost certainly take the city to court.

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