Femal Judge Davyon Roberts
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From Gun Owners of America

Today, a Commonwealth Court three-judge panel ruled that Allegheny County District Attorney, Stephen Zappala, violated Pennsylvania’s Rules of Criminal Procedure by refusing to accept a private criminal complaint from four Pittsburgh residents related to the illegal gun control ordinances passed in April of 2019 by the Pittsburgh City Council and Mayor Bill Peduto.

The ordinances themselves were struck down both in the Court of Common Pleas and on appeal to the Commonwealth Court. However, plaintiffs in the private criminal complaint alleged that Mayor Bill Peduto and the Pittsburgh City Council also abused their office with the passage of these illegal ordinances, specifically by committing an act of “official oppression” as defined by Title 18, Section 5301 of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes.

Public officials are in violation of this law when they deny or impede the exercise of any rights, and it is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor in the Commonwealth.

Frustratingly, when the plaintiffs attempted to file the private criminal complaint in April of 2019, the DA refused to physically accept and evaluate it as required by Rule 506 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The plaintiffs then sued for a Writ of Mandamus to compel the District Attorney to do his job. Today’s Commonwealth Court decision overturns a lower court decision where the mandamus case was dismissed.

“I am so pleased that the Commonwealth Court has once again stood up to protect the rights of common people in their pursuit of justice and protection of their individual liberties,” said Lane Turturice, attorney for the plaintiffs. 

“Today, gun owners in Pittsburgh have been vindicated,” said Dr. Val Finnell, Pennsylvania Director for Gun Owners of America. “DA Zappala was clearly in the wrong by refusing to accept and review the private criminal complaint. Now, I would hope that DA Zappala finally does his job and holds former Mayor Bill Peduto and the Pittsburgh City Council accountable by filing criminal charges against these individuals for committing acts of official oppression by violating the Constitutional rights of their citizens and ignoring the state firearms preemption law,” continued Finnell. 

GOA is strongly in favor of strengthening the state firearms preemption law by adding civil and/or criminal penalties for local government officials who violate it. This would include paying the legal fees and damages for the law-abiding citizens who must sue these rogue local governments to regain their Constitutional rights.

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  1. And is anything going to happen to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala? The reason these a-holes do stuff like this is because there is no punishment. Just a slap on the hand. At minimum, he should reimburse court costs and make a public apology.

    • There’s not a snowballs’ chance in hell that any negative consequences are going to happen.

  2. “Now, I would hope that DA Zappala finally does his job”

    Actually I would hope he would be disbarred for refusing to follow the law, but alas…

    • They’re rewarded for breaking the law as long as they’re helping a particular political party. See everyone connected to the Russia Collusion Scam. Democrats cheer because they hate equal treatment under the law. They believe in political repression like good little tyrants.

  3. it mat seem a hollow victory, but i find it satisfying. and yes to the fees and jail times that will not be delivered. shame.
    their preemption clause can’t be worded much simpler than the 2a.

  4. It is a crime against humanity to violate human and civil rights. The DA should face criminal charges for aiding and abetting.

    We need a Nuremberg 2.0. Have people like joe burden and herr dacian and miner in the dock for crimes against humanity.

    • He and the city politicians can be sued for civil rights violations because our rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights which is hands off to any and all governments.

  5. Government is a RICO conspiracy. The perpetrators belong in prison, not in high office. But this conspiracy runs so deep that nobody will ever be punished. They are too big to jail.

  6. OK, so the DA has to file the charges, but how are Plaintiffs going to a)force him to actually prosecute it, and/or b)not throw the case at trial?
    Would this qualify as a Pyrrhic victory? Or just a hollow one?

    • It’s just theater, In the end the taxpayers would foot the bill anyway.
      Preemption laws need sharp teath and claws.
      Politicos that blatantly do these things need jail time, disbarred, never to hold any office again and Pay from their own pocket.

    • The DA has to accept the private criminal complaint and evaluate it’s merits. He does not have to file charges. He can decide it has no merits.

      We really need the legislature to add criminal and civil penalties to violations of preemption. Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath for that to happen.

      We are facing the old question us ancaps used to ask minarchist libertarians; “Who watches the watchmen?”

      • I tried for years to tell some of my (now former) left wing friends that they should worry about the day that decent law abiding hard working people realize that the law and judiciary are captured systems. The day the average center right hard working non criminal American realizes that the cops aren’t his friends and the courts, legislatures, executives, and other officers of government are all corrupt and out to get him, watch out.

  7. No one is above the law. Except the police and district attorneys. They have exemptions written into the law.

    • And the judiciary. And the legislatures. And the governors. And the AG’s. And the (in)justice compartment. And the president. And I’m sure there are many more.

  8. Who would actually pay the legal fees, the taxpayers or the violaters personally?

    • C’mon man you know the answer to that. So simple Joe biden could answer it. Maybe.

    • “Who would actually pay the legal fees, the taxpayers or the violaters personally?”

      The way it oughtta be is if he *personally* paid the fine, in reality, some Leftist Scum ™ organization will pay it for him, in a roundabout way, like an envelope slid under his door one night…

  9. This is by far the absolute most important Pro 2nd/A News to date! This is exactly the main reason we even have any gun control laws at all? When we shouldn’t! We have Corrupted agenda-based prosecutors who abuse their discretionary indictment power by deliberately depriving us of our uninfringeable rights and mutilating the entire system of Due Process.

    As I’ve been an advocate against this dirty little tactic of the criminal justice departments, for many years, I’ve often pointed out that it is already well established and confirmed in SCOTUS precedent law that ‘ALL attempts at by-passing the uninfringeable 2nd/A.ARE Already Clearly Established Crimes.

    It has always been and still is a serious felony under 18-USCC-241-242. But they had intentionally convoluted the system so completely that no one reacts with, ‘Hey, You can’t make that law or statute deciding what I can carry or when I can carry it? I’m filing a criminal complaint against you for deprivation of my rights!’.

    Instead, they ignored that and said ‘ well okay, go and spend all the big bucks you want to challenge it in the ‘system’ for the next few years’. Meanwhile, we will be enforcing our little authoritarian rights depriving mandates as much as we want!

    This case is Huge in breaking that mind-control mentality. Anybody attempting to deprive you of your rights for any reason or justification is automatically committing a crime by law–if currently properly enforced. They should be immediately criminally inducted, and let THEM ‘challenge’ it in the civil courts after they post bond!

    Let’s see if this gets some momentum on other levels in other States…

    • Word Hurdle It is more terrifying for a government to pass ordinances (laws) which are blatantly illegal or unconstitutional and get away with it.

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