Pittsburgh approves new gun control legislation

The Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday approved new gun control legislation that will place restrictions on the use of military-style assault weapons, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The legislation would ban the use assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle, which authorities say was used in the Oct. 27 massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 and wounded several others.

It would also ban the use armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, as well as allow the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be dangerous to themselves or others, the Post-Gazette reported.

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The paper noted that the legislation is expected to face court challenges from pro-gun advocates who say they'll sue to block the laws from taking effect, citing Pennsylvania state law that forbids municipalities from regulating guns.

But a legislative director for one of the council members who introduced the legislation said the council members' decision to ban the use of weapons and ammunition rather than the items themselves could circumvent that legal bind. 

“With state-level preemption in mind, we're confident that we've charted a unique course with our shifted focus to "use" that hasn't yet been fully tested in Pennsylvania courts,” Matt Singer, legislative director for Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor, told The Hill.

“An example of this change to 'use' can be seen in Bill 2018-1218, which notes that 'use' of an Assault Weapon does not include possession, ownership, transportation or transfer,” he added.

Updated 4:50 p.m.