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City of Missoula should draft new gun ordinance
Guest column

City of Missoula should draft new gun ordinance

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Gary Marbut


The final votes are now collected and tabulated for Legislative Referendum 130. Although the official canvas has not been completed, it now seems certain that LR-130 has passed. It will become effective as of Jan. 1, 2021.

When LR-130 becomes effective, any Missoula city ordinances that are inconsistent with the laws revised by LR-130 will become illegal to enforce.

In order to take advantage of the lead time offered by these circumstances, I suggest the Missoula City Council may wish to begin the process now for reviewing and revising whatever Missoula ordinances will need to be changed to bring them into compliance with the state laws revised by LR-130 that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2021.

I suggest also that some additional training be planned and implemented for any City of Missoula personnel who may be involved in any way with enforcing Missoula ordinances, so that such personnel will be familiar with the changed conditions. Such training will help avoid any misunderstandings that could incur liability for the City of Missoula.

Finally, because I believe that various members of the Missoula City Council may truly wish to increase the safety of Missoula citizens, I offer again the draft resolution for the City Council that has been previously been offered. The four items contained in the resolution are perfectly legal for Missoula to embrace, and if Missoula actively supported these items, that support would definitely enhance the safety of Missoula citizens. This draft resolution is below.


RESOLUTION of the Missoula City Council

WHEREAS, firearms ownership and possession is a common part of Montana and Missoula culture; and

WHEREAS, Missoula residents who possess firearms should also be equipped with the knowledge about how to be safe with firearms; and

WHEREAS, such knowledge includes how to safely secure firearms, how to safely handle firearms to prevent misadventure, and how safely, legally and ethically trade firearms privately with others.


1. Montana state law at 20-7-132, M.C.A., encourages schools to provide firearms safety education; and

2. The Be Safe program is a firearms safety curricula designed for children in first through third grade, is approved by the Montana Legislature, is approved by the Office of Public Instruction, and is the most common vehicle for delivery of firearms safety education to children in Montana; and

3. The Missoula City Council encourages all Missoula schools to allow presentation of the Be Safe curricula to classrooms of First through Third Grade students. (


1. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks oversees firearms safety education, Hunter Education, primarily for young and aspiring hunters; and

2. Hunter Education is delivered to interested persons in the spring and in the fall in the Missoula area; and

3. The Missoula City Council encourages all interested persons to avail themselves of Hunter Education training opportunity. (


1. Several local firearms safety instructors provide firearms safety classes for adults who wish to be safe and competent with firearms; and

2. Information about these instructors and classes may be found online and from local sporting goods stores; and

3. The Missoula City Council encourages all Missoula people to take advantage of this available education to learn or upgrade knowledge and skills concerning safe firearms storage, possession and use.


1. People who sell or buy firearms privately have a moral and legal obligation to do so properly; and

2. A Guide to Private Firearm Sales has been published and is available at:

3. The Missoula City Council urges anyone contemplating a private sale or purchase of a firearm to review this guide and make the person's best effort to follow the advice offered in the guide.

Gary Marbut of Missoula is the author of "Gun Laws of Montana" and is president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association.

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