The Latest: Pittsburgh council members divided on gun bills - InfoNews

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The Latest: Pittsburgh council members divided on gun bills

March 27, 2019 - 9:52 AM

PITTSBURGH - The Latest on gun control legislation moving through Pittsburgh City Council in response to the synagogue attack (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Some Pittsburgh City Council members are speaking out against gun-control legislation that cleared a key hurdle Wednesday.

The council voted 6-3 to approve a package of bills that would, among other things, place restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the one used in the synagogue attack last year. A final vote will take place next week.

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith voted against the measures, predicting they'd never be enforced in the face of a promised legal challenge by gun-rights advocates. Under Pennsylvania law, municipalities don't have the right to regulate the possession or ownership of guns.

Councilman Anthony Coghill calls the legislation a distraction and says he'll have a tough time facing his constituents if the city spends a fortune on lawyers.

But Councilman Corey O'Connor, a co-sponsor, says "it is the right time to have this fight."

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11:30 a.m.

The Pittsburgh City Council has given tentative approval to gun-control legislation introduced in the wake of the 2018 synagogue massacre.

The legislation would, among other things, place restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the attack that killed 11 and wounded seven. Council members voted 6-3 on Wednesday to pass it. A final vote will take place next week.

State law prohibits municipalities from regulating guns, and gun-rights supporters say they'll file suit against the city if the legislation goes through.

The three-bill package was watered down last week in an attempt to make it more likely to survive a court challenge.

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11 a.m.

Pittsburgh City Council is meeting to consider gun-control legislation introduced in the wake of the synagogue massacre.

The council began hearing public comment on the bills Wednesday morning, with a vote to take place afterward. The legislation would place restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the attack that killed 11 and wounded seven.

Tim Stevens is with the Black Political Empowerment Project and Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence. He's speaking out in support of the legislation, telling the council that he's "never understood why anyone needs an assault weapon unless they are on the field of war."

Gun-rights supporters are promising to file suit if Council passes the legislation. They say state law prohibits municipalities from regulating guns.

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1:05 a.m.

The Pittsburgh City Council is planning to vote on gun-control legislation introduced in wake of the synagogue massacre, but Second Amendment advocates are promising a swift legal challenge if the bills are approved.

The legislation would place restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the attack that killed 11 and wounded seven. It would also ban most uses of armour-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and would allow the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

An initial committee vote is planned for Wednesday.

The legislation was watered down last week in an effort to make it more likely to survive a court challenge. State law prohibits municipalities from regulating the ownership or possession of guns or ammunition.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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