PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gun rights advocates who wanted charges filed against Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and members of city council got their day in court.

Judge Joseph James ruled Wednesday that District Attorney Stephen Zappala does not have to review the private criminal complaints against the city.

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Judge James expressed great skepticism over whether the gun advocates could force Zappala to consider their complaint.

Mainly because the gun laws in question aren’t in effect yet.

Last April, Pittsburgh city council passed and Mayor Bill Peduto signed ordinances that ban the use of assault weapons, armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines.

Gun rights groups said the ordinances violate state law and filed a criminal complaint, which the DA rejected.

“The mayor broke the law when he signed them into law,” plaintiff Anthony Golembiewsli said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

During arguments Wednesday, Zappala’s attorney Charles Porter argued that it makes no sense to file a criminal complaint since the law hasn’t taken effect.

“Their argument is silly, quite frankly,” Porter said. “The law is clearly not in effect. They know it’s not in effect. They know it can’t be enforced. They know the reason the criminal complaint wasn’t accepted.”

Judge James appeared to agree with Zappala’s attorney, telling the court:

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“You can’t be cited or arrested under these ordinances because I stayed them.”



“The district attorney has discretion to accept a private complaint or not.”


Even so, the gun advocates’ lawyer persisted.


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“The chief law enforcement of Allegheny County has a duty to accept private criminal complaints,” said attorney Lane Turturice.