Divided court dismisses challenge to Ohio bump stock ban


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A divided Ohio Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to a now-repealed ordinance in Ohio’s capital city banning bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state’s highest court ruled 4-3 Friday that two Ohio gun-rights groups, Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Buckeye Firearms Foundation, had no standing to sue the city of Columbus.

The court majority decided that the groups had suffered no harm in a case that the justices heard despite the fact that the Columbus City Council had repealed its ordinance a year ago. Officials said that made the case moot but the court disagreed, saying the council could pass the ordinance again in the future.

The court said, however, among other things, that the groups weren’t “taxpayers in their own right” and therefore had not established standing “to bring a taxpayer action.”

The two groups last year had removed their names from the suit after an appeals court loss that also cited their lack of standing. The city also challenged the standing of the sole remaining plaintiff, a member of Ohioans for Concealed Carry, saying he had not been charged with a misdemeanor offense under the ordinance.

A Franklin County judge in 2018 found the ban to be unconstitutional, but an appeals court reversed that. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed a bid to overturn a federal ban on bump stocks that followed the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting. Columbus said the federal action made the city ordinance unnecessary.

The paper said a representative of Ohioans for Concealed Carry couldn’t be reached and a message seeking comment was left for Buckeye Firearms.