Pittsburgh Council gears up for gun bill vote

Pittsburgh Council gears up for gun bill vote

Gun Rights

Debate in council chambers warmed up ahead of next week’s expected preliminary votes on amendments to three proposed gun-control bills, even though the motion on the table Wednesday merely called for adding an appendix. The bills, which would ban certain assault-style weapons and accessories as well as allow courts to remove weapons from people who pose an “extreme risk” to themselves or others, have attracted significant public attention since their introduction just weeks after the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting when a gunman killed 11 people and wounded several others. Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger, who introduced the bills in conjunction with the mayor’s office, amended to add a “voluminous” supplemental document, Ms. Strassburger said, containing 2,200 pages of policy and health research on gun violence. Five other members, who co-sponsor the proposed legislation, voted in favor of attaching the research to the bills. Councilwomen Darlene Harris and Theresa Kail-Smith, who have not cosponsored the bills, abstained from the vote. “No gun bills should be at this table because these are state laws,” Ms. Harris said. “I would love to be able to vote on these, but they will be useless. … Go up to Harrisburg or whatever you want to do to ask them to vote on gun laws, we cannot do it.” Pennsylvania law preempts municipal regulation of firearms. Three speakers during council’s public comment period spoke in favor of the bills. Rob Conroy, director of organizing for CeaseFirePA, and two pediatric health experts […]

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