FFL Holder Questions Practicality of Missoula Gun Ordinance
A proposal to expand gun buyer background checks in the city of Missoula has brought protest from a number of areas, but Riverside Pawn owner and Federal Firearms Licence holder Brian Hughes says some of the practical implications of the law haven’t been thought out.
"We are forced to acquire that firearm and log it into our acquisition and disposition books before we can perform the background check on the potential private buyer," Hughes said. "We can't just run a background check for the sake of it just to see if someone might pass, we actually have to have a transaction to take place and I've been instructed that way from the ATF. Once we log it into our acquisition and disposition books, it's a piece of inventory, one we have to dispose of properly."
Hughes says that if a gun sale falls through, he would have to do another background check on the original owner before he could return the gun. Beyond that, Hughes says a waiting period will also be required.
"We have to hold things for a certain amount of time for law enforcement to make sure and vet those items and make sure they're not stolen" Hughes said. "So if i take that firearm or the private transaction into my possession before I can really, according to this ordinance, transfer it out to the potential private buyer, I've got to hold it for ten days, so that it can be insured that it's not a piece of stolen merchandise."
Hughes says the ordinance is more than just impractical, it’s unconstitutional. Hughes and Missoula City Councilman Brian Von Lossberg have been in disagreement about the requirements on FFL holders and second hand dealers: Hughes says that he has contacted a regional ATF official, who affirms his position.