On September 23 Missoula, Montana’s Public Safety and Health Committee passed a private gun sale ban which has the backing of Mayor John Engen (D) and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Moms Demand is currently working in Florida as well, trying to prevent Republican lawmakers from passing legislation to allow women to be armed on college campuses for self-defense.
According to the Missoulian, the ordinance would ban private sales in the city with few exceptions. Ward 1 council member Bryan von Lossberg supported the ban and suggested gun owners will support it to because “the vast majority of gun owners who want to do transfers are law-abiding citizens…[who] see value in making sure people who are mentally ill, the felons – the three prongs of the test – can’t acquire a gun.”
Lossberg did not address the fact that Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan passed a background check to acquire the gun he used to shoot a WDBJ-TV reporter and cameraman to death on August 26. Nor did he mention that alleged Lafayette theater gunman John Russell Houser passed a background check for his weapon, as did alleged Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof and alleged Chattanooga gunman Mohammad Abdulazeez.
Moms Demand Action’s Nancy de Pastino argued that expanding background checks to include private sales makes it harder for criminals to get guns. She said, “Background checks are the single most effective way to save lives by keeping guns out of dangerous hands.” Pastino made no reference to the fact that Aurora theater gunman James Holmes passed a background check for his guns, as did Gabby Gifford’s attacker Jared Loughner and Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan.
Mayor Engen claimed the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary showed that some action must be taken. He did not mention that Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza stole his guns, so a background check ordinance would have done nothing to stop that attack.
Instead, Engen pressed forward with gun control, saying, “We have a responsibility here to take a small action – and this is a small action – that could make a difference in our community. I would suggest that our Legislature ought to consider this, but it’s not, so we’re left in the box of trying to figure this out for ourselves. This might be hard, but I think it’s worth it.”
Engen did not point out that Garland gunmen Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi passed a background check for their guns, as did Santa Barbara gunman Elliot Rodger.
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