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Columbus Appeals Decision Overturning Bump Stock Ban

In this Oct. 4, 2017 file photo, a bump stock is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range in South Jordan, Utah.
Rick Bowmer
Associated Press
In this Oct. 4, 2017 file photo, a bump stock is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range in South Jordan, Utah.

The Columbus City Attorney is appealing a judge’s decision striking down the city’s ban on bump stocks.

In a press release Tuesday morning, Zach Klein said he is requesting that the 10th District Court of Appeals reconsider the ordinance, which was ruled unconstitutional last month by a Franklin County judge.

Columbus City Council passed the bump stock ban in May, as part of a slate of ordinances that also ban the sale of imitation firearms to minors and prohibit gun shops in residential areas.

“We made dozens of common sense changes to our gun laws to make our community safer, and all but one either went unchallenged or was upheld by a court,” Klein said in a written statement.  “We remain confident that bump stocks are an accessory that we have the legal authority to regulate, and we intend to vigorously defend our court victory that keeps guns out of the hands of domestic violence abusers.”

Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry sued the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati over their bump stock bans, arguing that state law prevents municipalities from regulating gun accessories. A Hamilton County judge also blocked Cincinnatifrom enforcing its ordinance.

Bump stocks are an attachment that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like automatic weapons. They gained notoriety after they were used during the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Klein says they "respectfully disagree" with Franklin County judge David Cain's decisions. He argues Ohio Revised Code includes no language about gun accessories like bump stocks.

"It's almost like the General Assembly got a thesaurus and started reading various verbs and nouns as it relates to gun possession, uses of guns," Klein said. "One thing that's left off, though, is the word 'accessory.'"

The gun groups’ lawsuit was supported by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who wrote in a brief that the state intended to prevent a “patchwork” of gun laws.

In his decision last month, Cain upheld another ordinance that allows Columbus to charge some people convicted of violent felonies with misdemeanors for possession of firearms. Klein says the rest of Columbus' new gun restrictions remain in place, as well.

"All other ordinances associated with the package that Council approved and the mayor signed are not part of this litigation," Klein says.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.