proposed laws

PA Bill Number: HB102

Title: In hunting and furtaking licenses, further providing for eligibility for license.

Description: In hunting and furtaking licenses, further providing for eligibility for license. ...

Last Action: Referred to GAME AND FISHERIES

Last Action Date: May 24, 2019

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South Fayette Township Municipal Building 515 Millers Run Road, Morgan, PA

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South Fayette Township Municipal Building 515 Millers Run Road, Morgan, PA

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Mayor Peduto wants mayors across the nation to join local gun legislation fight :: 12/06/2018

Mayor Bill Peduto contacted dozens of mayors across the nation this week, asking them to join Pittsburgh in introducing local gun legislation possibly as soon as Friday — and which will most likely be challenged in court.

Mr. Peduto wrote the letter to approximately 60 mayors just six weeks after a gunman killed 11 worshipers in the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill and days before the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

“I am writing you today because this is not the America anybody wants, where schools put children through active shooter training, our parents and grandparents can't safely enter houses of worship, and where people are killed in broad daylight because of their race, gender, religion or identity,” an email sent Monday read.

“It is time to come together again to take on the gun manufacturing lobbyists, and to increase our commitment at a local level to challenge the system of laws that encourage massacres and take the lives of our friends and family every single day in the United States of America,” it continued.

Drafts of three local gun-reform bills were attached to the email letter sent to the mayors. The bills have not been made public. They are being written in conjunction with city council.

The mayor’s mailing list included a “diverse list” of cities, including those that have experienced recent mass shootings.

Mayoral offices in Las Vegas and Orlando confirmed receipt of the letter.

Both cities were the site of recent mass shootings. A gunman killed 58 concertgoers in Oct. 2017 in Las Vegas when he opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. In June 2016, a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49.

“Mayor [Buddy] Dyer believes local governments know best how to meet the needs of our communities, residents and businesses,” Cassandra Anne Lafser, the Orlando mayor’s press secretary, wrote in an email Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the State of Florida has prevented cities from enacting policies that keep our residents safe from gun violence.”

Following the mass shooting of 17 students and staff members at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, multiple Florida municipalities filed a lawsuit, attempting to prove the state preemption law unconstitutional. Orlando was one of the cities, Ms. Lafser said. 

Pennsylvania law preempts the local regulation of the “lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components.”

“I know that the mayor and city council expect that there may be some legal fight on it. But I think they, like other cities and mayors, are angry and frustrated,” said Shira Goodman, executive director of the gun-reform advocacy group CeaseFirePA. Gun rights advocates have successfully challenged many local laws restricting firearms. 

The National Rifle Association did not respond to request for comment.

Robert Bowers, the man accused of the Oct. 27 Squirrel Hill massacre, used an AR-15 assault rifle and three Glock .357 handguns, all legally purchased, according to authorities.

Mayor Peduto’s office has been in “significant communication back and forth with a number of different cities” since the letter went out, said Dan Gilman, the mayor’s chief of staff.

The letter asked the mayors to join Mr. Peduto in announcing legislation on Dec. 14, the anniversary of Sandy Hook.

However, Mr. Gilman said Wednesday that the date has not been finalized yet for the announcement of the legislation. In general, legislation that goes before city council is normally expected in council offices by the Friday before its introduction. Council brings up new legislation on Tuesdays.

Mr. Peduto is still in discussions with council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger, said the mayor’s spokesperson Timothy McNulty.

Mr. O’Connor and Ms. Strassburger’s districts both include portions of Squirrel Hill; the Tree of Life synagogue building at the intersection of Shady and Wilkins avenues is located in Ms. Strassburger’s district.

Neither council member could be reached for comment Wednesday.

“We are hoping to continue and provide momentum in a national effort among mayors to create common-sense gun reform in America,” Mr. Gilman said. “We can’t as a city stand idly by while a week doesn’t go by without a mass shooting that senselessly takes a life too soon.”

Ashley Murray: 412-263-1750,, or on Twitter at @Ashley__Murray