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Pittsburgh Urges Appeals Court to Reverse Rulings Blocking Gun Safety Ordinances

PITTSBURGH — The City of Pittsburgh has asked the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to reverse a lower court decision blocking the implementation of gun violence prevention measures enacted after the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, the City Law Department and Everytown Law announced today. Everytown Law is the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and is co-counsel for the City of Pittsburgh in the case.

“Pittsburgh residents expect us to do what we can to make them safer, and I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “Public health research is on our side, Pittsburgh residents are on our side, and the law is on our side, too. It’s disappointing our efforts have had to come to this, but we’ll continue to show the court that our measures comply with every word of state law.”

“We believe city officials acted well within their authority when they passed these measures to prevent future gun violence,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law. “We look forward to the Commonwealth Court’s review and are hopeful the trial court’s ruling will be corrected.”

The ordinances blocked by the lower court’s ruling include:

  • A prohibition relating to the use of assault weapons and large capacity magazines;
  • A local Red Flag law which provides a judicial framework for families and law enforcement officers to petition for a court-issued Extreme Risk Protection Order, which temporarily restricts a person’s access to firearms when they pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others;
  • A Child Access Prevention law which creates a civil penalty if a minor gains access to and uses a firearm, and the firearm’s custodian knew or reasonably should have known that a minor was likely to gain access to the firearm.

Copies of the briefs are available here and here.