Pittsburgh City Council Defies State Preemption, Sends Gun Control to Mayor

Pittsburgh gun control state preemption

Val Finnell, left, gives a thumbs down, as others applaud after the Pittsburgh City Council voted 6-3 to pass gun-control legislation, Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Pittsburgh. The bill, introduced in the wake of the synagogue massacre last October, places restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the attack that killed 11 and wounded seven. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto will be only too happy to sign this into law as a direct challenge to Pennsylvania’s preemption law. Look for the lawsuits to be filed about five minutes after he affixes his signature.

By RAMESH SANTANAM Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh City Council gave final approval Tuesday to gun restrictions proposed after last year’s 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.

“We’re happy to take a stand,” Councilman Corey O’Connor, who spearheaded the effort, said afterward. “It’s 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 they’ll 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, right, addresses the City Council during a meeting regarding proposed gun restriction legislation, Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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 can’t 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.

comments

  1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    So starting tomorrow the ” Steel Town” is the safest city in America?

    1. avatar Freebird says:

      Each and every elected ” Offender ” supporting this must be charged with ‘ official oppression ‘ and violation of their oath of office.

      If the courts , prosecutors , state Atty. General refuse to act …. citizens would be right to consider it a lawless COUP.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I presume there is a shortage of tar and feathers at the moment.

      2. avatar 191145 says:

        The AG has already said that if a resident of the city files a law suite he will prosecute . So file a law suite and put that fkn mayor and city council in jail .

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      peduto is an arrogant ass being funded by outside sources….

  2. avatar sound awake says:

    if democrats are the party of anything theyre the party of lawlessness thats for sure
    from sanctuary cities and states to open borders to the death penalty to infanticide they seem to want to decriminalize just about everything
    except guns
    it will be their undoing

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I think it’s not going to be long before these politicians that act unilaterally, despite state statute, U.S. Code, and the Constitution, are going to be a taught a very hard lesson. Soon.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Yeah. I just wish federal prosecutors would enforce their “Deprivation of rights under color of law” statutes. Then we could avoid the unpleasantries.

      1. avatar Dave says:

        Is there a federal criminal statute counterpart to 42 USC 1983?

        1. avatar 191145 says:

          18 US code – 242 deprivation of rights under color of law .

  4. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    I wonder how many taxpayer dollars will end up being spent litigating the council’s clearly unlawful (under the state preemption clause) measure?

    1. avatar fran speak says:

      considering they’ve lost in the past…this is money is money wasted……

  5. avatar BB Eyes says:

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    –George Washington

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    –George Washington

    Let’s see if the governor stands by his initial response to this mayor.

    This mayor was the recipient of $500,00 from the Blumberg/Soros trillion dollar fund to disarm the country while doing little to curtail crime.

  6. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Pittsburgh City Council Defies State Preemption, Sends Gun Control to Mayor”

    Surprise, surprise…no surprise…

  7. avatar LibertyToad says:

    They don’t seem to care that they are breaking the law….typical Democrats.

    1. avatar Keyword Spam says:

      This is open and willful defiance of the law. All present are well aware of the state’s preemption laws, and they went ahead and did it anyway.

      1. avatar NateInPA says:

        Our District Attorney for Allegheny County, also a Demorat, has already come out and told the council that he believes these measures are unlawful. He said they could be looking at arrests and litigation and our great Mayor Pedildo and the council, in effect, told the DA to piss off and pased them anyway.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    Between their politicians ignoring the law and their base considering vandalism and assault to be valid form of protest how the hell can they call Trump a fascist with a straight face?

    These people are literally brown shirting their way into power.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      Pittsburgh has had some great mayors in the past…this guy isn’t one of them…

  9. avatar Mad Max says:

    Well, if they can break state law, citizens can break their laws. It’s called equal protection.

    I would also warn them against trying to enforce any of their illegal laws; they might get shot and actually loose the case.

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      “Well, if they can break state law, citizens can break their laws.”

      Morally, yes. Legally, perhaps. In practice…not so much. The government of PA can send out a paramilitary squad to capture or kill a citizen. The typical citizen doesn’t have a paramilitary squad on call, or a prison to put perps in.

      1. avatar GunnyGene says:

        Buzzards gotta eat to.

        1. avatar possum says:

          Same as the worms

  10. avatar Michael says:

    It’s not the drop, it’s the sudden stop. May the Lord have mercy on their souls, ’cause I sure won’t. F-K-A.

