PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto welcomed the founder of the gun safety organization, Moms Demand Action, to the City-County Building today.
Mayor Peduto and Shannon Watts are joining forces to call for stronger gun control laws.
They held a joint news conference Tuesday morning outside of the Mayor’s Office.
“Today, as we stand here again, mourning the mass shootings that occurred in El Paso and in Dayton, we recognize that there are things that we can do, and we also recognize that the momentum is now,” said Mayor Peduto. “We’re joining together today to call on both our federal and state government to enact these laws that have been introduced in Pittsburgh and in Congress in the next 30 days.”
The mayor says he is standing “shoulder-to-shoulder with Watts,” calling for action from lawmakers now.
WATCH: Mayor Peduto’s Moms Demand Action News Conference —
Gun legislation reform became one of Mayor Peduto’s top priorities following the October shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
He has been pushing a city ordinance to restrict military-style assault weapons, armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, as well as 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.
Watts says she began Moms Demand Action seven years ago as a Facebook page, which has now grown to an organization with nearly six million supporters and has a chapter in every state.
The pair discussed several bills at both the state and federal level, including a national Red Flag Law. Already law in some states, it allows police or family to petition a court to have guns removed from someone who pose a threat.
“Which the president endorsed yesterday. The big controversy that we had in this chamber over passing Red Flag Laws is now endorsed by the president, and not one NRA member is speaking out,” said Mayor Peduto. “But when we talked about it, it was a political issue.”
Other action the mayor is calling for includes:
• An immediate U.S. Senate vote on two pending gun safety measures approved by the House in March,
• Congressional approval of nationwide “red flag” laws,
• Congressional approval of bans on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines,
• Pennsylvania General Assembly legislation ending any state preemption of local firearms laws and criminal charges against local legislators,
• Approval of pending bills introduced by Sens. Costa and Fontana, Rep. Frankel and others banning assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines and adopting statewide “red flag” laws.
Watts says her grassroots movement is not about taking people’s guns away.
“This is not about being against the Second Amendment, this is about restoring the responsibilities that go along with being a gun owner,” she said.
The mayor says the message he’s trying to get across following the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton is a simple one, echoed from earlier this year.
“Enough is enough,” said Mayor Peduto. “If we don’t get these bills passed within the next month, there is going to be another tragedy that could have possible been averted.”