Share story

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The city of Lincoln has banned bump stocks and other items that can raise the firing rate of semi-automatic weapons.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to adopt an ordinance barring the sale or possession of the gun accessories. Lincoln joins a handful of states and cities to ban the devices in the wake of several mass shootings in recent years.

Councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Baird said the ban will take effect May 1 to give residents one month to dispose of any multi-burst trigger activators. She said the ordinance ends a loophole that allowed residents to modify semi-automatic guns into machine gun-like weapons, making them even deadlier.

“I am glad we in Lincoln are moving forward to protect our neighbors and our children,” Gaylor Baird said. “Because people are tired of waiting for the federal government to get this done.”

President Donald Trump has called for the Department of Justice to ban bump stocks. The agency will soon begin a 90-day public comment period on the proposal.

City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick said the crime will be considered a misdemeanor in Lincoln, with possible punishment of up to a $500 fine along with or instead of six months in jail.

City officials don’t know of any crimes committed with bump stocks or trigger cranks in Lincoln or Nebraska, said Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm, who voted for the legislation. She said most law enforcement officers hadn’t heard of bump stocks until the October mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that left 58 dead and hundreds wounded.

“In passing this symbolic legislation, we’re really only making ourselves feel better,” Lamm said. “Because we are not addressing the real problems that leave our children and our elderly feeling depressed, isolated and angry.”

Councilman Carl Eskridge agreed that the legislation is limited in scope, but he said it’s a step in the right direction.

“It’s not the last thing we should do,” Eskridge said. “We still have a need to make our schools safer. Safer in other parts of our community. But it’s one thing we can do.”