Case Information: Ohioans for Concealed Carry et. al. v. City of Columbus et. al., No. 18-AP-00605 (Ohio Ct. App. brief filed Oct. 1, 2018).
At Issue: On October 1st, 2017, a gunman in Las Vegas committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, killing 58 people and wounding an additional 489. A major contributor to the scale of this attack was the gunman’s use of bump stocks. Bump stocks are accessories that, when attached to a semiautomatic rifle, greatly increase the rate of fire possible with that weapon. In May 2018, responding to a series of high-fatality mass shootings, the city of Columbus, Ohio passed an ordinance prohibiting bump stocks. A month later, the ordinance was challenged by Ohioans for Concealed Carry, and a judge ruled that Columbus could not regulate bump stocks because they are firearm components and thus fall within Ohio’s preemption statute. The case is now on appeal before the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals.
Giffords Law Center’s Brief: Our brief argues that Columbus acted well within its authority to regulate bump stocks because these dangerous devices are accessories, not firearm components, which means the city’s regulation is not in conflict with state law. We show that bump stocks are consistently referred to as accessories across many authoritative sources, including bump stock manufacturers, the federal government, official statements to regulators, and local and national news articles. Additionally, we argue that the trial court’s definition of “component” was overbroad and erroneous, and that a better definition of “component” can be found in federal law (a definition that clearly would not apply to bump stocks).