Ordinance Will “Force Missoula Gun Show Out of Operation” Says Gun Show Chair
Tonight, October 19, Missoula City Council will listen to supporters and opponents of an expanded background check ordinance for gun purchases that has been pushed through the Public Safety and Health Committee. The ordinance would require background checks at gun shows, but Chair of the Missoula Gun Show Hayes Otoupalik says he has no doubts about how the ordinance will impact the show.
"Well, it's going to eliminate the Missoula Gun Show," Otoupalik said. "There are only a few dealers in Missoula. Most collectors are just Montana residents that come to the show, those people do not have licenses. They are saying that collector's items are removed, but antique guns are from 1898 and before, so all firearms 117 years of age and newer are modern day guns under the law."
Otoupalik says that the show has never been a problem with Missoula Police or the Missoula Sheriff’s department, and has been of almost no interest to any federal agency.
"As the chairman of the Missoula Gun Show, in 47 years that I've been involved in it, the ATF has never visited the Missoula Gun Show over the problematic sale of a gun. The U.S. Border Patrol was there once, just trying to find out if I knew about a guy, I never heard of the guy... that was the end of that. The office of homeland security, they have never been there."
Outopalik, said Missoula city officials have never contacted Missoula Gun Show officials for feedback on the possible legislation.
Even before the council meeting, groups like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America had urged supporters to contact local officials. City Councilman Adam Hertz said he receive more than 30 emails that morning, many of which were carbon copies of a pro-ordinance letter. Hertz said the very first email he recieved came from “someone in New York.”