Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Columbia City Council has approved an ordinance that makes it illegal to use a gun with a bump stock, those devices that can essentially turn a regular firearm into an automatic weapon.
The measure passed on a second reading Tuesday night.
Bump stocks or a similar device, trigger cranks, are often put on semi-automatic rifles, and can alter the weapon to create a rapid burst of fire comparable to what's released by fully automatic weapons. Automatic weapons have been illegal under federal law since the 1980s.
The ATF, however, said in 2010 of a bump stock device that they did not violate federal law. However, some in Congress have questioned that decision, and there's been a call to review and revise it.
Columbia's ordinance does not ban the sale of the devices, and people could legally possess them, as long as they're separated from the firearm. There would also be exceptions for the U.S. military and law enforcement who are engaged in training.
Violating the ordinance would be a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine or a maximum 30 days in jail.
The devices have gained extra notoriety since the Las Vegas mass shooting in October that left 58 people dead. The gunman in that massacre used a bump stock on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the rounds he could fire in a short amount of time, according to law enforcement in Nevada.
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