AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Despite the preemption laws on the books in Pennsylvania, the city of Pittsburgh has decided it somehow has the power to pass gun control laws of its own. In particular, they banned so-called “assault weapons” in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting last year.
Unsurprisingly, this sparked off a legal challenge almost immediately. As preemption laws have been held up to previous challenges throughout the country, this one probably will also.
The issue is, what would happen to all the people who are punished in the meantime? How many lives would be shattered before a legal challenge could finish worming its way through the courts?
Luckily, it looks like the answer is “zero.” For now, at least.
Attention gun owners: the city of Pittsburgh’s tough and controversial gun restrictions are now on hold.
“We have decided that we will not enforce the bill, but instead let the courts decide whether they pass the legal hurdles,” Mayor Bill Peduto told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
This is fantastic news for Pittsburgh gun owners. A law unenforced is a law that might as well not exist. It’s why Second Amendment sanctuaries scare the crap out of anti-gunners. If their draconian laws aren’t enforced, they’re nothing more than words on a piece of paper, and they know it.
With Pittsburgh making this “concession,” gun owners will be free to hold onto their property until the courts decide the issue.
Now, they may be supremely confident that they’ll win; thus, they can afford to wait a little while before kicking up enforcement efforts. Or, more likely, they know damn good and well that an injunction would be in the works if they didn’t agree to hold off.
Either way, this buys some precious time for the courts to (hopefully) slap Peduto down and remind him that even as the mayor of one of the largest cities in the state, he still has to follow state law. My only regret is that he won’t end up in a cozy little prison cell for his lawbreaking.
Right now, that has to be a secondary consideration.
The primary concern needs to be about making sure law-abiding gun owners aren’t either turned into criminals or forced to dispose of property they purchased legally because the powers that be think they can tell you that you can’t have it anymore.
For now, gun owners have some breathing room and can wait until the legal challenges are completed.
That said, don’t expect movement after the first decision. This is likely going to go through the whole rigamarole. My guess is it’ll end up in the state supreme court–though I don’t rule out efforts to land it before the United States Supreme Court. I doubt it, though. If the Court decided to hear the case, anyone with half a brain would have to believe that the heavily pro-gun Court would side with the city of Pittsburgh.
No, I suspect this will stay in state court until it goes as high as it can. At that point, it’ll likely get slapped down, and Peduto will be back to square one.
The only pity is that he won’t get anything more than that.