Montana AG: Missoula’s Bloomberg-Supported Universal Background Checks Unlawful

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox issued an opinion halting the City of Missoula’s expanded background check ordinance on the grounds that they violate state law and “cannot be enforced.”

The ordinance was enacted by the Missoula City Council on September 26, 2016. It abolishes “almost all” private sales by requiring law-abiding citizens to undergo a background check when selling or transferring a gun between one another. The background check requirement was supported by Missoula Mayor John Engen (D) as well as former “[NYC] Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun groups, Moms Demand Action and Everytown.”

According to the NRA-ILA, Attorney General Fox “noted that the state law on cities with charter forms of government, like Missoula, specifically denies such cities ‘any power that applies to or affects the right to keep and bear arms’ apart from the power to regulate concealed carrying.” And since an entity “cannot try to regulate the ability to acquire firearms (sale or transfer) without exercising power that applies to or affect the right to keep and bear arms,” the Missoula ordinance conflicts with state law and is unenforceable.

It is worth noting that the language on this subject, as contained in Montana state law, is not cryptic. It is very straightforward; very clear. Montana state law says local governments are denied “any power that applies to or effects the right to keep and bear arms, except that a local government has the power to regulate the carrying of concealed weapons.”

Bloomberg-supported gun control in Nevada recently met the same fate as the measures in Missoula. After groups from outside the state secured a “narrowly approved” background check initiative on November 8, 2016, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt halted the implementation of the checks on grounds that they were “unenforceable.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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