Cincinnati moves to ban bump stocks – Politico

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“For a long time now, a lot of us have looked at the complete dereliction of duty from the federal government and felt exasperated,” said Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld | Al Behrman/AP Photo

The Trump administration is moving through the slow regulatory process to ban bump stocks, but leaders in Cincinnati, Ohio, say they’ve found a faster way to get rid of the gun accessories in their city.

Cincinnati’s city council is expected to move forward with an ordinance to ban bump stocks — attachments which enable guns to fire like automatic weapons — despite Ohio state law that restricts local government from regulating firearms.

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The city’s legal department green-lighted the new regulation in a memo released Monday, arguing that because bump stocks are “accessories,” they aren’t covered by the state law. The decision was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

“For a long time now, a lot of us have looked at the complete dereliction of duty from the federal government and felt exasperated,” said Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, a Democrat who spearheaded the proposal in Cincinnati. “Do I wish we could do more as a municipality? Absolutely. Would I support an assault rifle ban? Absolutely. But just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something.”

“Frankly, I expect other major metropolitan areas in Ohio to follow us,” he added.

Columbia, South Carolina, similarly moved to ban bump stocks in December, citing the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas in October, when a man used weapons fitted with a bump stock attachment in an attack that killed 58 people. The South Carolina ordinance is currently being challenged in court.

Discussions of gun control reignited in February following the shooting deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. President Donald Trump ordered the Justice Department to move toward a bump stock ban, though the alleged gunman in Florida did not use the accessory.

The Justice Department this weekend formally proposed banning bump stocks, but the proposal needs the approval of the Office of Management and Budget and could be challenged in court. The National Rifle Association has opposed legislation banning bump stocks, saying the accessories should be dealt with through regulation.

Sittenfeld is skeptical Trump’s proposal will be enforced. “Trump says a lot of stuff that doesn’t actually happen,” said Sittenfeld, who unsuccessfully ran in the state’s Senate Democratic primary in 2016.

“This was, in part, a response to the madness and sadness in Florida,” Cincinnati’s vice mayor David Mann said of the city’s proposal. “We’re just a typical, Midwestern city with the same tensions about this issue. From my perspective, we suffer from the same irresponsibility of the NRA.”