Pittsburgh mayor pushes for confiscation after synagogue attack in gun-free zone

by WorldTribune Staff, December 17, 2018

In the wake of the Oct. 27 attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto is pushing for gun confiscation along with bans on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms and “high capacity” magazines.

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. / AFP / Getty Images

Three gun control bills are being introduced to the Pittsburgh City Council, according to a city government press release:

  • An assault weapons ban making it unlawful to man manufacture, sell, purchase, transport, carry, store, or otherwise hold in one’s possession an assault weapon within the City, such as the Colt AR-15 automatic rifle used in the Tree of Life shooting.
  • An accessories, ammunition and modification ban barring items such as bump stocks, armor-penetrating bullets, sawed-off rifles and large capacity magazines often used in mass shootings.
  • Adoption of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), which enable courts to temporarily prohibit a person from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that the individual poses a significant danger.

Eleven people were killed in the Tree of Life Synagogue attack, which occurred in a gun-free zone.

Peduto, a Democrat, also voiced opposition to hiring armed guards to protect congregants.

President Donald Trump said that the attack could have ended differently if armed security had been present. Trump said, “If they had protection inside, the result would have been far better. This is a dispute that will always exist, I suspect, but if they had protection inside the synagogue maybe it could have been a very…different situation.”

Peduto told NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “I don’t think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards or our schools filled with armed guards.”

Breitbart Second Amendment columnist AWR Hawkins wrote that “There are two problems with Peduto’s proposals: One, they would not prevent another synagogue attack from occurring because the biggest issue in a mass shooting is not the type of gun used but the amount of time the attacker has to ply his trade. For example, while the Democrat Party and gun control groups focused on the type of gun used in the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, they overlooked the fact that the Parkland gunman has so much time that he was able to pause five times and reload during the attack. There was not pressure because no one could shoot back.

“Moreover, the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook attacker had over nine minutes without armed resistance when he struck that gun-free school. With that kind of time in a gun-free scenario an attacker with a five shot revolver and a pocket full of bullets could kill a gut-wrenching number of innocents.

“The second problem with Peduto’s gun control push is Pennsylvania’s pre-emption law. That law makes it illegal for a municipality to pass gun controls that exceed the controls at the state level.”

The NRA-ILA published the text of Pennsylvania’s pre-emption law: “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.”

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