Pittsburgh Gun Laws Peduto Synagogue Shooting
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, surrounded by supporters and family members of Tree of Life synagogue shooting victims, signs three gun-control bills into law, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh. (Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Now that Pittsburgh has new gun control laws on the books that violate the state’s preemption law.  As a result, some Steel City residents want to file criminal charges against the mayor and city council members. They’ve tried to do just that, but have been blocked so far by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr.

Mayor Bill Peduto gleefully signed into law a ban trifecta; “assault weapons,” “high capacity” magazines and amor-piercing ammo are all verboten now. That’s a clear and deliberate violation of the state’s preemption law. When DA Zappala warned hizzoner and the city council that they’d be violating the law with their actions, Peduto replied, “arrest me.”

But the DA has to approve any criminal charges that are filed and Zappala won’t do that until, 1) the laws go into effect, and 2) someone is cited for violating them. Which means someone is going to have to be arrested and incur legal fees to fight the charges before the DA will do anything.

Here’s the AP’s full report on the kerfuffle . . . .

By RAMESH SANTANAM and MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A prosecutor refused to approve criminal charges Friday against Pittsburgh’s mayor and six City Council members over the passage of firearms restrictions that gun rights advocates say are blatant and deliberate violations of state law.

Seven city residents tried to file private criminal complaints against Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto, who signed the legislation into law this week, and council members who voted to approve the bills. The complaints charge the mayor and council with official oppression and other counts.

Pennsylvania law allows citizens to file criminal charges, subject to approval by the district attorney. The office of Democratic Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. refused to accept the residents’ complaints Friday, saying prosecutors would not weigh criminal charges against the mayor and council until the new gun laws begin to take effect in about two months and someone is cited for violating them.

“We will consider a private complaint if somebody is aggrieved by the law,” Zappala’s spokesman, Mike Manko, told the residents Friday.

“Why do I have to be arrested? Why do I have to fall on a sword? Now, I have a criminal record,” replied Tony Golembiewski, one of the residents who tried to file charges.

The gun restrictions were passed after a mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 worshippers. Gun rights advocates are suing to get the laws overturned, noting Pennsylvania law forbids municipalities from regulating the ownership or possession of firearms and ammunition. Courts have thrown out previous municipal attempts at regulation.

The Pittsburgh legislation restricts military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle authorities say was used in the synagogue attack. 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.

Zappala warned the council in January that it didn’t have legal authority to pass gun control legislation and predicted his office would be confronted with residents demanding criminal charges against council members who approved such a law.

The council passed a watered-down version of the original bills by a 6-3 vote. In signing them, Peduto said that “change only happens when you challenge the status quo.”

In a statement, the residents said that Peduto and Council “knew the illegality of their actions, yet pressed forward with them anyway.”

Peduto’s spokesman declined to comment Friday.

The residents may appeal Zappala’s decision in court. They said Friday that no decision had been made.

Residents accused the district attorney of moving the goal posts on the timing of their complaints, contending he had previously implied that council passage and the mayor’s signature on the new gun restrictions would be enough to consider their case.

“We figured that was the proper trigger,” said Val Finnell, a gun rights advocate helping the residents with their complaints. “He’s actually expecting someone to violate the law. This is a travesty of justice.”

Not so, said Manko, the district attorney’s spokesman.

“We are not encouraging anyone to sacrifice themselves to authorities,” he said.

109 COMMENTS

  1. Go to state attorney general. if unsuccessful then file civil charges against individuals, also civil rights violations are an option which would be federal.

  2. It actually all makes sense:
    1. Liberals are very adept at word games, while normals are not
    2. To file a complaint against the city council directly, someone must be damaged
    3. Suing the city in state court may be the best route…the damage was done by the council passing a law violating state law.
    4. If 3 is correct, after winning in state court (the charge would be a direct unlawful action by the city council), then the citizens might be able to sue council members directly because their positions do not provide immunity for committing illegal acts (proven in state court)

    • They already had a public meeting with 2A people and they were warned that they could be sued or charged. They did not care and said they will do it anyway. They are not afraid they will lose a lawsuit personally, that they will personally be charged with a crime or that the people will stand up to them in the necessary ways. They are correct, they need not fear, for the people fear their government.

      I think that is the definition of being a tyrant. In other peoples’ dictionary that is considered “anarchy.”

