By James Sweet III | USA
Columbia, the capitol of South Carolina, will become the first city in the nation to ban bump stocks and trigger cranks. The City Council decided to unanimously pass the ordinance that is responsible for the ban, although it will have to be voted upon a second time for it to become law. This move is a major victory for Mayor Steve Benjamin, a Democrat.
The ordinance will make it illegal for citizens to use weapons with bump stocks in the city limits; however, it allows citizens to own bump stocks as long as they are kept separate from weapons. This move has drawn criticism from many conservative and libertarian citizens in the surrounding area, with legal concerns also arising.
Catherine Templeton, an attorney from the City of Charleston running for governor, tweeted, “Columbia politicians are completely out of touch with our conservative values. You come for my guns, and I’ll come for your seat!” Citizens also believe the ordinance breaks state laws. South Carolina law states that local governments shall not be allowed to regulate “the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.” City leaders, however, believe that bump stocks are attachments, not components, of weapons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has also stated this, which may allow the City of Columbia to pass the ordinance with no legal hurdles.
“I believe in responsible gun ownership, and I believe in common sense,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin in a press release. “That’s why we’ve decided to do what our federal and state governments are either unable or unwilling to do and act by banning the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks in our city. This is not the first time we’ve taken the lead, but it may be the most important.” The State of South Carolina is known for its conservative base, almost ensuring tension to ensure over the City of Columbia’s decision.