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Pittsburgh passes bill restricting assault-style guns

By
Danielle Haynes
The gun-control legislation came five months after a gunman used a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to kill 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
The gun-control legislation came five months after a gunman used a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to kill 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

April 2 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday passed gun-control legislation that bans some assault-style firearms and ammunition five months after a gunman opened fire inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue killing 11 people.

The council voted 6-3 to pass the legislation, which makes it illegal to load, brandish, display, discharge, point or use an assault weapon within city limits.

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"We're pretty happy we've gone through the process, we've made changes listening to a number of people," councilman Corey O'Connor said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think the colleagues who stuck with us were very brave in doing so, and even the colleagues who voted against wanted to a gun conversation."

The legislation also allows courts to temporarily remove weapons from people who appear to pose an "extreme risk" to others or themselves. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who helped author the bill, is expected to sign it.

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Authorities described one of the guns used in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting on Oct. 27 -- a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle -- as an assault rifle. The shooter also used three Clock .357 SIG semi-automatic pistols in the shooting that left 11 dead and six victims injured.

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Supporters and opponents of the new legislation attended Tuesday's city council meeting. The National Rifle Association said it plans to back a lawsuit challenging the city's definition of "large capacity magazine.

"Pittsburgh residents have a right to carry the self-defense tool that best suits their needs and the NRA is proud to support this challenge to the city's magazine ban," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

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