PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The City of Pittsburgh and the City of Philadelphia have signed onto an amicus brief in a gun ordinance case in front of the Supreme Court.
In 2015, a gun industry group sued the city of Harrisburg saying the city’s gun ordinances were preempted by state law. A Common Pleas Court ruled the plaintiffs had no standing to sue since they weren’t cited under city laws.
However, the Commonwealth overturned that ruling last year, and the ruling was then appealed to the Supreme Court. The amicus brief by the two cities says the Commonwealth Court’s decision “fashions an unworkably lax bar” that “promises a flood of baseless lawsuits.”
“The theory invites all comers to challenge a host of laws crucial to the effective operation of municipal government, based on mere speculation that the laws might someday be enforced against the plaintiffs bringing suit,” the amicus brief reads. “Amici have a significant financial interest in protecting their limited municipal budgets from the costs of defending such suits.”
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Last fall, an Allegheny County judge struck down three gun control laws that limit assault weapons and ammunition in Pittsburgh. The laws were passed after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018.
The ordinances would have restricted military-style assault weapons, like the AR-15 rifle used in the synagogue shooting. It also banned most uses of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines and allowed the temporary seizure of guns from people who were determined to be a danger to themselves or others.
That case is now before the Commonwealth Court.