      • “They are correct, they need not fear, for the people fear their government.”

        Thinking “they” would declare that people don’t fear, but revere their government.

    • Yeah, its called “Criminalizing” the citizenry!

      (City Council + “Bulldozering” + Constitutional Infringements = “Authoritarianism !!!”)
      *********************************************
      Excerpt from the Patriot:

      Benjamin Martin : Would you tell me please, Mr. Howard, why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man’s rights as easily as a king can.

      • “An elected legislature can trample a man’s rights as easily as a king can.”

        A fulsome statement that probably went right through the heads of most people viewing.

        • That was a great movie. They just don’t make ’em like Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke from back in the olden times.

        • Crap like that, “vote from the roof tops, keep powder dry, etc” is what makes the 2A folk look like walking talking red flag candidates. Last thing we need is for people to slyly advocate sniping politicians or an armed rebellion. We already look like a bunch of yahoos for the hobbies and interests discussed about on this blog, adding more fuel to that fire isn’t helpful.

        • “Crap like that, “vote from the roof tops, keep powder dry, etc” is what makes the 2A folk look like walking talking red flag candidates.”

          The Second Amendment is not a polite suggestion. It has a brute message. It is we (the nation) who have taken the long march into wishful thinking. The founders had words for those who thought freedom and liberty were hobbies for yahoos.

          Direct, imminent threats of violence to particular persons are illegal even on blogs. Recognizing the current perversion of the constitution, and calling for radical restoration of the original intent of the founders has a long and legal history in this country. Much like another group of radicals who need no provocation for murdering masses of people, liberals/leftists/autocrats/tyrants/dictators need no provocation to hate their opposites, need no provocation for ridicule, denigration and hatred. To exist as an “other” is sufficient evidence of need for your eradication. Pay close attention, and see/hear what your opposition is saying.

        • Last thing we need is for people to slyly advocate sniping politicians or an armed rebellion.

          I always advocate for working within the law.

        • Hey Kahlil… Just so you know the Second Amendment isn’t about hobbies… Your attempt to be the thought police is not helpful…

        • I see lots of bluster like that online but very little actual action. Almost as if keyboard warriors are happy being just that?

        • I see plenty that aren’t keyboard warriors.

          Tim McVey was p***ed about ruby ridge and the mass ATF/FBI execution at Waco. He was p***ed about all the crap the FBI/ATF were doing. Granted his fight wasn’t about gun rights, but it was about injustice and overreach. He killed hundreds of people (including babies) and split the 14.5 million dollar building (in 1977 value) and he essentially did it all by himself. He constructed a 4,800lb bomb essentially by himself.

          Further, the bernie bro that shot up a baseball game with representatives at it. Definitely not a keyboard warrior. Granted he was a terrible shot and had no training and had a strange outlook on free stuff that he felt he was entitled to, but not a keyboard warrior.

          The government, and when i say government, I am referring specifically to the party leaders those with the capability of ramrodding their opinion on everyone else, they don’t like like potential opposition. And the people themselves are potential opposition. And not even the people, but specific individuals. When politicians know that a back woods nobody from the forest can pop their eyes right out of their head when their head explodes from a 800 yard shot from a 300win mag for example, they become hesitant at forcing their opinion on others. And that is what it’s really about. Everyone just wants to be left alone to live their life how they see fit. And individuals should be judged as individuals, rather than government corralling you like cattle to places you don’t want to go with blanket laws that they throw out with arrogance. It’s always arrogance. Just like this mayor saying “arrest me.” Such arrogance. And it’s arrogance like that, that brings out comments like those Danny has mentioned.

        • “Crap like that, “vote from the roof tops, keep powder dry, etc” is what makes the 2A folk look like walking talking red flag candidates.”

          Keep straightening your dress and touching up your make-up, Kahlil. Who knows, maybe government will rape you last. It will, however, still rape you eventually.

          What would you do to prevent your own rape? Assuming, of course, you aren’t into that sort of thing.

        • ““What does that even mean?”

          Think Korean store owners.”

          Eh, not *really*. The Korean business owners were not making a political statement when protecting and defending their shops from the masses of LA rioters.

