PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Everytown Law represents the City of Pittsburgh in a trio of lawsuits arising out of the passage of three gun-violence-prevention ordinances passed in the wake of the horrific massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018. Gun rights activists immediately sued the city for daring to pass gun violence ordinances. The ordinances include:
- A prohibition relating to the use of assault weapons, certain ammunition and firearm accessories and large capacity magazines;
- A call on the state legislature to more broadly prohibit assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and a local ordinance intended to do the same, but which becomes effective only if and after an action by the state legislature or state supreme court permit cities to enact their own such ordinances;
- A Red Flag law which provides a judicial framework for families and law enforcement officers to petition for a court-issued Extreme Risk Protection Order, which temporarily restricts a person’s access to firearms when they pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others;
- A Child Access Prevention law which creates a civil penalty if a minor gains access to and uses a firearm, and the firearm’s custodian knew or reasonably should have known that a minor was likely to gain access to the Firearm.
On the day the ordinances were signed by the mayor, two lawsuits were filed challenging the power of the city to pass the ordinances and seeking a declaration that they are invalid. In a third suit, filed in 1994, plaintiffs are seeking to hold the City of Pittsburgh in contempt because, the plaintiffs allege, the ordinance violates a 1995 settlement agreement.
On October 29, 2019 the trial court held that the Ordinances were preempted by state law. The City announced its intent to appeal. On November 19, 2019 the Court rejected the plaintiff’s petition for contempt.