Court Rules Pittsburgh’s New Gun Control Laws Invalid Under Pennsylvania’s Preemption

pittsburgh lawsuit gun control

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

From the Firearms Policy Coalition . . .

Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced a victory in its case against the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Mayor Bill Peduto. FPC was joined by co-plaintiffs Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and three individual gun owners. The plaintiffs were represented by Joshua Prince of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. The opinion and order issued by Judge Joseph M. James, holding that “Ordinances 2018-1218, 2018-1219, 2018-1220 are void and unenforceable,” is available online at PittsburghCase.com.

“I am delighted that Judge James’ decision today appropriately struck down the City of Pittsburgh’s unlawful firearm ordinances and signage,” said attorney Joshua Prince. “The City’s gun control sought to eviscerate the inviolate right of the residents of the Commonwealth to keep and bear arms and ensnare law-abiding citizens through a patchwork of laws. Today, Judge James made clear that Mayor Peduto and the Pittsburgh City Council are neither above the law nor a special class of citizens that may violate the law with impunity.”

“We look forward to Judge James issuing a decision on Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League’s contempt petition against the City of Pittsburgh and District Attorney Zappala filing criminal charges against Mayor Peduto and the City Council Members who enacted these illegal ordinances,” Prince concluded.

“Pennsylvania’s preemption statute serves an important purpose, to ensure that Pennsylvanians are not subjected to a patchwork of illogical and inconsistent rules and regulations pertaining to the firearms they chose to employ,” explained FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut.

“The City of Pittsburgh, along with support from the billionaire funded Everytown for Gun Safety, decided to waste City taxpayers’ money by knowingly violating Pennsylvania law,” Kraut continued. “Fortunately for those who favor individual liberty and the rule of law, the Court held what everyone already knew to be true—state law ‘preempts any local regulation pertaining to the regulation of firearms.’ ”

“We are gratified to have partnered on this important case and successfully defended the rights of those who reside in or visit Pittsburgh against corrupt, anti-rights politicians and the evil gun control lobby,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “We are prepared to defeat the City and Everytown once more should they decide to appeal this ruling.”

In a prior statement, FOAC President Kim Stolfer said, “Peduto and his ‘gun-grabbing gang of six’ at the City Council know that they violated the Pennsylvania Constitution and statutory law. These political puppets of the gun control lobby have victimized the people of Pittsburgh and burdened the taxpayers with an unconstitutional and unlawful pile of radical garbage.”

The City was represented by Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a gun control group, as well as Carlson Lynch LLP and the City’s Department of Law.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)(4) grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to defend the People’s rights—especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.

Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the People’s rights and promote individual liberty through research, education, and legal action programs

comments

  1. avatar GS650G says:

    Another victory for rights!

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      the general consensus is that peduto is an ultra-liberal, well-funded, arrogant ass….

  2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on the mayor and city council facing charges. I think that anyone proposing these and all gun control laws which are a clear violation of our Second Amendment should be removed from office and tried for treason.

    1. avatar Merle 0 says:

      And the punishment aught to be a trip to a public stockade and a public whipping by cane.

      1. avatar Edward Coke says:

        Hung, drawn and quartered, the traditional punishment in the Commonwealth for treason.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ed Schrade,

      It would be really nice if federal prosecutors would get off their @ss and actually do their jobs: prosecute the Pittsburgh City Council and Mayor for the federal FELONY deprivation of rights under color of law.

    3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Not holding my breath,however if this nation still held with the founding principals of the Republic,that would be the case.

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      politicos tend to defend each other…based on the premise that tomorrow it might be them…

      1. avatar Craig in IA says:

        A smarter and more realistic approach would be to have the losers pay all of the legal costs for both sides. Simple. Pittsburg or the mayor and council, makes no difference, word would get around.

    5. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      There will be no consequences for them. PA preemption law has no teeth, it just assumes that government officials will obey the law. A few years ago a law was passed to give victims of rogue local officials more options, but unfortunately it was struck down on a technicality (to be fair, though it was a technicality, it does appear that the argument was legally valid).

      Even worse, the supreme court of PA is now controlled by Dems after an election that fell on the same day as the Philly mayoral election, so there was a huge turn-out in Philly. Basically, Philly elected the current PA court. To the best of my knowledge, that court has not been tested on firearms law since it turned. It’s unclear whether they would rule based on PA law or personal ideology if the case goes all the way.

  3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    I’m mailing a check to the FPC next week on payday. Go get ’em. And when there are enough court precedents, bring that mojo to Sacramento and toss Newsom and Becerra into the lake along with their Gunmaggedon nonsense.

  4. avatar VF1777 says:

    FPC/Mr Kraut and Mr Prince have my upmost respect and gratitude. They are the two front line Patriots in this battle for our freedoms. They won a significant battle today, but the war goes on….

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      If one isn’t a FPC/SAF member they should give it serious consideration,as these two organizations actually do fight infringements of the 2 nd. amendment. Unlike other three letter organizations that crow about it and have been in existence since 1871.

      1. avatar orion says:

        you know nothing. name one… ONE… case where another pro 2A organization other than the NRA has prevailed before our Supreme Court.

