Judge strikes down assault weapons ordinances passed in Pittsburgh following Tree of Life shooting


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A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday struck down three assault weapon restrictions passed in Pittsburgh after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting last year.

The three bills restrict the use of assault weapons, extended magazines and armor-piercing ammunition in public places within the city of Pittsburgh, and allow courts to temporarily take guns away from individuals deemed to pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto signed the ordinances into law 11 months after a gunman killed 11 mostly elderly worshipers on October 27, 2018. Police said the shooter used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack.

Several groups including Firearm Owners Against Crime filed a lawsuit against the city over the ordinances. Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James ruled the ordinances were “void and unenforceable,” citing the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act in his opinion.

The law “preempts any local regulation pertaining to the regulation of firearms,” the judge wrote.

In a statement, Peduto’s spokesman, Timothy McNulty, said the city plans to appeal the ruling.

“The city and its outside legal counsel have always expected this would be a long legal fight, and will continue to fight for the right to take commonsense steps to prevent future gun violence,” he said.

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