Pittsburgh Council to amend gun legislation Wednesday, but no vote expected
Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday will amend – but not vote on – controversial legislation that would ban certain firearms and accessories from within city limits, a sponsor of the bills said Wednesday.
Councilman Corey O’Connor of Swisshelm Park said council would amend the proposed legislation to add information, including statistics, exhibits and other data on gun violence that has occurred across the country. He said members are still working out other amendments that would change the actual text of the three bills and hope to cast a first vote in coming weeks.
O’Connor and Councilwoman Erika Strassburger proposed three bills following the Oct. 27 Tree of Life synagogue murders that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons, ammunition and accessories.
The legislation triggered an outcry from gun owners who contend it is illegal and a violation of constitutional rights. They’ve cited Pennsylvania law that prohibits municipalities from enacting firearms restrictions and have vowed to sue the city and file criminal charges against council members and Mayor Bill Peduto if the bills are approved.
Seven of nine council members have pledged support, and the legislation is expected to pass.
In addition to bans on certain guns, ammunition and accessories, the ordinances include an “extreme risk protection” bill that would permit police and household members to petition a court for removal of a person’s firearms if the person is deemed a threat.
O’Connor said council is working on amendments to clarify and strengthen the legislation.
“Generally it’s a lot of clarifying language and protection for children in the extreme risk protection bill,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of kids end up with guns out of their homes and there’s some language that could change to prevent that or to hold people more accountable for getting guns into the hands of kids.”
He said representatives of CeaseFirePa., a statewide organization that advocates against gun violence, and Children’s Hospital are expected to address council during a public comment period on Wednesday.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .