Pittsburgh considers moving Thursday’s public hearing on gun ban bills
Pittsburgh’s anticipated public hearing Thursday on a proposed firearms ban could end up being held in the lobby of the City-County Building instead of Council Chambers on the fifth floor, officials said Tuesday.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said he suggested the move because of logistical concerns.
City fire code limits the number of people in council chambers to 200, he said. In addition, anyone carrying a gun legally is required to secure it in designated lockers before entering the building, and the lockers are on the ground floor.
“A final determination on this will be made (Wednesday),” Hissrich said. “For logistical and public safety reasons, I would be in favor of moving it.”
Seventy-two people as of Tuesday had signed up to speak at the 6 p.m. hearing.
Mayor Bill Peduto and council members proposed the ban after a mass shooting Oct. 27 at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill. The ban would apply to semi-automatic rifles and certain firearms accessories and ammunition. A companion bill would permit courts to temporarily seize weapons from a person deemed by family or police to be a danger.
Hundreds of gun owners, many openly carrying weapons, rallied in opposition to the ban in early January outside the City-County Building.
“We believe there is going to be a very large crowd that would be larger than what we could hold in the City Council Chambers,” Peduto said.
People who register in advance for council hearings are permitted to speak for three minutes. After the registered speakers are finished, council permits anyone in attendance to speak for one minute.
Speakers can register online or by phone at the council clerk’s office at 412-255-2138
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobbauder.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, email@example.com or via Twitter .