        1. avatar Anymouse says:

          FPC hasn’t been around too long, but they’ve racked up an impressive record in the lower courts. They are one of the few that are fighting the bump stock ban (only the guy in UT, Clark Aposhian, and FPC members benefit from stays and aren’t felons for possessing bump stocks). That might be their first SC appearance.
          Meanwhile, the NRA is paying millions to outside council, Brewer, who happens to be the son/brother-in-law of AM execs. What are the chances that he just happened to be the best guy for the job? Pretty slim when you consider he’s a Dem that’s been hit with ethics sanctions and can’t practice in VA. FPC is getting my money. NRA gets nothing until Wayne and his cronies are gone.

        2. avatar Mr. Zsaz says:

          Talk about delusions of grandeur….

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Do not trust courts to protect your rights. If we could rely on courts, we’d have less need for 2A.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      That’s the most astute thing you have every post here. That’s a complement.

      It’s not up to the courts, it’s up to We the People.

  6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Related to my comment above about federal prosecutors, I would like to see federal prosecutors nail the Pittsburgh City Council, Mayor, and everyone involved at Everytown for Gun Safety for conspiracy to deprive us of our civil rights.

    And I believe prosecutors could also go after them under RICO as well. It sure would be delicious if the RICO prosecution swept up Michael Bloomberg in the process for funding their illegal escapade.

  7. avatar MMurcek says:

    Mayor Santy Claus whiskers is a buffoon. That our rights are constantly under attack by buffoons (and they all too often succeed) is both disheartening and a warning to stop taking those rights for granted.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      one of the worst mayors Pittsburgh has ever had….

  8. avatar Ginger12 says:

    do not know for sure but those idiots committed at least two felonies. somebody should go to jail but probably won’t.

  9. avatar Hannibal says:

    Preemption doesn’t work because elected officials will simply ignore it at no cost to themselves. Cost to the city, yes, but they don’t care about the city budget over making a pointless political statement.

    The most straightforward and narrow solution to the problem would seem to be to carve out an exception in liability for elected officials that create a law specifically disallowed by preemption, as this is, and allow them to be sued in their personal capacity- qualified rather than blanket immunity. Seems pretty reasonable for flouting a law.

    Maybe if he had to worry about his own bank account taking the hit Petudo up there would either lay off the clearly illegal laws or quit to spend more time with his beard.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      “The most straightforward and narrow solution to the problem would seem to be to carve out an exception in liability for elected officials that create a law specifically disallowed by preemption”

      Florida has such a statute. Individual liability is a fine capped at $5000.00

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      guess he feels that beard makes him appear more masculine…it ain’t working…his secret was out long ago…

      1. avatar Dani in WA says:

        That beard is masculinity-negating. Trust me.

  10. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Poor petty tyrant took it in the shorts,Eff tyrants of all stripes and flavors.

  11. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Suck it, Mayor! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

    Hey, it wasn’t like you had to spend your own money on the case.

  12. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Why was this mayor so set on being proven as a moron. And what does he do when somebody in court says; “The mayor opposed a state law”.

  13. avatar Mr. L says:

    Really want to get them where it counts? Get in their pocketbooks. Start putting a bunch of civil suits against them personally. They’ll try the ole “Soverign Immunity” trick, but if they are doing things that are unconstitutional, then the soverign immunity defense is moot.

  14. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

    I believe this mayor was told by the state prosecutor, that what he was doing was against the state preemption laws. He openly stated he knew the law, and looked forward to a court battle. With this ruling and his prior statements, any legal fees incurred by the state should be paid in full by him and those who legally represented him… then they should all be charged with any applicable crime on the books. Let’s hold them accountable for openly ignoring the law.

  15. avatar PATRON49IFT says:

    Just another cross-eyed, virtue signaling idiot who should sit down and shut up.

  16. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    Great news for those of us in PA and especially for anyone in Pittsburgh. My wife texted it to me yesterday, after Prince posted it to his blog.

    Any of you breaking out your checkbooks, right one to FOAC too https://foac-pac.org/. They were real drivers behind the grassroots resistance to this. Visit and join the PAFOA forum as well http://forum.pafoa.org/. A lot of grass roots organizing on there. Nothing to contribute to as it’s just a forum, not an Incorporated organization, and everyone does things on their own dime.

    To those hoping for prosecution of Pittsburgh officials, how many city or state officials have you seen prosecuted for violating federal drug or immigration laws with their “sanctuary” cities and states? I would like to see the mayor and any council members in Pittsburgh who supported these illegal gun control laws prosecuted as well, but don’t hold your breath.

  17. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I’m happy to know my donations to FOAC and FPC were put to good use. I don’t always get that feeling from those other guys.

  18. avatar Slow learners says:

    Nanny nanny boo boo mayor, stick your head in doo doo!!!!

  19. avatar Jerry Sweet says:

    Unless and until we prosecute these traitors we will continue to see this nonsense continue the Supreme Court needs to come out and order these attacks on our Constitution to stop immediately

  20. avatar Whoopie says:

    Now what about Philly? The city refuses to honor state issued concealed carry licenses requiring citizens to have both the state issued license as well as a city issued permit (which is damn near impossible to obtain).

  21. avatar BusyBeef says:

    Bill sure loves the taste of Bloomberg’s corporate cum.

  22. avatar SoBe says:

    Miami Beach commissioners and mayor have expressed an intent to fight Florida preemption law. Miami Beach is as “blue” as it gets in Florida. As our state turns an indigo shade of purple I would not hold my breath that they are not scheming to do the same here.

  23. avatar Russell Hunter says:

    Another bunch of bastards that are above the law and getting away with it, Real B/S.

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