"People here are putting the interest of a gun manufacturing group in front of the interests of the real people," Jones added.
Charleston's ordinance limits the number of handguns a person can buy to one per every 30 days. It also requires a background check and a three-day waiting period. It applies only to handguns.
It was enacted in the early 1990s when individuals from larger cities were bringing drugs to Charleston to sell for higher prices than they could get in their hometowns.
These individuals also purchased guns in Charleston at a cheaper price than they could get in the larger metropolitan areas where they lived. Then, they would return home to sell the guns at a profit.
The Rev. Matthew Watts, a West Side community organizer, believes the city's ordinance was effective and needed, he said.
Watts attended Thursday's press conference as a way to show "solidarity." Like Jones, Watts believes House lawmakers "hijacked" legislation originally meant to help cities with economic development.
The amended bill "handcuffs" the city because leaders need to have home rule in order to address problems unique to Charleston. But, they must give up "a good ordinance" to do so, Watts said.
Councilman Andy Richardson, an at-large Democrat, said the amended home rule bill also keeps cities from prohibiting people with a concealed weapon permit from carrying a firearm onto municipal-owned property.
He said the provision was his biggest concern.
The new bill only allows cities to prohibit concealed weapons from city halls. Legal weapons would be permitted at pools, parks, playgrounds and other city-owned properties.
"I think this is an unintended consequence," Richardson said. "I can't imagine the House of Delegates wanted to allow people to be able to carry a gun into a city pool."
The part of the bill would mean that young employees, such as lifeguards, could end up having to confront someone who is carrying a firearm onto the premises to check to see if they actually have a concealed weapon permit, he said.