Gun-safety debate reaches Montana’s Supreme Court

Gun-safety debate reaches Montana’s Supreme Court

Gun Rights

Private gun sales in Montana, such as at gun shows, don’t require a background check. The city of Missoula is fighting to require checks for most sales. In August 2003, Mark Grimes sold a Taurus Titanium .41 Magnum handgun in Missoula, Montana, much the way he would sell a bicycle: cash and a handshake. A former range officer at shooting competitions, Grimes wasn’t completely comfortable with the transaction, even though it was legal. “There was a little red light flashing in my brain,” he remembered, “but the green light of getting a good price was more compelling.” Two years later, a police officer knocked on his door to tell him the gun had been used in a homicide in Denver. “At the time, I thought I didn’t do anything wrong,” Grimes said, “but maybe I did.” Grimes, now a cancer researcher at the University of Montana, couldn’t have known the gun would be used to kill someone. But, he said, he should have taken measures to reduce that possibility. Now, Grimes is hopeful that the state Supreme Court will uphold the right of Montana cities to require background checks on private gun sales and thereby help prevent future tragedies. But it won’t be easy: Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican 2020 gubernatorial candidate, argues that local background check regulations violate state law. This summer, the court is expected to issue a ruling that could affect rates of gun violence in the state with the nation’s highest per capita suicide […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.