After the Tree of Life Synagogue murders, elected officials in Pittsburgh are considering how to avoid state-level preemption laws in order to strengthen gun regulation in the city. From Jon Delano, KDKA:
Mayor Peduto alluded to stronger gun control measures at the Rally for Peace last Friday.
“Strength is not about how many guns you have,” the mayor said. “Strength is made by the compassion of your heart. And let us gather today to make sure as we move forward, we move forward as one America, working on common sense reform that will end this type of violence.”
It’s still unclear what city officials are planning, says Councilman Corey O’Connor, who’s working with the mayor.
Shira Goodman, who is the executive director of CeaseFire PA, pointed to specific weak points in current state law, including license and permitting, waiting periods, training requirements, and background check loopholes. The barrier to Pittsburgh taking action on its own is that state law prevents cities from passing stronger gun regulations than the state. Combined with national legislation like Concealed Carry Reciprocity, preemption laws are another mechanism to subvert local control when it comes to gun regulation and force a one-size-fits-all approach to firearm laws in areas of states with dramatically different priorities when it comes to the issue.
If and how the city can get around these restrictions remains to be seen, and will set a precedent for other cities who are tired of having their rights to protect their people restricted.