City Council Ordinance Requires Criminal Background Checks on All Gun Sales Within Missoula City Limits
MISSOULA, Mont. – Everytown for Gun Safety and the Montana chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the Missoula City Council for passing a city ordinance that requires criminal background checks on all gun sales.
This ordinance closes a loophole in the law that gives criminals easy access to guns. Currently in Montana, background checks are only required for gun sales at licensed dealers. This gives felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people who are legally prohibited from having guns an easy opportunity to buy guns from unlicensed sellers — including at gun shows and online — anonymously and with no questions asked. Missoula’s new ordinance now closes that loophole within city limits.
The ordinance was introduced last year by City Councilman Bryan von Lossberg, City Council President Marilyn Marler and City Councilwoman Emily Bentley. In the past year, volunteers with the Montana chapter of Moms Demand Action have testified at city council hearings and contacted city council members in support of the ordinance.
STATEMENT FROM DANNETTE FADNESS, VOLUNTEER WITH THE MONTANA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Our City Council members stood on the side of public safety by supporting a common-sense measure to help keep guns out of dangerous hands. This ordinance closes a dangerous loophole in our gun laws while also supporting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Missoula. I am thankful for the persistence and commitment over the last year demonstrated by Councilman Bryan von Lossberg with the support of Mayor Engen, City Council President Marilyn Marler and Councilwoman Emily Bentley. Our leaders in the statehouse should follow the lead of their colleagues in the Missoula City Council. Today marks a new step for the safety of our families and communities.”
Background checks are quick and easy – in fact, there are more than 50 gun dealers in Missoula. And, every person in Missoula lives within 10 miles of a gun dealer, making it simple and convenient for buyers and sellers to meet at a gun dealer to run the check.
In addition, background checks are proven to help prevent crime and save lives. In states with background checks on all handgun sales, 46 percent fewer women are shot and killed by intimate partners, there are 48 percent fewer gun suicides, and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns.