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Knudsen Challenges Missoula Background Check Ordinance

Montana House Speaker Austin Knudsen (R)
Montana Legislature
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Just hours after The Missoula City Council passed a new ordinance requiring background checks on gun sales, a Republican state lawmaker challenged it.

House Speaker Austin Knudsen is asking State Attorney General Tim Fox to review the law. 

"This is a fairly blatant and flagrant violation of Montana law. Second amendment issues are very important to me and to a lot of Montanans. I think this is a violation.”

The new ordinance was co-sponsored by Missoula City Council Member Bryan von Lossberg.

He says he knew it would be immediately challenged.

"Not a surprise at all to hear about this action from the speaker. It was anticipated. We’ll see how the process plays out.”

Missoula’s City Attorney backs the new ordinance, but Attorney General Fox, a Republican, has previously said that it’s likely prohibited by Montana law, and violates the U.S. Constitution.

The ordinance requires criminal background checks on all private gun sales and transfers, including gun shows, with exceptions for family trading, hunting, and emergency self-defense.

The law takes effect in 30 days, barring legal intervention.

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