Once again on Monday night, the Missoula City Council chambers overflowed with people both in favor of and opposed to a proposed ordinance that would require background checks for private sales within the city limits, which passed by a vote of 8 to 4.

Nancy de Pastino with Moms Demand Action for Sensible Gun Laws outlined the dangers of having too many firearms.

"Gun violence is not just a big-city problem," de Pastino said. "In fact, Montana suffers from disproportionate levels of gun homicide and suicide. Compared to states that require background checks on all handgun sales, Montana women are three times more likely to be shot and killed by intimate partners, and more than three times as many Montanans kill themselves with guns."

Opposing the ordinance included comments by a state representative of the National Rifle Association, Brian Judy, who said the ordinance violates state law.

"With regards to the legality, this ordinance we've already heard is in violation of state law," Judy said. "The attorney general has weighed in on this point. The city attorney and the sponsor are engaging in interpretive and linguistic gymnastics in an attempt to convince you that this proposal complies with state law."

Following public comment, city councilors discussed the issue, the final vote was 8 in favor and 4 opposed.




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