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Monday, September 28, 2015

Gun Ban Politicians Look for Creative Ways to Pass Restrictions

Last week, it was reported that the city of Missoula, Montana was trying to pass an ordinance that would require so-called "universal" background checks within the city.  Bloomberg's faux news outlet, The Trace, had a story today about how the city council may have found a way around the state's preemption law:
“I would be surprised if it didn’t draw a challenge in the courts,” says Missoula City Council member Bryan Von Lossberg, who sponsored the background check ordinance along with Marilyn Marter and Emily Bentley. Nonetheless, he’s confident his universal background check proposal will stand a fighting chance against the almost-inevitable lawsuit. Specifically, he sees justification for the proposal in a close reading of some key language in the state preemption law.

The first sentence of the relevant section of State Code says cities may not “prohibit, register, tax, license, or regulate the purchase, sale or other transfer” of weapons — except as provided in subsection 2 of the code. That subsection carves out a few small exceptions: Cities can regulate shooting guns, and carrying at public assemblies and public properties. There’s also one more provision, and it’s the one that gives Von Lossberg and his colleagues hope their proposal could survive in court. The preemption law states that for public safety purposes, cities can prevent and suppress the possession of guns by felons, those adjudicated mentally unfit, undocumented immigrants, and minors — populations that background checks screen for.
Expanded background checks are the gun ban lobby's answer to most any high profile shooting, even if the shooter passed a background check to get the gun used in the crime.

The NRA-ILA legislative liaison Brian Judy told NRANews last week that Bloomberg is behind this move in Montana and that there were three lobbyists for Bloomberg in Helena during the legislative session this year.
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With Virginia's governor being so open not only to passing restrictions on our rights, but believing that Constitutional concern's are just unimportant "small ball,"  one has to wonder how long before we start seeing serious attacks on our preemption statute.

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