  11. avatar D says:

    Shit like this would not happen if the council members where personally held liable for the legal bill to defend their communist acts.

  12. avatar Phil Wilson says:

    Doesn’t there have to be a case to challenge the law, somebody actually charged under the new law?

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      Addition: If they only ban the “use” of certain guns within Pittsburgh, they may be able to do that. But what do they mean by “use?” It’s already illegal to discharge a firearm, except for legitimate self-defense, in most towns and cities. I assume that’s already true for Pittsburgh. So are they now banning legitimate use, as in banning self-defense using certain firearms? Or do they mean “possession” when they say “use?”

      Regarding the red flag law, they clearly can’t do that. And an outright ban on ownership and right to carry, they can’t do that either. Then again, the PA supreme court did flip Democrat recently, so I guess all bets are off.

      1. avatar Groz says:

        If you load your black rifle in public, technically you are in violation of the ordinance. That’s the best they got.

        1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

          I see, they tried that in California, where for a while it was technically legal to open carry as long as the weapon wasn’t loaded. Silly. We’ll see how the new PA supreme court deals with this. As far as I know, the new Democrat court hasn’t heard a firearms law case since it flipped.

    2. avatar raz-0 says:

      No there doesn’t need to be charges, just an effected class.

  13. avatar JDH says:

    Stupid asses.

  14. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Is the a good reason why a least 30 gun owners wearing pro 2A T-shirts can’t show up, and out number the gun grabbers????
    You can’t leave the comfort of your living room????

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2019/03/daniel-zimmerman/maryland-gun-owners-will-not-comply-gun-grabbers-and-legislators-freak-out/

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      YES – REAL jobs/gainful employment vs deadbeat community organizer types.

    2. avatar Keyword Spam says:

      Most of us have JOBS to go to.

      1. avatar Dan in Detroit says:

        That’s not an excuse anymore.
        Put your vacation time into going to demonstrations. Sacrifice somewhere else so you can afford to take a day off.
        We have to do it.

    3. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      1) True, always good to make your voice heard.
      2) In practice, it wouldn’t have made any difference if there were thousands of people protesting against the measures. The council would have passed them anyway, and the media wouldn’t have covered it.
      3) But, still, see 1)

  15. avatar garyjou81 says:

    If I did something illegal or unconstitutional, I’d be arrested. When lawmakers do it nothing happens.

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      At least in this case, the law has no provisions for penalties against government officials and law enforcement who break the law. A few years ago, PA passed a law giving preemption some teeth, but the PA supreme court struck it down on a technicality (though, admittedly, it probably was a legitimate technicality).

  16. avatar strych9 says:

    Democrats ignoring gun laws while screaming we need more that must be strictly adhered to.

    Shocking, ironic and hilariously hypocritical. Trifecta achieved.

  17. avatar Ark says:

    Man, these retards really have a boner for wasting taxpayer money.

    Take them to jail. Conspiracy to violate state law.

  18. avatar Hannibal says:

    Preemption bills should criminalize attempts to subvert them. Unfortunately this would often require amending state constitutions that provide legislators immunity.

  19. avatar Truckman says:

    If people just refuse to turn any guns over and start groups that are close at hand that will come back them up if they try to take them

  20. avatar NORDNEG says:

    The people that vote or support this kind of crap, are uneducated, homeless that the opposition pays them to vote a certain cause( which I actually saw happen with my own eyes) & people that never get out of the city’s that are mostly run by liberal Democrats, Let’s ban or tax coffee & tea, & food stamps, etc.. shift the focus to stuff the freeloaders want , maybe they will leave the 2A alone…

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      Pittsburgh isn’t what it used to be…these pencil neck snowflakes have been allowed to take control of what was once a pretty tough town…sad to see…

  21. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    when dumb asses stand and clap for violating a law or the Constitution I tend to lose faith that they might be intelligent and not tyrants. PA Supreme Court won’t let that stand. Those two people in the photo are true numb skulls. And simpletons. I live 100 miles from Pittsburgh.

  22. avatar GS650G says:

    Liberals are comfortable violating laws they don’t like or agree with. This law will be treated the same.
    Do they think police are going to use deadly force to enforce this gun law? Some are hoping so that it scares the other gun owners into compliance.
    The PA court will remind them whose boot they really lick and then they will try to get the state law changes. Good luck with that.

  23. avatar Scruff says:

    The law goes into effect 60 days after Mayor Peduto-head signs the bill. Any guess when our next rally is? Yinz are all invited!

