PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new sign has been posted outside the City-County Building in Downtown Pittsburgh. It warns that taking guns inside the building is against the law.
The sign has been placed there in advance of an “Open Carry Rally” set for Monday. Hundreds of armed gun advocates are expected to attend, as well as counter protestors.
City officials are preparing in advance for the demonstrations.
Second Amendment advocates have been holding rallies across the country, but on Monday, their Open Carry protest comes to Pittsburgh.
It’s in response to Mayor Bill Peduto’s proposal to ban assault weapons in the city.
“They’re not permitted in the building. They’re permitted in the street, or the portico, the open carry laws will be recognized,” Mayor Peduto said.
The new sign that’s gone up at the entrance of the building says: “It is unlawful to possess a firearm or other dangerous device inside this facility. Any person possessing such device or devices is subject to prosecution under 18 PA. C.S.A. Sec 913. All persons entering this facility are subject to search.”
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That’s been the case, but this is the first time it’s been posted.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had events that have been controversial, or even where there have been counter protests at the portico,” Mayor Peduto said.
It is the site where Klansman, Nazis and counter protestors once gathered. It remained peaceful, and the mayor expects the same thing on Monday.
“There will be a large presence of officers there, the officers will allow and make sure people will have the right to assemble and will be given that ability to do so peacefully,” said Mayor Peduto.
While the mayor doesn’t agree with the open carry protestors, he respects their right to free speech and to openly carry a gun. But it gives him pause.
“The amount of weapons that will be in plain sight, I just worry about the general public,” he said.
Gun rights demonstrators are vowing to remain peaceful and stay outside of the City-County Building.
The demonstration is planned for the noon hour when many will be out getting some lunch. City employees will be walking in and out of the building.