City councilman: Upcoming gun expo not welcome in Pittsburgh

City councilman: Upcoming gun expo not welcome in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh city councilman told Channel 11 an upcoming gun show is not welcome in the city.

His comments come on the heels of a story Target 11 broke Tuesday night that the city is preparing for a legal battle over legislation it will introduce to ban assault-style weapons.

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Councilman Ricky Burgess said gun violence in our community has to stop and stopping gun shows is a logical step in the right direction.

But opponents say the gun show is about training and education.


"After the horrific incident incident in Squirrel Hill, we still have families mourning that incident," Burgess said. "I think it's a bad time to have a gun show. Second of all, I think gun shows are a bad idea."

The Sports and Exhibition Authority will be holding a concealed carry gun show expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention next May.

In a letter the councilman said:

"From the day I took office in 2008 to the end of last year, 549 of our loved ones were murdered in Pittsburgh. Over 80% of them were murdered with guns, and more than 75% of them were African-American."

"Guns are the problem if you take away the problem you will reduce homicide," Burgess said.

The president of the U.S. Conceal and Carry Association told Channel 11:

"This is an event that will bring training, education and an extra measure of safety to all those who attend.  We would encourage Council member Burgess and any others who may have mistaken, pre-conceived notions about responsibly armed Americans to join us."

Burgess isn't alone in trying to curb gun violence. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto intends to introduce the legislation to City Council next week on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook mass shooting in 2012.

According to Burgess, he supports the mayor's efforts and said it's up to political leaders to take a stand.

"We have to advocate to reduce guns and gun violence and we have to make it a priority in our city and region," Burgess said.

Channel 11 contacted the Sports and Exhibition Authority, who said they received the letter and are reviewing it.