  24. avatar Oliver says:

    What’s the point. It’s not like the Pittsburgh police have any power to enforce this. They may as well vote in Sharia law and secede from the Union and expect the police commissioner to comply. Really, how is this even going to Be enforced? But seriously, isn’t there some sort of law that prevents legislators from, you know, breaking the law?

    1. avatar Fully Involved says:

      Well that would be the PA preemption law, but unlike other laws that spell out the consequences of breaking the law, this one doesnt seem to have that (in addition to other laws regarding legislation).
      So now we’re gonna waste taxpayer money to prove that these obviously illegal laws are illegal.
      Politicians need to be held accountable for wasting the state’s resources like this. This horseshit has gone on for far too long.
      We need to pass a law specifically spelling out the consequences of pushing through an illegitimate law, like the politicians involved have to reimburse the cost of the court proceedings. If not: go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect ANOTHER GOD DAMN CENT!

    2. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      I don’t know how Pittsburgh will do it. Other cities, townships, and counties have taken a pragmatic approach: Arrest the person, hold them as long as possible, and press the case until they get a judge they know won’t cooperate. Then, drop the charges before the judge rules.

      The victim gets their name in the paper associated with a weapons charge, an arrest record, legal fees, perhaps fired from their job, damage to relationships with some family and friends. Of course, since the City pays its expenses through tax money, the victim has to help pay for both sides of the illegal prosecution. The local officials are out nothing at all, personally. So, even if the law isn’t challenged further, it has a chilling effect on right to keep and bear since people aren’t going to want to go through all that.

      At least in the past, the local authorities would eventually drop the case if pressed, knowing they would lose in the PA supreme court (if any victim had enough money to fight it all the way there). But with the current court, I wouldn’t want to bet on that anymore.

  25. avatar possum says:

    We’re not saying you can’t have gunms, you just can’t have gunms in the city limits. Worked for Tombstone and made heros out of the Earp’s

  26. avatar Bob Jones says:

    Neither criminals nor coconuts will abide by any law that interferes with their plans. This new law will not make an iota of difference.

    The council and mayor should be worrying about their unfunded pension liabilities. When property taxes rise to 5 or 6 percent of appraised values, the city government will collapse.

  27. avatar Geoff "I'm getting to old for this shit" PR says:

    Can any DA in Penn. file charges on them for violation of preemption laws?

    1. avatar Ginder12 says:

      Any private citizen in pa can bring charges and that will happen. Prince law firm stated when this started that there would be lawsuits and possibly criminal charges. Seems to me I read that the council and mayor could be looking at 3 or 4 serious felonies.

  28. avatar John in Ohio says:

    ““My guns are not hurting anybody. I have no intent of hurting anybody,”

    That’s one of the reason that politicians keep doing this stuff. They don’t have enough fear motivating them not to. If they thought those guns might be used to correct tyrants’ misdeeds, they would be a whole lot less quick to disregard his rights and the rule of law.

  29. avatar Sprocket says:

    As with everything else, the left seeks to shift the costs of being stupid, lazy, and violent from the garbage of society to the rest of us.

  30. avatar 24and7 says:

    That’s the biggest mistake gun owners are making these days.. the liberal anti-gun Grabbers are ruthless and extremely vocal.. the gun owners are classy and usually keep quiet.. eventually the gun owners are going to have to become as boisterous and ruthless as the anti-gunners ..that is if if they want to keep their rights.. you can’t just depend on gun rights groups anymore, to get things done.. they want to do everything by mob rule… eventually that’s the level we’re going to have to take it..

  31. avatar raptor jesus says:

    GUNS DEMAND ACTION FOR MOMSENSE IN AMERICA!

  32. avatar Hooda Thunkett says:

    Doesn’t anyone see what they’re doing here? There’s a reason they’re doing this. It’s the same reason they did it in Ohio, and they’ll do it elsewhere too. Bloomberg offers the city money to pay for the lawsuit, then when they lose, he funds their lawyers to go after preemption in the state’s legislation. They’re doing that now with Columbus vs State of Ohio. Somewhere they’re hoping to win based on home rule overriding preemption.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      well,..the governor…and possibly the supreme court may back their play…it certainly seems that’s what they’re counting on…

  33. avatar Bob999 says:

    And with millions in court costs and a many as four years of appeals, this will get overturned in time for the global-socialists to enact another ordinance that will take millions more and four years to overturn. Welcome to what used to be a country by the people.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email