Cincinnati City Council Bans Bump Stocks

May 9, 2018

Cincinnati Council has approved an ordinance banning the possession, use, or sale of bump stocks in the city, effective immediately.  The measure passed Wednesday by a 7-2 vote.

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld, who introduced the ordinance, claims Cincinnati is the first city in Ohio to ban the devices. "I'm proud that Cincinnati has stepped up to lead the charge on this common sense reform, joining just a few other cities across the country," he said in a release. 

Bump stocks, or trigger activators, can make a semi-automatic weapon fire at a rate similar to that of an automatic weapon.  Such devices were used during the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas last October.

"Our city, legally and officially, should not tacitly condone a device specifically meant to maximize carnage," Sittenfeld said at a council meeting Wednesday. "How do we do that? By making them illegal."

Sittenfeld also rejected arguments by opponents that the city shouldn't pass the measure because of possible lawsuits.

"If the fear of people bringing frivolous lawsuits prevented us from ever taking action, this body would never do anything," Sittenfeld said. "We'd be conceding that we're so scared of lawyers that therefore what we should do is simply embrace paralysis."

Council member Jeff Pastor voted against the ordinance citing his concerns about possible litigation, especially with the city facing a $29 million to $34 million budget deficit.

Mayor John Cranley also supported the measure, though he didn't get to vote.

"Reducing the availability and easy access to illegal guns and converting guns into weapons of mass destruction should be stopped," he said.

One section of the measure states the Ohio Revised Code "prohibits municipalities from regulating the ownership, possession, or sale of firearms, their components, and their ammunition, but does not restrict municipal regulations on firearm accessories or attachments."

The ordinance states "trigger activators are not firearm components or parts that are essential to the function of a weapon."

Meanwhile, council members rejected a resolution that would have expressed their opposition to the "Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017" pending before Congress. It would allow people with concealed carry permits in one state to carry their weapon in any other state. That measure failed with five members voting "no" and only four voting "yes."