PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Attention gun owners: the city of Pittsburgh’s tough and controversial gun restrictions are now on hold.
“We have decided that we will not enforce the bill, but instead let the courts decide whether they pass the legal hurdles,” Mayor Bill Peduto told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Several local gun owners, the Firearm Owners Against Crime, and the Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League had sued to prevent the city from enforcing the ban on certain firearms, including semi-automatic rifles and firearms that can shoot ten rounds or more.
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The city made their concession at a status conference Monday morning with Senior Judge Joseph James at the courthouse.
The mayor says it doesn’t lessen his support for the measures.
“Not at all, not at all. In fact, what it does is allow both sides to present their side of this argument over whether or not the use of certain weapons in urban areas is something that can be regulated at the local level, or not,” Peduto said.
Second Amendment rights groups contend that only the state legislature can enact gun regulations, not individual municipalities.
“They tried to ban firearms back in 1993 and 1994 and we had to sue them,” said Kim Stolfer, head of the FOAC, on Jan. 15. “They lost. There is a consent decree that says they can’t do this.”
The mayor spoke at a conference of the American College of Preventive Medicine that later this week will hear from David Hogg, the outspoken 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas High School student from Parkland, Florida.
Why these doctors?
“Emergency room doctors, they are the ones that can tell you specifically that there are certain weapons that they cannot sew the wounds,” Peduto said. “You talk to police officers who show up at a scene, somebody will bleed to death before an ambulance will get there because the weapon that is being used is used on a battlefield.”
“We’re happy with the judge’s decision to stay the implementation and enforcement of the ordinances, and we look forward to challenging the constitutionality of these bills,” Joshua Prince, the attorney for the gun owners, told KDKA.
Prince says the judge is likely to schedule oral argument in September or October and make his decision before the end of the year.
But, in the meantime, the city will not be enforcing its new law.