Author of Cincinnati bump-stock ban guilty of bribery & attempted extortion

In 2018, then-Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld led efforts to get City Council to ban bump stocks within the city limits. We told Sittenfeld and his fellow council members that the law would be struck down, and that the legal fight would wind up costing the city's taxpayers dearly. He didn't listen. We sued, and we won.

Four years later, Sittenfeld has a different sort of legal problem. He has been tried and convicted of bribery and attempted extortion.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Before he was indicted in November 2020, P.G. Sittenfeld had been a Cincinnati city councilman for nine years and was poised to become the city's next mayor.

He was the number one vote-getter in his previous council race. Donors piled money into his coffers. And some of the wealthiest people in the city supported him.

On Friday, Sittenfeld, 37, looked like a shell of himself as a jury of 12 people found him guilty of felony charges of bribery and attempted extortion. Sitting between his two lawyers as the verdicts were read aloud, Sittenfeld slumped forward. His lawyer told reporters outside the courthouse that Sittenfeld was "crushed."

The jury's decision, finding him guilty on two of six counts, means that under state law Sittenfeld will never be the city's mayor or hold any local political office again.

The guilty verdicts sent shockwaves through the packed courtroom – where Sittenfeld's wife and at least one other woman could be heard crying – as well as throughout the city.

A sentencing date has not yet been set. Based on federal sentencing guidelines, Sittenfeld could face between 15 months and 3½ years in prison, according to Chase College of Law professor Kenneth Katkin, who attended nearly every day of the trial.


University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven called the case a Shakespearean tale, "part tragedy, part farce."


Niven added that a comeback is improbable.

"There have been folks who've made comebacks after legal trouble. But in almost all cases it was, in part, because they had kind of a roguish charm," he said. "P.G. Sittenfeld did not present himself as having a roguish charm. He presented himself with having a Boy Scout charm. Boy Scouts don't come back from federal convictions."

Boy Scouts also don't hate the Constitution, but of course we now know Sittenfeld was no Boy Scout. And his actions cost the City of Cincinnati dearly.

Again, when he was leading the effort to pass the bump stock ban, we warned him that his actions were unconstitutional, that we would prove this in court, and that his failure would cost Cincinnati taxpayers immensely. Sittenfeld and the rest of the council didn't listen.

And so, on June 21, 2018, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, along with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, filed suit against Cincinnati, citing the ordinance as a clear violation of Ohio Revised Code 9.68, commonly referred to as "preemption."

After making its way through the courts, on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, the Ohio Supreme Court handed Buckeye Firearms Foundation a complete and final victory in our challenge to their unconstitutional law.

As a result of the Council's irresponsible actions, the law required Cincinnati taxpayers to reimburse Buckeye Firearms Foundation $235,218 in legal expenses.

P.J. Sittenfeld won't be able to threaten Ohio gun owners' rights again, but there are more politicians just like him.

And that's why we're here - because the fight goes on.

Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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