Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Law for Thee But Not for Me: Pittsburgh Officials Defy DA’s Legal Advice in Gun Control Push

Friday, January 18, 2019

Law for Thee But Not for Me: Pittsburgh Officials Defy DA’s Legal Advice in Gun Control Push

Pittsburgh City Council member Corey O’Connor wants local residents to relinquish important aspects of their Second Amendment rights. If they refuse, he would have it cost them their liberty and treasure. But O’Connor himself apparently doesn’t believe he is bound by the law in making this happen, only that it’s permissible because he considers it “the right thing.”

This is the definition of tyranny, when public officials declare themselves above the law they would impose on the governed.

We recently reported on how anti-gun officials in Pittsburgh were pursuing a slate of far-reaching gun control measures, despite clear Pennsylvania statutes and legal precedent that reserve the authority to regulate firearms to the state legislature.

We also noted that local officials were under no illusions in this regard, with the state’s courts having repeatedly rebuffed the same sorts of politically-inspired grandstanding in the past.

And it’s not just us who think so.

Last week, the chief law enforcement officer of Allegheny County – District Attorney Stephen Zappala – warned the Pittsburgh City Council in a letter that their plan is not only illegal but likely criminal.

Zappala expressed his own sympathies for gun control as a policy matter but went on to state, “I believe that [the] City Council does not have the authority to pass such legislation.”

The letter continued:

I am certain that you have sought the legal advice of your Law Department as to whether 18 Pa.C.S. §6119 [prescribing criminal penalties for violations of the state’s firearm laws] would permit a criminal complaint to be filed against an individual member of Council who violates 18 Pa.C.S. §6120 [the state’s firearm preemption law] by voting to adopt these types of regulations. Likewise, I am sure you have discussed the due process implications of enacting any legislation reviewed by your Law Department, and found to be unconstitutional.

Zappala noted it would, in fact, be the duty of his own office to handle any criminal complaint that arose from such an allegation.

He then concluded with a final warning, reiterating “that the legislative effort needs to come from the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that the legislation currently before Council, if passed, will be found unconstitutional.”

The purported author of the Pittsburgh legislation, Councilman Corey O’Connor, responded to the DA’s advisory with defiance, telling Newsradio 1020 KDKA, “we’re willing to take that fight … .”

O’Connor also indicated that not only would Pittsburgh continue to pursue the unconstitutional actions but would conspire with other anti-gun jurisdictions across the state in similar potentially criminal efforts.

“We’re doing what’s right for not only our city but we think this is what’s right across the country and nobody’s going to stop us from doing that,” O’Connor insisted to 1020 KDKA.

Words like that might sound stirring coming from a self-styled community activist promoting civil disobedience to counter perceived abuses by the authorities.

But when they come from the authorities themselves, they sound more like a system that has moved from a regime of laws to a regime of lawlessness. 

Pittsburgh’s gun owners – and perhaps gun owners in other Pennsylvania municipalities – may soon be fighting to vindicate their Second Amendment rights.

The National Rifle Association is already preparing to challenge these unlawful ordinances if they are adopted by the Pittsburgh City Council.  

 

TRENDING NOW
Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

On May 21st, the Illinois state House Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to pass House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966.  While it has not yet been scheduled for further action, the House may take it ...

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

On May 20th, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected a motion by the government defendants to dismiss the lawsuit filed by NRA and the SAF against Washington’s gun control ...

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

Can we finally put the claim that “gun violence” research is underfunded to rest? The Bloomberg Professor of American Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Webster, and his colleagues at the Hopkins ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Monday, May 20, 2019

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Last week, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their respective suspense files ahead of the Friday, May 17, fiscal deadline. Some of the more egregious gun bills failed to meet the deadline including ...

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.   

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

Friday, May 17, 2019

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

On May 21st, the Illinois state House of Representatives Rules Committee will hear House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966 and send it to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  HA 1 to SB 1966 would ...

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

News  

Hunting  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

When I started with NRA in 1995, most of the attention our organization received was over legislative efforts in Congress. Firearm-related legislation at the federal level obviously has an impact on far more law-abiding gun ...

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens does not believe a law-abiding citizen has a right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He made his ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.