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Pittsburgh Agrees Not To Enforce Gun Ban While Courts Deal With Lawsuits

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A county court issued a stay Monday to prevent the city of Pittsburgh from enforcing the city’s recently approved gun rules until legal challenges by gun-rights groups are resolved.

Plaintiff and city attorneys agreed to the stay after meeting Monday morning before Judge Joseph James in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

“We want to make sure the public is aware of the fact that these ordinances are stayed and that there’s not going to be any enforcement of these ordinances until Judge James has an opportunity to decide the matter,” Joshua Prince, one of the plaintiff attorneys, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Plaintiffs, who include Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League and Firearm Owners Against Crime, as well as three individuals, filed lawsuits against the city April 9, the same day that Mayor Bill Peduto signed three new gun-control bills into law, according to the Tribune.

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The bills restrict the use of AR-15s, ban “large capacity” gun magazines of more than 10 rounds, and allows courts to temporarily take guns from people who are deemed threats, the Tribune reproted.

The laws were proposed after the Tree Of Life Synagogue shooting in October 2018 that killed 11 people. The city council voted 6-3 in favor of the laws April 2. City residents who already own guns or equipment subject to the new laws will be grandfathered.

Attorneys for Everytown for Gun Safety, an anti-gun organization founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is defending the city of Pittsburgh for free.

“We are here because the city has passed ordinances that we believe advance the cause of gun safety (and) will prevent future gun violence, and we are here to defend those laws on behalf of the city,” said Eric Tirschwell, litigation director for the group.

Pittsburgh faces two other lawsuits over the gun laws, including one brought by the National Rifle Association (NRA) specifically challenging the magazine ban, and one brought by four individuals “who will be forced to alter their behavior and to incur additional expense” under the new regulations, according to the Post-Gazette.

The status of other litigation is not known at this time.

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