Columbia, SC (WLTX, AP) - Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is planning to introduce a city ordinance that would ban bump stocks and trigger cranks.
Benjamin is set to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday where he'll outline his position and given more specifics.
The move comes in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people, not including the shooter, the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
Law enforcement in Nevada says the gunman used a bump stock during his shooting rampage. Officers say that allowed a burst of gunfire that was similar to what one would see with a fully automatic weapon.
The stocks have been around for less than a decade. The government gave its seal of approval to selling them in 2010 after concluding that they did not violate federal law.
The device basically replaces the gun’s shoulder rest with a “support step” that covers the trigger opening. By holding the pistol grip with one hand and pushing forward on the barrel with the other, the shooter’s finger comes in contact with the trigger. The recoil then causes the gun to buck back and forth, repeatedly “bumping” the trigger against the finger.
Technically, that means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic. The rapid fire does not necessarily make the weapon any more lethal — much of that would be dependent on the type of ammunition used. But it does allow the person firing the weapon to get off more shots more quickly.
There have been discussions of a ban on bump stocks nationally. At the state level, South Carolina Rep. Leon Stavrinakis of Charleston says he's going to pre-file a bill in December to outlaw the devices.