Peduto steps up personal security amid death threats over Pittsburgh gun bills |

Peduto steps up personal security amid death threats over Pittsburgh gun bills

Bob Bauder
Bob Bauder | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (center) meets in his conference room on June 7, 2019, with friends and relatives of people killed through gun violence. Peduto declared June 7 Gun Violence Awareness Day in the city.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said he’s been threatened with death and challenged to fistfights since the passage of controversial gun legislation that would limit the use of some firearms, ammunition and accessories in the city.

Peduto said his bodyguard, a Pittsburgh police officer, now accompanies him to functions at night as well as during the day.

The mayor, who on Monday addressed the latest mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, said he often receives threats through social media that are turned over to a police intelligence unit.

“You don’t think about it,” he said. “The stuff on Twitter I don’t consider reality. I consider it to be just a sideshow. You just get up in the morning, go to work and do the best that you can. You stand for what you believe in because, when I’m done being the mayor, I’m not going to look with any regret on the things that I did that I believed in. I will look back if I didn’t actually do something when I thought that I could make a difference.”

Pittsburgh’s gun bills, which aren’t being enforced until court challenges are resolved, restrict the use of certain semi-automatic weapons, ammunition and accessories. They also authorize courts to seize a person’s guns if police or relatives believe the person is a threat. Such legislation is known as a “red flag law.”

“Our legislation won’t change this country, and we get that, but the fact of the matter is, things such as red flag laws are now being discussed in Washington when they hadn’t before and Republicans are coming out and supporting it,” Peduto said. “If we do this in city after city, we’ll make the water warmer to make the big changes that are needed.”

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-564-3080, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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