Gun rights advocates trying to push Pittsburgh's mayor out of office

Gun rights advocates trying to push Pittsburgh's mayor out of office

PITTSBURGH — Some gun rights advocates are now trying to push Pittsburgh's mayor out of office and possibly have him criminally charged over his gun control plans.

Republican ward Chair Brooke Nadonley, of Mt. Washington, and Val Finnell, of Firearms Owners Against Crime, made the rounds Monday at the Allegheny County Courthouse, trying to file a petition to impeach Bill Peduto.

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"One of the grounds of his malfeasance, which would be the attempt to manipulate and change Pennsylvania gun laws," Nadonley said.

Impeachment is a long shot, and likely won't get any traction, but it appears likely that some of the advocates will file private criminal complaints against the mayor and City Council.

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It would be up to the Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala whether to pursue them.

Nadonley and Finnell met briefly with Zappala after he sent a letter to council advising them that the legislation is unconstitutional.

Finnell asked Zappala about filing a private criminal complaint against council and the mayor if the legislation passes.

"He was extremely helpful, he told us exactly where and how to file it, and also he made some comments that he was very supportive of the second amendment," Finnell said.

As for impeachment proceedings, they were told they needed to file a motion along with the petition of signatures.

The mayor's spokesman called it a joke and waste of time, saying "...some opponents of the city's proposed reforms would rather make goofy attempts to harass elected officials than actually engage in constructive debate on how to prevent the gun massacres."

A similar effort to impeach Tom Murphy when he was Pittsburgh's mayor was thrown out after a judge ruled that only state lawmakers had the authority to impeach elected officials.

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"We are willing to go to battle over this just as our council and mayor are attempting to violate Pennsylvania law," Nadonley said.

She plans to consult with an attorney and then file papers to begin the impeachment process.

If a judge allows them to proceeds, there would be a citizens review committee and they would ultimately report to City Council and the presiding judge would make the final decision.