Everytown for Gun Safety (sic) likes to parachute their New York attorneys into states out West in order to push their gun control agenda. This is why you get initiatives in Nevada and Washington State and bills like in Colorado that read like New York law and not the laws of those respective states.
Another place Everytown has parachuted one of their carpetbagging attorneys is Missoula, Montana, They are successfully sought to have the City of Missoula adopt an ordinance that would force NICS checks on all private transfers even though this is in conflict with state law. Attorney General Tim Fox issued an opinion on this matter which states, “the Montana Legislature has prohibited all forms of local government from exercising regulatory power over the purchase, sale or transfer of firearms.”
The city is home to the University of Montana. That plus the school system and the two hospitals are the largest employers in the city. As you might guess, the city trends liberal and tends to be a blue spot in a sea of red. Clinton beat Trump here 53% to 37%. It was only one of six Montana counties that Clinton carried out of a total of 56 counties.
However, Everytown and their carpetbagging attorney did not count on Gary Marbut and the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Using freedom of information requests, they established that Everytown attorney Jonas Oransky provided certain council members what appears to be legal advice on the Missoula ordinance and its legality. Mr. Oransky, however, is not licensed to practice law in the state of Montana. It is illegal in Montana like in most states to practice law without a license.
Marbut and the MSSA have filed a formal complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel with copies to the Montana State Bar Association and the Montana Attorney General’s Office. Marbut had this to say:
“It is a criminal act in Montana for a person who is not licensed to practice law to hold himself out as an attorney and to provide legal advice or services. It would be disappointing if members of the Missoula City Council have relied on criminal acts of someone from New York City in formulating public policy deemed suitable for Montana people.”
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is saying that they don’t have jurisdiction over Mr. Oransky. However, both the State Bar and the Attorney General’s Office say they are investigating the matter. Mr. Oransky declined to comment to local radio station KGVO on the issue. Missoula Councilman Bryan von Lossberg confirmed that he reached out to Mr. Oransky for advice but said he was not under any retainer.
Bar associations tend to be very protective of their local turf and do not take kindly to unlicensed, out of state attorneys practicing law in their state. This is a great move on the part of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Other local and state gun rights organizations would be wise to emulate them and use their own state’s FOIA to dig into communications between public officials and Everytown. Where it can be established that apparent legal advice was given, it’s time to nail them if the attorney is not licensed in that state. Carpetbaggers who connive with local scallywags to limit enumerated civil rights should be dealt with harshly.