          To “Vote from the rooftops” implies casting a ballot for or against a particular political candidate. A ‘Direct Democracy’ kind of thing…

        • “To “Vote from the rooftops” implies casting a ballot for or against a particular political candidate. A ‘Direct Democracy’ kind of thing…”

          You may be correct; can’t say. But I do have considerable difficulty drawing such meaning from the phrase. The phrase wasn’t part of my white privileged, KKK, nazi, white nationalist, chauvinistic upbringing. Wouldn’t be the only thing I missed out on.

        • THEY created “RED FLAG LAWS” to eliminate YOUR constitutional rights! THEY, The Architects, (through clever legalese, and with the pedigree of a Psych-ops), have turned YOUR constitutional rights into governmental issued privilages! To legitimize THEIR authority, to prevent rebellion, to squash dissent, and to instantly U.S. Citizens Enemies of the State !!!

        • These architects will target you (and your LIBERTY) in YOUR homes, at YOUR work through YOUR employer, in YOUR car, on foot, where YOU speak out, where YOU get “healed”, and wear YOU worship! This is “Authoritarianism”!!! Full on Armed Paramilitarized Police forces in the streets and house to house is “Totalitarianism”!!!

        • Kill everyone who’s trying to get our guns.wound them walk in and shoot them in face.we have to show them we will take no prisoners.come against our rights die screaming

      • What does that even mean?

        It means you don’t come here very often. It also means we all know the limits of your “resistance.”

        LOL

    • I wasn’t minimizing the 2A activities as just hobbies, though much of what many here and on other sites is considered a hobby, something to geek out over, etc etc. Read what I said carefully. There is a way to affect change without calling for violence or further becoming like the groups you/we stand against. Punisher logos, GS style, blue line, 3%, rooftop sniping – all that accumulates over time to a pile of junk that the leftists can use against people trying to legitimately make a case and defend 2A protection and activities. Just because the left looks like a bunch of bozos doesn’t mean you have to compete with them in looking like an ignorant clown.

      On NPR this morning, I was listening while driving to meet some patients, the Gifford group was talking about their strategy and quite foolishly attempted to explain how constitutional carry was an agenda by the gun manufacturers to sell more firearms. The one good point they made, to try to defend their stance though is one we need to rally behind – ENFORCE CURRENT laws and limits [rather than knee-jerk create more red tape and hurdles to a constitutionally protected right] my comment is in the brackets.

      Fight and advocate smarter, not emotionally reacting like the left does.This means choosing your words wisely.

      • This means choosing your words wisely.

        You have a point there. On the other hand, if no one ever says anything , nothing ever gets done. People were very careful about what they said in the 1770’s, too, but they still said what needed to be said.

        Also, Shadow Militia.

      • Some loose sight of the reasoning for the second amendment in the first place,it isn’t about target shooting,sport shooting,hunting,it’s about Tyrant Control.

      • Start by keeping your pro-2A politically incorrect thoughts locked up inside your skull. You can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking if you don’t open your mouth.

        It’s noted above that one can wind up on a Red Flag short list for what you post online. Look what’s doing in Britain and New Zealand; police show up at someone’s door just for criticizing Islam.

        Lots of would-be Gestapo types out there monitoring us. Keep your comments limited to a trusted few. I’m not a techie so I don’t know what else to do.

      • Leftists have already tried to assassinate politicians, they have killed cops and attacked innocent people. And they are winning still.

        Being passive is not a good defense. Having a good defense is having a good offense, which is why the 2nd Amendment exists. Just like we want a proper process of the law, we should give the tyrants a chance until they refuse to do the same. Then the people must organize in the necessary ways, which there is a process outlined by the founders.

        Politicians shouldn’t be making law after law against the people, they should be making law after law against the government. We shouldn’t be the ones oppressed, the government should be the ones wearing the shackles.

        America has done an about-face into tyranny and the people refuse to see it for what it is. When you are on your last hope [waiting for 9 people to reinstate the Constitution of The United States] you should realize by now your country is dead.

      • You must not be in or from Pennsylvania or else you have not been paying attention. We used to say enforce the laws we have now. The the state police started to. Around 2014 they started arresting and charging everyone denied a purchase because of their background check. What we found was that all of those “felons stopped from buying guns” that gun control groups brag about were actually people with some minor conviction in the distant past or a visit to the hospital for a mental health evaluation in the distant past, with no REAL criminal or mental health record who didn’t even know they were prohibited. So somebody told their mother they hate them when they were a teenager or got busted with a bag of pot as a teenager and then went to buy a gun decades later they got busted. Then most don’t have the means to defend themselves and don’t know any better so they take a plea deal and by doing so become a convicted criminal and irreversibly prohibited.

