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Gun Sale Background Checks Get First Hearing In Missoula Monday

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A hearing on requiring background checks for gun purchases happens tonight before Missoula’s city council.

The advocacy group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America is backing the proposed city ordinance that would require criminal background checks for gun sales between private parties. Right now, those checks are only required for federally licensed firearms dealers.

"We would like to show that there is a lot of public support for background checks in Missoula."

Heidi Kendall is a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Missoula. She says she’s undeterred by statements from Montana’s attorney general and two Republican members of Congress that the proposed ordinance violates state and federal laws.

"I just honestly don’t know how to comment on why they’re weighing in on a local issue."

Missoula’s city attorney has said he thinks the proposed ordinance is legal. Tonight is the first time the entire city council will hear the proposed ordinance. They could vote to advance it to a second hearing and final adoption on November second.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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