Judge rules in favor of Missoula gun background check ordinance - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Judge rules in favor of Missoula gun background check ordinance

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MISSOULA - A judge ruled in favor Thursday of a controversial gun ordinance that's contested by the attorney general.

In 2016, the city of Missoula passed an ordinance requiring background checks for guns bought from anyone who is not a licensed firearms dealer. The city said it's intent is to "close a loophole in federal law that allows convicted felons and other categories of people prohibited from owning firearms to obtain guns without a background check."

Attorney General Tim Fox has argued in court that he doesn't believe the city has the jurisdiction to enforce the law.

District Court Judge Robert L. Deschamps released a new ruling on Thursday afternoon.

In it, he sides with the city of Missoula, saying nothing in state law prohibits the city's gun ordinance.

His decision also says that the ordinance has "remained silent and essentially unenforced for over a year."

The attorney general's office disagrees with the ruling. The Department of Justice will ask the court to reconsider, or else they'll appeal to the Montana Supreme Court:

"The state respectfully disagrees with the court’s ruling and maintains that Montana law does not allow cities to enact a patchwork of firearm regulations. Additionally, the court ruled before the state filed its reply brief, which was due to be filed on October 15. Without the opportunity to fully argue the case, the state is constrained to either ask the court for reconsideration pending receipt of its reply brief, or file an immediate appeal to the Montana Supreme Court."

Read Judge Deschamps' ruling below:

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