        I really wish people would stop saying “enforce the laws we have now” because the laws we have now suck and are used as a weapon against people. For God’s sake, please do not enforce them.

        The anti gun people are not honest and not reasonable and the fact you are listening to NPR indicates that you don’t really have a clue about the history of this issue.

      • There is a way to affect change without calling for violence or further becoming like the groups you/we stand against.

        Violence affects change really quick. And sometimes violence is the proper response.

        How is fighting for your freedom make you like the groups looking to restrict your freedom. Elaborate.

    • How do you think they got in office? Fighting it in court and proving their guilt, could potentially be grounds for instant removal from office. Another election to replace them might result in just another pack of leftists, if the voting base is leftist, but at least the laws will be nullified.

    • Be honest– All this bluster and not one of you will do a damn thing. You accuse somebody of straitened his dress and just talking when NONE OF YOU will put actions to your own words. But sure. Vote from them rooftops, right?

      Its always easier to tell somebody else to start the fire instead of doing it yourself.

  3. “Steel City residents want to file criminal charges against the mayor and city council members.”

    Torch and pitchfork time to march on city hall and burn the petty Tyrants at the steak,it would be some period of time before other would be petty tyrants would try to enact like decrees.

  4. Trying to get someone else to do something extremely dangerous and consequential while one watches safely from behind ones keyboard is despicable.

  5. Contact Josh Shapiro, the PA A.G. and if he doesn’t do something contact your state representative and senator even if they are anti-firearm and demand action, PA constitution section 17 and then your federal legislators, Article 1, section 9, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, both of which ban ex post facto laws or in simple terms retroactive laws. Bill Barr, U.S. AG might like to have fun with this.

  6. Well, if he won’t prosecute admittedly-illegal behavior because of politics, I suppose the only recourse left to the good folks in Pittsburgh is vigilantism, which would likely involve the both of them at this point.

    Someone should conduct a citizen’s arrest, lol. No wonder tarring & feathering was so appealing back in the day (it usually wasn’t accompanied by a fatal lynching, just a good solid ass-beating & a big sticky mess to make sure everyone knew about it for a few days)

    • So this DA has no problem prosecuting everyday run of the mill citizens for unknowingly or inadvertently violating the law and eventually sending them to jail or financial ruin, but when it’s one of the elites he attaches extra requirements before prosecution, even when they do it in publicized open defiance of the law and the intent of the duly elected legislature. There are some serious ethics issues here that need to be addressed Not only have these officials openly flaunted their violations of the law but the DA is has publicly aided and abetted them. He has failed his oath of office miserably.

  7. The mob mentality absolves individuals from blame, guilt and responsibility. When all other legitimate avenues are blocked the mob rises up. The mob is capable of monstrous actions that the individuals are either unable or unwilling to commit. This reaction is as certain as worms coming to the surface after the rain. All sides continue to ignore this reality. The political affiliations of the followers will not matter. Inevitably, the dam holding back the years of anger and frustration will burst.The people will be clamoring for “someone” to do “something”. We have ringside seats for the destruction and rebuilding of civilization as we know it. Good luck on that. -30-

      • “Are you aware that you just categorized the founders as “the mob”?”

        The founders did use ‘mobs’ from time-to-time to communicate their collective displeasure with the way the British were running things.

        In HBO’s ‘John Adams’, the residents of Boston used the method barnbwt described above. An angry mob tarred-n-feathered a British ship’s captain over taxes, if I recall correctly.

        So I suppose it’s plausible that the Leftist’s ‘Antifa’ are carrying on an old ‘Family Tradition’, so to speak…

        • “So I suppose it’s plausible that the Leftist’s ‘Antifa’ are carrying on an old ‘Family Tradition’, so to speak…”

          Interesting comparison, that.

    • Warlocc,

      Well, that is actually how our entire criminal justice system is supposed to work: we are a Common Law nation and, under Common Law, if there is no victim there is no crime.

      The problem is that prosecutors prosecute people for violating “codes” even when there is no victim. If prosecutors would be consistent, we would be much better off.

      • Code violations have little if anything to do with crime, they are nothing but a revenue stream for government. That is why they are entirely inconsistent with ticketing, why law enforcement and the judicial never get tickets but break those very codes, and why officers have discretion over whether to cite the person for a violation or not, or to reduce the charge.

