When the city of Pittsburgh passed their gun control bill in defiance of state law, one of the measures was a restriction on magazine capacity. The moment the proposal was passed, it sparked the inevitable lawsuit.
One part of the lawsuit, of course, regards the magazine limit.
It seems that the city is arguing that concerns about the magazine limit are “erroneous” in a legal brief filed last week.
The brief, filed Tuesday, argues that the plaintiffs misinterpreted the city’s ordinance as a “ban” on large-capacity magazines — defined as holding more than 10 ammunition rounds — when the law states that what is prohibited is “use” in public places.
“As a result, there is no genuine dispute between the parties and the Plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the [large capacity magazine] ordinance,” the brief reads.
The new city law, which is currently not being enforced, defines “use” of large-capacity magazines in public places as employing or attempting to discharge the magazine; loading it with ammunition; installing it into a firearm; or brandishing it or displaying it with a firearm while it is loaded.
Violators could face up to a $1,000 fine for each offense.
“’[U]se’ of a Large Capacity Magazine does not include possession, ownership, transportation or transfer,” the law states. Public places “does not include a private home or residence or any duly established site for the sale or transfer of Firearms or for Firearm training, practice or competition,” it continues.
However, it does include stepping outside of your home. In other words, if you have a larger-capacity magazine and use it to protect yourself or another individual outside of the four walls of your home, you’re guilty of breaking the law.
To say you can have something but not make any use of it whatsoever, but that it doesn’t constitute a ban is erroneous in and of itself. To claim that simply because you’re allowed to have something, even if you can’t use it for anything more than a paperweight, the plaintiffs have no standing is nothing more than yet another attempt by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and his minions to circumvent the Second Amendment.
Additionally, all of these bills run afoul of the state’s preemption law which prohibits municipalities from creating their own gun control laws. As things stand, the state won’t hammer them simply because the law isn’t enforced. An unenforced law might as well not exist.
The problem is that they will enforce it, though, which is why this lawsuit is taking place.
Claiming the plaintiffs lack standing is an old tactic to derail a lawsuit before it can get started, so I’m not surprised they employed it. Mostly I’m amazed that they did so in such a pathetic and obviously invalid manner. Anyone with half a brain can look at the law and see that it’s basically a ban on larger-capacity magazines by any meaningful measure.
Of course, with activist judges, that doesn’t mean it won’t become an issue for the plaintiffs. Here’s hoping the judge has some good sense and recognizes the brief’s claim for what it is, a pile of male bovine excrement.