Friday, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Rhuehlman granted an injunction against an ordnance by the city of Cincinnati that would have made “trigger activators,” which are more commonly know as bump stocks, illegal in city limits.
A bump stock is any device that uses “bump fire,” to increase the rate-of-fire of a semiautomatic weapon, and some revolvers. The device uses the natural recoil of the gun to permit the weapon to fire at a much higher rate. The ATF, led by appointees of the Obama Administration ruled in 2010 that these devices were legal and could be sold without regulation. Despite widespread availability and at relatively modest prices, they were not commonly adopted. This changed dramatically in 2017.
On October 1st, 2017, a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 58 people, wounding more than 400 with gunfire, and injuring 851. Upon investigation, it was found that he was utilizing bump stocks on several of his weapons. This propelled the otherwise innocuous firearm modification into the national spotlight. Overnight, demand for bump stocks spiked. Many progressive groups began calling for immediate bans. To many second amendment advocates, this appeared to be an overreaction by the federal government that infringed upon the second amendment.
On December 18th, the Trump Administration moved to completely ban the modification. They did so by reinterpreting existing laws on the matter. While it would take months to go into effect, several states sought to impose bans before the government. In response, many prominent second amendment advocacy organizations filed suit to overturn the decision.
In May, the Cincinnati City Council attempted to use a city ordinance laws to make, not only sale but ownership of the modifications illegal in the city. The Buckeye Firearms Foundation along with the Ohioans for Concealed Carry stated that they “contacted the City of Cincinnati in (an) attempt to work toward a resolution short of litigation. After those attempts failed, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation was forced to litigate and filed suit shortly thereafter.” While there are sure to be more cases to follow, the group hailed this as a victory with Dean Rieck, the executive director of Buckeye Firearms Foundation noting;
These bans are not about public safety…They are merely political theater and an excuse for City Councils to ‘virtue signal’ for publicity and personal aggrandizement.
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].