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Gun rights groups sue Columbus over bump stock ban

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There’s a legal fight heading to court over the City of Columbus’s recent gun regulations. City Council members passed legislation this spring to ban bump stocks as well as keep guns away from people who have been convicted of domestic violence offenses. Two gun rights group sued Thursday arguing the City wasn’t allowed to regulate guns in any way under Ohio law.

Buckeye Firearms and Ohioans for Concealed Carry filed the lawsuit in Franklin County Common Pleas.

“This will be the seventh and eighth time we have had to bring legal action against municipalities,” said Gary Witt with Ohioans for Concealed Carry. “We will win again.”

Witt said state law is clear – cities can’t regulate firearms.

“These laws already exist on the federal level my friends,” Derek DeBrosse, the attorney filing the lawsuit on behalf of the gun rights groups. “It’s 10 years in federal prison if you commit a crime of domestic violence and caught with a firearm so why is the City doing it? Not for public safety, but for political points.”

City Attorney Zach Klein said there are exceptions to that rule.

“We are bound by state law,” Klein said. “We had to be creative and find loopholes that allow us to hold individuals accountable who are domestic violence abusers, who have violent criminal histories.”

Klein said bump stocks were accessories, something Ohio law lets local municipalities regulate.

“We think that’s common sense,” he said. “We think the law protects the City in making that decision, and we’re vigorously going to defend it.”

The gun rights groups disagree. DeBrosse said bump stocks aren’t accessories, but components. He said components are considered part of the firearm and therefore not subject to city regulations.

“This isn’t about bump stocks,” Witt said. “It’s not about assault weapons. It’s about the law.”

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Buckeye Firearms and Ohioans for Concealed Carry also filed a lawsuit against the City of Cincinnati. Cincinnati voted to ban bump stocks.

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