Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto apparently doesn’t understand the legal concept of preemption. He thinks it’s OK for municipalities across Pennsylvania to disregard state statute that says that no city or town can pass gun control laws that go beyond state law.
He started by pushing his city to consider an ordinance banning semi-automatic rifles and certain types of ammunition and accessories in the city. Then he expanded that by urging other cities to do the same.
Well, gun rights activists had their say Monday, when hundreds showed up in an open-carry protest of the mayor overstepping his bounds.
"We're coming together to say that what they're trying to propose is not right," said Justin Dillon, one of the organizers of the rally. "It's against the law."
Indeed, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld its preemption statute various times in the past, including a case wherein the Pittsburgh City Council passed a law requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. As such, that law—though still on the books—goes largely unenforced.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has made clear that firearm laws are a state matter, with a mandate on the books saying: No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
So why is it that a rogue city council and mayor think they can just come in and show blatant disregard for a higher legal authority? It’s time for state officials to put this to rest by making an example of Pittsburgh and any other municipality that dares to overstep.