Missoula City Council
Proposed Ordinance to
Ban Private Transfer of Firearms
Public Hearing, October 19th, 7 PM, Missoula City Hall.
What You Must Do - SHOW UP, be heard
What: Public hearing
Where: Missoula City Hall
When: 10/19; 7PM
More detail: The Missoula City Council will hold public
hearings on three proposed ordinances on the evening of October
19th, including the proposed ordinance to prohibit transfers of
firearms inside Missoula city limits unless that transfer is
accomplished through a federally licensed dealer, including a
federal background check on the buyer. Proponents say this
will "reduce gun violence" and make Missoula safer.
Be prepared to offer comment at the public hearing. This means
going to the microphone during the public comments portion of the
The process: First the sponsor will introduce the
proposed ordinance. Then "official" proponents (NYC
mayor/billionaire Michael Bloomberg's minions, etc.) will be given
ten minutes to state their case. Then "official" opponents
(NRA, MSSA, WCSM, etc.) will be given ten minutes. Then the
public hearing will be opened up for comments from the public.
This is when you should go to the microphone.
What to say: At the microphone you should first introduce
yourself. The Mayor will probably chair the meeting, so your
introduction should be something like this: "Mr. Mayor,
members of the City Council, my name is Joe Blow." If you
represent any group, say so, such as, "I'm here this evening
representing 700 members of the Southside Anglers Club." Then,
you should state your position on the proposed ordinance, such as "I
oppose this proposed ordinance."
Then, state a reason or two for your opposition. You should
take NO MORE than TWO MINUTES at the microphone. Less will be
appreciated by Council members. You should not repeat what
previous commentors have said, if possible. Certainly say you
agree with previous opponents to the ordinance, if you
do. Council members will pay more attention to what you
say if you don't read prepared testimony, but rather speak directly
to council members, letting your eye contact and attention rove
among them as you speak.
DO NOT raise your voice, threaten in any way, or use bad
If you are reluctant to speak in public, you may just go to the
microphone, introduce yourself, say you oppose the ordinance, and
then return to your seat. If doing even that makes you
uncomfortable, there may be some protest-type gathering on the
sidewalk outside City Hall. You could hang out with those
What to address: Pick a couple of these reasons why the
proposed ordinance is a bad idea, or come up with your own:
1. The ordinance violates state law at 45-8-351.
Therefore, it will be stricken by the courts, if enacted, and will
only waste Missoula taxpayers' money defending against the
inevitable lawsuit filed to challenge the ordinance.
2. There is no demonstrated problem in Missoula that the
ordinance would solve.
3. It will be too easy for the targeted individuals to not
comply with the ordinance. They will only need to travel a
mile or so to outside city limits, or simply ignore the
ordinance. Therefore, compliance will be minimal.
Therefore, the ordinance will only affect or inconvenience
4. The recent Oregon college shooter passed exactly the
background check the ordinance would require. How much good
did that do?
5. Bad people usually don't get guns by buying them.
They steal them.
6. The ordinance would so hamper normal activity at historic
Missoula gun shows that it would effectively end gun shows here, a
recurring activity that traditionally brings millions of dollars
into the Missoula community. This ordinance would work against
general efforts at economic development for Missoula.
7. It is already illegal under federal law for the individuals
the ordinance proponents would like to affect to possess firearms -
felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, minors, and illegal
aliens. It's hard to imagine how layering a local misdemeanor
penalty onto an existing federal felony will impress any bad people
intended to be affected by the proposed ordinance.