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'Bump stocks' and other firearm enhancements could be banned in Charleston

Bump Stock (MGN/Slide Fire)

In response to the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, where a man killed 58 people and injured over 800 people using a firearm with a “bump stock,” the city of Charleston is considering a full-out ban of the firearm enhancement within city limits.

The Public Safety Committee will consider an ordinance at their meeting Thursday, Aug. 9.

The ordinance would ban "bump stocks," "trigger cranks" and other "enhanced trigger devices."

According to a draft ordinance, the Las Vegas massacre prompted the consideration of the ban. It notes that if a "bump stock" had been used in the Charleston mass shooting at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston on June 17, 2015, there would have been more casualties.

“The carnage in Las Vegas was accomplished due to the rapid fire capabilities of a 'bump stock' attached to the shooter's firearms," the ordinance states. "The use of a 'bump stock' can multiply the firing rate of a weapon tenfold to approximately 400-800 rounds per minute."

It adds, "The City Council of Charleston recognizes gun violence as representing a significant health risk to the citizens of the City of Charleston."

The ordinance acknowledges that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of citizens to own and carry firearms, however it states, "because neither a 'bump stock' nor a 'trigger crank' is a firearm, they are not constitutionally protected."

The full city council would have to approve the ordinance banning the bump stock and other gun accessories in order to go into effect.

If passed, the draft ordinance states it would be declared unlawful for any person to be in possession of the gun enhancements, and those found guilty would face misdemeanor charges.

Charleston isn't the first to propose a ban on "bump stocks."

President Donald Trump declared in March that he was ordering the Justice Department to amend federal firearms regulations to define bump stocks as machine guns.

"We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns," Trump tweeted.

Columbia leaders passed an ordinance in December of 2017 banning the use of "bump stocks."

However a lawsuit was filed hours after the ordinance was passed calling it unconstitutional.

A judge struck down a ban on "bump stocks" in Cincinnati earlier this year.

The Public Safety meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at 80 Broad Street downtown.

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