PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mayor Bill Peduto confirmed that he is increasing his personal security 24/7.
“The security that I presently have is with me now at night. Usually, at the end of the day, if I did anything, I just went out by myself,” said the mayor on Monday.
Peduto has come under withering social media attack and public demonstrations for pushing a city ordinance to restrict military-style assault weapons, armor-piercing ammunition and high capacity magazines — and to allow the seizure of guns from those deemed a threat.
Those measures, approved in April, are on hold because of lawsuits claiming they violate a state law that prohibits local municipalities from regulating firearms.
“There have been multiple threats that — they’ve been there before — they just increased over the past six months, eight months,” said Peduto.
WATCH: KDKA’s Jon Delano reports
This includes tweets that the mayor deemed threatening enough to turn over to his security detail.
“I will not get into extra or any type of elevated security that we may or may not have,” said Pittsburgh public safety director Wendell Hissrich on Monday.
Hissrich would not discuss the threats or how exactly the mayor’s security is being beefed up.
“We’re not going to give away any type of precautions that we take, so that any individuals that may have ill intentions would know about that.”
Kim Stolfer with Firearms Owners Against Crime, a strong Second Amendment rights groups, says his position is clear.
“If there are terroristic threats involved, if anybody is threatening the mayor, that is wrong,” Stolfer told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
WATCH: KDKA’s Jon Delano interviews Kim Stolfer
“That is a crime prosecutable by state and federal authorities, and the mayor should be pursuing that with every possible avenue.”
But Stolfer worries Peduto may be hyping opposition to his policies.
“On the other hand, if he’s trying to use the deaths in El Paso and Dayton in a manufactured crisis, that would also be very unfortunate.”
“The fact is that what he is talking about is a crime. He should have acted on them already, and if he hasn’t, I want to know why, and is he demagoguing on these issues.”
The mayor says he has acted by turning over threats he has received to his security detail.
But there’s no doubt Peduto enjoys engaging people on social media, like a tweet a few months ago about his security, noting, “The only reason I require detail is because of the legitimate threats of harm.”
Despite the threats, the mayor says he’s not going to do anything different.
“Like any other American, I am always cautious,” he says.
“We have to be whenever we are in a large crowd. You try to look around and see.”
“But I don’t think it will change my life. I won’t let it.”