Saturday, January 28, 2017

MT: AG makes Decision: Missoula Gun Control "Unconstitutional"

Last year, the City Council of Missoula voted to pass an ordinance that required that anyone wishing to transfer a privately owned firearm must do so through a Federal Firearms dealer.  There were a couple of exceptions for family members and at shooting ranges.

Many said at the time said the ordinance was a violation of Montana law, and was illegal.  The City Attorney claimed that the law was legal. The AG of the state, Tim Fox, stated a personal opinion, at the time the law passed, that the law was not legal or Constitutional.  Now AG Fox has issued an official opinion on the subject, dated 26 January, 2017. From crossroadstoday:
Fox had maintained all along Montana law didn't grant the city that authority -- and he confirmed that position in the new opinion.

Fox noted Missoula does have certain powers as a charter city, saying it does have the authority to regulate the use and carrying of firearms under state law. However, Fox says state law doesn't allow Missoula to have an ordinance "enforcing a local regulation or ordinance requiring background checks on firearm sales or transfers within its borders."
Montana passed a state pre-emption law thirty years ago, to prevent a patchwork of contradictory firearms laws from being enacted across the state. From the
The state previously allowed cities to make their own laws regarding firearms sales, Fox wrote in his opinion, but a 1985 House bill repealed that section of the MCA and replaced it with new language that still is in place.

“The purpose of HB 643 was clear – only the state should decide how firearm purchases, sales and transfers should be regulated, if at all.”
Many people predicted the Attorney General would come to this official conclusion. Now he has done so.  It seems unlikely that the City of Missoula would attempt to take this decision to court, but it might.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

I think you can not call one infringing law unconstitutional if you cant call all infringing laws unconstitutional. Shall Not Be Infringed is all inclusive. an absolute command that forbids any infringing law.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they are going to do the Washington, D.C. council's trick of passing an unconstitutional regulation, knowing it is unconstitutional, with the idea of keeping it in place until the extended appeals process overturns it, then promptly passing another unconstitutional regulation?

Anonymous said...

Once people begin to understand how to remove corrupt politicians from office we could start removing the bad politicians. If a politician violates their oath of office then get them recalled or impeached for violating that oath of office. Not faithfully enforcing the laws is the violation. trying to find ways around enforcing the laws as written is a corrupt violation of the oath. If the politician can not read and understand plain English what is he or she doing in office. If people are tired of these political antics and tricks. then stand up and start doing something about it. You get the government you deserve. If you are too damn lazy to take part in improving the government then shut up. Most of the complainers are the not voters. If you do not vote shut the hell up. If you do vote understand there is more to being a responsible voter than showing up at the poll and pulling a lever or making black dots. there are a number of things that can void your ballot. fail to vote for one office and the ballot is void as incomplete. La Paz county uses this a lot. It requires a write in name for an office no body is running for. No name no dot the ballot is void. None of your black dots for all the other offices count.

Anonymous said...

The second poster made a good point. What do you do when convicted by a bad law. when that law is determined to be unconstitutional you get that conviction over turned, then you file suit for false arrest, recover damages and get the conviction removed from your record. separate each issue. false arrest, false imprisonment, loss of income, defamation of character. and toss this in for good measure Criminal parental interference for the time away from your children and any loss of child support. Sue the shit out of the state, the county and the city and the people that enforced the law. It is not your fault they did not know the constitution well enough to avoid the problems they caused you. make the bastards pay. You might even be able to sue the people that passed the law. It is the duty of law enforcement to refuse to enforce an unconstitutional law. every level of government has the responsibility to enforce the constitution and the responsibility to know what is constitutional. We pay for their attorneys. a questionable law should never be passed. It does not require a judge to read the constitution. the constitution was written so that everyone can read it. when bad laws are passed it is usually to push an agenda. when you sue include the organizations that push it. government's first duty is to enforce the constitution not political agendas.

One thing attorneys will never tell you is that you have the right to demand anything relevant if you win to resolve the issue/s including an order to demand impeachment and removal of those that passed an unconstitutional law and those that enforced it. it is time to start holding these incompetent legislators accountable. You ask why are you never told this well because most of those legislators are lawyers. If you win and the judge refuses to issue the order then demand he be impeached and removed. we have power we just have to learn what that power is and how to use it. we can turn this corrupt government around. I got tired of being jacked around by the system and studied law to represent myself. I won total custody of my daughter in a California court. An attorney told me he could get my visitation increased by one or two days a month for 250 K cash. I spent 45 dollars and won total custody. the judge was surprised to learn that I was not a member of the bar and stated my paper work was the best to ever cross his desk. I fired the attorney that I hired for the divorce and filed a substitution of attorney got the entire case file and went to work. I helped get one attorney disbarred in Tucson.