Pittsburgh Joins Philadelphia In Suing Pennsylvania Over Supposedly Racist Gun Law

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is suing the state over its preemption law. (Photo: Bill Peduto Twitter)

The city of Pittsburgh has joined the city of Philadelphia along with several individual defendants in a lawsuit alleging that the state’s preemption law keeps local governments from addressing “gun violence” that “disproportionately ravages communities of color.”

The suit, first launched by Philadelphia in October of 2020, wants the court to strike down a state law that prohibits local governments from enacting their own gun control regimes.

In April 2019, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed a package of gun control laws, including a ban on the “use” of AR-15s, magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition, and all “armor-piercing” ammunition.

A court struck down the ban later that year, ruling only the state can change gun laws, as per state law 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6120:

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.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia Can’t Control Their Own Guns, But Want To Control Yours

Pittsburgh’s suit implies that this preemption law is racist because “gun violence disproportionately ravages communities of color to a shocking degree.” The suit begins by pointing out that “gun violence is taking an enormous toll in Pennsylvania’s low-income communities of color,” and goes on to say that “stories of young Pennsylvanians of color being gunned down fill the news.”

The suit accuses the state government of “handcuffing” local governments from “enacting or enforcing policies that will save lives.”

The suit lists permit-to-purchase requirements, one-gun-per-month limits, and extreme risk protection orders as examples of policies that local governments in Pennsylvania would enact. The suit also speaks favorably of “assault weapon” bans, magazine capacity restrictions, and “gun-free zone” requirements.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia Sues State of Pennsylvania, Blames State Government for Rising Crime Rates

Local officials have also blamed the state government’s preemption law for the rise in violent crime within their jurisdictions.

“Respondents have allowed and continue to allow gun deaths and injuries to persist at appalling rates in vulnerable Black and Hispanic communities in our Commonwealth, and as a result, Petitioners have lost the lives of their children, family members, and residents,” the lawsuit states. “Respondents are deliberately tying the hands of local governments, and people in the most affected communities will continue to lose life and limb so long as the barriers created by the Firearm Preemption Laws remain in place.”

While Philadelphia has seen a sharp rise in homicide rates over the last 12 months, Pittsburgh’s violent crime rates actually dropped between 2019 and 2020, despite not having the mayor’s restrictive gun control laws in place.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Stan d. Upnow April 9, 2021, 7:47 pm

    If you’ve been paying the least bit of attention, you’ve noticed that the ignorant(stupid actually) Lefties are always regurgitating the same mindless, cliched phrases and talking points. They propose the same ill-conceived actions that have zero grounding in facts or statistics. That’s because it’s Not about “gun safety,” or “saving lives.” It’s all about the incremental plan to abolish private ownership of all firearms.

    Notice that every time there’s some new gun control measure passed, they say it’s a “good START.” Take them at their word; they mean it.

  • etph April 9, 2021, 12:49 pm

    It’s the same in other cities like Los Angeles. There have always been violent neighborhoods in L.A. but the demographics have changed so much that there are more of those neighborhoods spread out throughout other counties that are may miles away from L.A. County. The most violent felons are, as the “woke” like to say, people of color. Anti-gun laws further exacerbate the violence and disenfranchise those who need guns the most for protection and as a deterrent. Violence will definitely decrease when criminals know that the population is armed. Too many places like New Hampshire and even pro-gun cities in California prove this.

  • Mark April 9, 2021, 12:28 pm

    you think da’s that let people go for having illegal guns is part of the problem ?
    how about ENFORCE existing gun laws

  • Bobo April 9, 2021, 11:12 am

    @John,
    It’s not just minority on minority, it also occurs in those cities on minority on “other”

    The problem isn’t with one race the problem is violence, it’s a problem that will likely never be overcome but trying to limit access to particular types of firearms is NOT going to solve the problem and these proposals do nothing but create a mishmash of laws throughout the state making it possible to become a criminal simply by crossing the street.

  • Dr Motown April 8, 2021, 8:36 am

    One can easily argue that it’s “racist” to deprive minority urban dwellers of their rights to self defense

  • Mark N. April 8, 2021, 1:22 am

    Creative. It’s still bull shit, but it is creative. The major fallacy of the theory behind the case is that guns cause gun violence, not the people pulling the triggers. It is the same old drum beat we have been hearing for years: more guns means more gun crime; reducing guns reduces gun crime. the evidence does not support the hypothesis.

    Obviously there is nothing facially racist about the law, so they have to go on an “as applied” challenge. But the major roadblock to that theory is that this gun violence, as in most cities, is black on black and Hispanic on Hispanic as the gangs fight over territory. The guns and gun laws are not having a disproportionate impact; those communities are simply more violent. Nonetheless, murder is illegal no matter what one’s race.

  • Jim April 7, 2021, 6:37 pm

    I must presume that the author was educated in Kansas. They are the only ones who spell Pittsburgh without an h. I believe they are referred to as “H haters.”

    • Stan d. Upnow April 9, 2021, 7:51 pm

      Better check again, Jim. He spelled it correctly throughout.

  • John April 7, 2021, 5:14 pm

    It would seem that their law suites show case their own lack of control of their cities. When they solve their lawless problem then they will have a leg to stand on. Minority violence on minorities is the problem. Black lives will matter only when all black lives matter to the black community.

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