When Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed three new gun control provisions into law in the Steel City recently, he did so in blatant disregard for the state’s preemption law. In fact, while the laws were under consideration by the Pittsburgh city council, DA Stephen Zappala warned all involved that what they were doing was clearly illegal.
Peduto’s response: arrest me.
But after the bill signing, when local residents attempted to file charges against Peduto and city council members for their violation of state law, they were stonewalled by DA Zappala, who has to approve charges filed by citizens. Zappala says he won’t do that until the law goes into effect and someone is actually cited for violating it.
But wait! Surely the state’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro won’t stand by and watch locals thumb their noses at a state statute. That’s can’t be a precedent he’d want to see established.
But Shapiro seems to have bigger fish to fry. There are other states in the union doing things with which he disagrees.
The problem is that both Peduto and Shapiro are Democrats (as is Zappala, for that matter). And the AG doesn’t want to violate the unwritten commandment, Thou shalt not prosecute someone of thine own party.
Especially when the law-breaking furthers a political goal that the AG supports. Namely, more restrictions on civilian gun ownership. So the lesson is clear in the Keystone state; you can get away with anything as long as the state’s chief law enforcement officer agrees with the outcome.
And so it goes.
Doing nothing will not solve America’s gun violence epidemic. If Washington & Harrisburg politicians are afraid to take on the gun manufacturers, the job will be done by US Mayors. There is NO more important duty than to protect our citizens. https://t.co/jT2wmIIl0B
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) April 10, 2019