Pittsburgh appeals order striking down gun restrictions approved after synagogue shooting
Pittsburgh city attorneys have filed a motion to appeal a judge’s order striking down three gun control ordinances passed following a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018.
The Associated Press reported Monday that court documents, filed last week, argue that state law does not expressly say that cities do not have the authority to pass their own gun control ordinances. A judge found in October that state law took precedence over local law and struck down the three ordinances, which would have banned some high-capacity magazines, armor-piercing rounds, and assault weapons.
Neither courts nor lawmakers, the city’s attorneys reportedly wrote, “expressly said or held that cities are completely powerless to act in this area.”
A city’s ability to legislate gun control policy “may be limited, but it is not extinguished,” they continued, according to the AP.
An attorney representing the plaintiffs in the 2019 case which resulted in the ordinances being overturned slammed the city for trying to push the case to a higher court.
“The example that this sets for our youth — that it is acceptable to violate the law if you do not agree with it, instead of petitioning to have the law changed — is a stark reminder that the city and its elected officials believe they are above the law,” said Joshua Prince, according to the news service.
A gunman killed 11 people during a rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg in October of 2018.
The suspect, Robert Gregory Bowers, 46, has pleaded not guilty to dozens of state and federal charges. A trial is tentatively set to begin later this year.