Pittsburgh approves gun-control bills; opponents threaten suit against city – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh approves gun-control bills; opponents threaten suit against city - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh city council votes to restrict assault weapons months after Tree of Life synagogue massacre
\nThe Pittsburgh City Council gave final approval Tuesday to gun restrictions proposed after last years synagogue massacre, inviting a legal challenge by gun-rights activists who have long tangled with the city over firearms.

\nAfter taking an initial vote last week, the all-Democratic council voted 6-3 to send the legislation to the desk of Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto, who is expected to sign the bills into law.

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\nA handful of pro-gun rights activists jeered and booed the vote, while two dozen supporters gave council a standing ovation.

\n\”Were happy to take a stand,\” Councilman Corey OConnor, who spearheaded the effort, said afterward. \”Its going to be a difficult battle, but we are willing to fight it. . People are starting to change their minds and be more open to some sort of gun control.\”

In a 6-3 vote, the entirely Democratic council approved a ban on the “use” of assault-style weapons in public, which includes loading or firing them. It is still legal to own those guns in the city. The council also approved a ban on high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing ammunition, and authorized guns to be temporarily seized from people who are determined to be dangers to themselves or others. 

Pittsburgh approves gun restrictions; lawsuits expected

\nThe legislation places restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the Oct. 27 rampage at Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 and wounded seven. It also bans most uses of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and allows the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

Robert Bowers, who lived near Pittsburgh, is accused of killing 11 worshippers and wounding 7 others during services at the Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, 2018. He was arrested after exchanging gunfire with police. Bowers had posted anti-Semitic rants and conspiracy theories online before the shooting. He has been charged with more than 60 federal crimes, and pleaded not guilty. 

\nPennsylvania state law forbids municipalities from regulating guns, and pro-gun advocates say theyll sue to block the laws from taking effect — and file private criminal complaints against council and Peduto over allegations of abuse of office and official repression.

\nMary Konieczny, a nurse who addressed the council, called the legislation \”a distraction and an overreach of authority\” and accused council members Tuesday of trying \”to fearmonger people that by taking guns away from legal gun owners, people will be safe.\”

The councils final vote was greeted with a mix of applause and boos. Pro-gun advocates have already vowed to take legal action to block the new restrictions. 

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: City council approves gun control bills months after Tree of Life massacre

\nDennis Jordan, a lifelong Pittsburgh resident and gun collector wearing a black T-shirt supporting the Second Amendment, also spoke out against the bills.

Applause and booing in council chambers after members approve gun bills 6-3 pic.twitter.com/imY79cHB1M

\n\”My guns are not hurting anybody. I have no intent of hurting anybody,\” he told the council. \”I am not going to be allowed to own my guns because of this ordinance. I am ready to move out of this place. You just want to control people. You want to take away my right to protect people.\”

Why it matters: The decision comes almost 6 months after a shooter killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. However, Pennsylvania prevents municipalities from regulating guns, and gun advocates say they are prepared to sue to stop the restrictions if the legislation goes through, per AP.

Pittsburgh City Council Passes Controversial Gun Legislation

\nThe three-bill package — proposed not long after the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history — was weakened ahead of the vote in an effort to make it more likely to survive a court challenge.

Pittsburgh's city council passed legislation restricting military assault rifles in a 6-3 vote on Tuesday, and the democratic mayor is expected to sign the bill, reports AP.

\nState law has long prohibited municipalities from regulating the ownership or possession of guns or ammunition. While one of the Pittsburgh bills originally included an outright ban on assault weapons, the revised measure bars the \”use\” of assault weapons in public places.

\nA full ban on possession would take effect only if state lawmakers or the state Supreme Court give municipalities the right to regulate guns, which is seen as unlikely in a state where legislative majorities are fiercely protective of gun rights.

Guns rights supporters have said they plan to sue the city and file complaints against council members.

Pittsburgh gun legislation passes final City Council vote

\nJenna Paulat, wearing a Moms Demand Action T-shirt, said she supported \”sensible gun laws.\” She praised council members for their \”bold actions.\”

\nPittsburgh tried enforcing an assault-weapons ban in 1993, but the state Legislature quickly took action to invalidate the measure, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that city officials had overstepped.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh City Council gave final approval Tuesday to gun restrictions proposed after last years synagogue massacre, inviting a legal challenge by gun-rights activists who have long tangled with the city over firearms.

After taking an initial vote last week, the all-Democratic council voted 6-3 to send the legislation to the desk of Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto, who is expected to sign the bills into law.

A handful of pro-gun rights activists jeered and booed the vote, while two dozen supporters gave council a standing ovation.

Pittsburgh approves gun control bills; lawsuits expected

Were happy to take a stand, Councilman Corey OConnor, who spearheaded the effort, said afterward. Its going to be a difficult battle, but we are willing to fight it. . People are starting to change their minds and be more open to some sort of gun control.

The legislation places restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the Oct. 27 rampage at Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 and wounded seven. It also bans most uses of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and allows the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

Pennsylvania state law forbids municipalities from regulating guns, and pro-gun advocates say theyll sue to block the laws from taking effect — and file private criminal complaints against council and Peduto over allegations of abuse of office and official repression.

Mary Konieczny, a nurse who addressed the council, called the legislation a distraction and an overreach of authority and accused council members Tuesday of trying to fearmonger people that by taking guns away from legal gun owners, people will be safe.

Dennis Jordan, a lifelong Pittsburgh resident and gun collector wearing a black T-shirt supporting the Second Amendment, also spoke out against the bills.

My guns are not hurting anybody. I have no intent of hurting anybody, he told the council. I am not going to be allowed to own my guns because of this ordinance. I am ready to move out of this place. You just want to control people. You want to take away my right to protect people.

The three-bill package — proposed not long after the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history — was weakened ahead of the vote in an effort to make it more likely to survive a court challenge.

State law has long prohibited municipalities from regulating the ownership or possession of guns or ammunition. While one of the Pittsburgh bills originally included an outright ban on assault weapons, the revised measure bars the use of assault weapons in public places.

A full ban on possession would take effect only if state lawmakers or the state Supreme Court give municipalities the right to regulate guns, which is seen as unlikely in a state where legislative majorities are fiercely protective of gun rights.

Jenna Paulat, wearing a Moms Demand Action T-shirt, said she supported sensible gun laws. She praised council members for their bold actions.

They cant sit around and wait for the state and federal legislators to take action, she said.

Pittsburgh tried enforcing an assault-weapons ban in 1993, but the state Legislature quickly took action to invalidate the measure, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that city officials had overstepped.


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