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‘Common-sense' gun measures to be introduced in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh leaders released “common-sense” gun measures Friday meant to make city streets, schools, places of worship and families safer.

Three bills will be introduced Tuesday to city council: an assault weapons ban; an accessories, ammunition and modification ban; and an adoption of Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

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City officials vowed to take action after October's deadly mass shooting at Squirrel Hill’s Tree of Life synagogue.

The assault weapons ban would make 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 semi-automatic rifle used in the Tree of Life shooting,” a news release said.

Meanwhile, the accessories, ammunition and modification ban would bar items such as bump stocks, armor-penetrating bullets, sawed-off rifles and large capacity magazines. Those items are often used in mass shootings, officials said.


“Adoption of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) 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,” the news release said.

City and state leaders were joined by gun violence victims and advocates to announce the measures Friday, the anniversary of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Officials hope the bills, which will be subject to weeks of debates and hearings, can be approved by Feb. 14 -- the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

While the legislation would tighten gun laws, the city has a gun ordinance on the books it doesn’t enforce.

In 2008, an ordinance went into effect requiring city residents to report if their firearms had been lost or stolen. If a weapon is stolen and they don’t report it, they could face some responsibility if the gun is used to commit a crime and traced back to them.

State Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Ellwood City) believes cities and municipalities can’t pass restrictions on gun owners because of the Pennsylvania Crime Code.