A decision made by state judge Dusty Deschamps last Thursday, October 11 concerning a Missoula city ordinance requiring background checks on all gun sales, was made before the judge got to hear the final brief from the Montana Attorney General. According to Attorney General Tim Fox, Judge Deschamps had a hearing scheduled but then issued his decision before the hearing began.

“We had a briefing schedule with the judge,” Fox said. “We had it set for oral argument or a hearing and the judge kind of surprised us this week when he didn’t wait for our brief. We had a reply brief that was due by court order and the judge issued his opinion before we had an opportunity to fully argue the case. The order was issued on summary judgement in favor of the city before we filed our briefs.”

According to Fox, the brief the judge never got to read includes arguments based on a very recent Montana Supreme Court Case that also involved the City of Missoula.

“The Montana Supreme Court recently issued a decision in the Franklin case, you might be familiar with the case, it had to do with court fees,” Fox said. “The decision in that case is very instructive and applies here, we believe, and support our argument that the city can’t do what they did with the gun ordinance.”

On Monday, October 15, Fox filed a motion requesting that Judge Deschamps rescind the court’s order and accept the reply brief that was originally scheduled to be submitted to the court on Monday.

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