    • Came here to voice this sentiment. Apparently the tyrants do believe in “no victim, no crime” as long as they’re the ones violating the law. But goddess help you if do something they disagree with, no matter how harmless.

  8. Oh , Now I get it , only politicians get to break the law in Pittsburgh, kinda sounds like the Obummer administration. crooks are crooks, if the authorities don’t take charge, then it’s up to the people.(R—- T—).

  9. Question does the state of Pennsylvania have protections for citizens that resist unlawful arrest? Do they allow for the prosecution of police officers for conducting unlawful arrest?

        • Police officers can later be prosecuted for unlawful arrest but it is extremely rare and you have to get a DA, like the one in this case, to go along.

  10. Saw that coming. Not a surprise because government sticks together. The people be damned.

    Government workers are great at uniting for a common cause. Race, religion, etc, does not matter when every government official wants to dis-empower the people.

    • I’ve always held the belief that at the end of the day our true enemies are the police. A politician can pass all the shit-brained laws he wants, but they don’t mean anything unless the thin blue line are ready and willing to enforce them. Just look at all the anti-constitution and anti-firearm states. The people who reside there are disarmed due to the illegal actions of those who are abrogating their oaths.

      • You are correct. It doesn’t matter how nice a guy the cop is or his claims of being pro-Constitution, the sheer fact that he enforces unconstitutional laws makes him a liar and a hypocrite. Their paycheck does NOT come from the taxpayer, it comes from the government, and their loyalty lies with the government.

        • The more I read the more I say come and take them but prepare to die you communist bastards.i hope we kill so many we get drunk in their blood.instead of letting them go home send them to the morgue

  11. Dear D.A. Zappala,

    The crime isn’t committed when someone is cited and prosecuted, the crime was committed when six council member approved and the mayor signed off on the ordinance.

    I suggest you re-read “Firearm Owners Against Crime v. Lower Merion Twp., 1693 C.D. 2015 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2016)”

    • and in Pennsylvania it is “…shall not be questioned”.

      So much for Constitutional rights. They don’t mean a damn thing today.

      • “So much for Constitutional rights. They don’t mean a damn thing today.”

        All your constitutionally protected rights are fully safe and available. Except the exceptions accepted by the exceptional minds of the exceptional US Supreme Court, whose job it is to ensure you do not abuse those rights by exercising them freely and without limit. All is well. Let not your heart be troubled.

        I am always right, no exceptions. Except reasonable exceptions.

  12. For all the Bible thumpers here. (I’m agnostic, but conceded that OUR country was founded under Judio/Christian Theology….)
    ******************************************
    Excerpt from Biblical Research site:

    Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus revealed to His disciples the future hostility they would face and encouraged them to sell their outer garments in order to buy a sword (Luke 22:36-38; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:26-27). Here the “sword” (Greek: maxairan) is a dagger or short sword that belonged to the Jewish traveler’s equipment as protection against robbers and wild animals. A plain reading of the passage indicates that Jesus approved of self-defense.

    Self-defense may actually result in one of the greatest examples of human love. Christ Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:14). When protecting one’s family or neighbor, a Christian is unselfishly risking his or her life for the sake of others.

  13. I think we need to move the PA 2A rally to Pittsburgh City Hall and have everyone open carry ARs (loaded with 30+ round mags, chambered, safety on, in low ready), including Daryl Metcalfe.

    Video document the entire event and, if they don’t arrest anyone under these unconstitutional laws, then anyone in the future can demand equal justice as well as violations of Pennsylvania law and the Pennsylvania Constitution.

  14. If Black Lives Matter can organize hundreds of people to go stand on freeways to block honest people from going to work, why can’t NRA, GOA, SAF, or FPC organize gun owners to go stand in front of government buildings to stop legislators, governors, mayors, judges, cops, IRS agents, and all other bureaucrats from going to work to dismantle our freesoms?

  15. Kind of funny that nothing can be done about an illegal law until someone has been shown to have been hurt, when the law itself was passed in the first place because of something that someone MIGHT do.

  16. Pittsburgh is run by a bunch of lard ass sissified pucks! The do have one redeeming value. They never leave the the toilet seat up. That’s because there’s no reason for them to lift it in the first place. The people in Pittsburgh need to grow some balls!

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