bump stock lawsuit

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Wins Legal Battle Against Cincinnati over Bump Stock Ban

Buckeye Firearms Foundation, in cooperation with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, has won a lawsuit against the City of Cincinnati over its “bump stock” ban.

On Friday morning, February 8, 2019, Judge Ruehlman of Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas granted a Motion for Summary Judgment and shall issue a permanent injunction. As a result, the City of Cincinnati is no longer permitted to enforce its illegal ordinance.

In May of 2018, Cincinnati City Council passed an ordinance making the possession of “trigger activators” illegal within city limits. The trigger activator ban included a number of devices, including “bump stocks” or “bump fire” stocks, which are legal everywhere else across Ohio.

“This ban was completely unjustified and a great concern for gun owners,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. “Under Ohio law, local municipalities are not permitted to enact firearms laws that conflict with state law. And clearly, outlawing guns or gun parts, is a clear violation of state law.”

After careful review of the ordinance as passed, Buckeye Firearms Foundation contacted the City of Cincinnati in attempt to work toward a resolution short of litigation. After those attempts failed, Buckeye Firearms Foundation was forced to litigate and filed suit shortly thereafter.

In a relatively short time, Buckeye Firearms Foundation obtained a preliminary injunction and, after a lengthy legal battle, the court granted Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Motion for Summary Judgment.

The ruling is a significant victory for gun owners across Ohio. Various municipalities have attempted to defy state law in this manner, only to lose in court. Columbus recently lost a similar case brought by Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

“These bans are not about public safety,” continued Rieck. “They are merely political theater and an excuse for City Councils to 'virtue signal' for publicity and personal aggrandizement.

“Ohio law is clear on the issue of 'preemption,' which forbids cities from passing their own gun laws in order to maintain a uniform set of laws statewide. In fact, H.B. 228, which passed with a historic veto override before the 2018 holidays, further strengthens preemption to discourage cities from these egregious violations of Ohio and U.S. Constitutional rights.”

At this time, the City of Cincinnati still has the right to appeal the decision. However, Buckeye Firearms Foundation remains committed to this issue and will stand vigilant.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that seeks to support Second Amendment rights through youth shooting programs, grants, education, and litigation to defend gun owners against infringement of rights and force local governments and other entities to comply with Ohio gun laws.

Media Coverage:

Cincinnati.com - Hamilton County judge strikes down city's bump stock ban

Two groups, Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry, sued the city in June 2018.

“This ban was completely unjustified and a great concern for gun owners,” Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said in a statement. “Under Ohio law, local municipalities are not permitted to enact firearms laws that conflict with state law. And clearly, outlawing guns or gun parts, is a clear violation of state law.”

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Buckeye Firearms Foundation said other municipalities, including Columbus, “have attempted to defy state law in this manner, only to lose in court.” A Franklin County judge last year said the Columbus ban was unconstitutional.

“These bans are not about public safety,” Rieck said. “They are merely political theater and an excuse for city councils to 'virtue signal' for publicity and personal aggrandizement.”

Guns.com - Court shoots down city bump stock ban

The lawsuit, brought by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry, argued the local ban was illegal considering state laws.

“This ban was completely unjustified and a great concern for gun owners,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. “Under Ohio law, local municipalities are not permitted to enact firearms laws that conflict with state law. And clearly, outlawing guns or gun parts is a clear violation of state law.”

WCPO (Cincinnati) - Judge sides with gun owners' groups, overrules Cincinnati's ban on bump stocks

The Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry filed suit June 21, 2018, arguing that the ordinance violated a state law preventing individual cities and counties from creating policies that conflict with their state and federal counterparts. A judge granted their motion for a temporary injunction preventing the ordinance from taking effect.

Court records indicate the case persisted through the rest of 2018, the city continuing to argue that bump stocks were firearm accessories and could therefore be regulated without infringing on state law or gun owners’ rights.

In November, both the city and the gun owners’ groups filed motions for summary judgment in their favor. Ruehlman granted the latter Monday.

“This ban was completely unjustified and a great concern for gun owners,” Buckeye Firearms Foundation executive director Dean Rieck wrote in a news release, adding later: “These bans are not about public safety. They are merely political theater and an excuse for City Councils to 'virtue signal' for publicity and personal aggrandizement.”

The local victory is likely to be overwhelmed by a national loss by the start of summer. On Dec. 18, 2018, the Trump administration announced a federal ban on bump stocks set to take effect the following March.

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Gun owners’ organizations such as Gun Owners of America promised a lawsuit as soon as the policy was announced, meaning members of the Buckeye Firearms Association could soon see their fight reenacted on a national stage.

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