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Pittsburgh's New Gun Legislation Includes A Red Flag Rule

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The new gun legislation signed into effect by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto yesterday includes a red flag rule, which allows authorities to temporarily seize guns from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

A red flag rule is also known as an extreme risk protection order. In the case of Pittsburgh's rule, a petition for an extreme protection order can be filed by a law enforcement officer, or a family or household member of a person believed to present a serious risk of harm to themselves or someone else.

The court ultimately determines whether an extreme risk protection order is warranted. If such an order is issued, an individual has 24 hours to relinquish their firearms into the custody of law enforcement.

Pittsburgh City Council passed the package of firearms bills by a vote of 6-3 last week.

The new legislation also bans the use of military-style assault weapons within city limits and most uses of high-capacity magazines.

No red flag rule currently exists in Pennsylvania state law, but a bill that includes such a rule was referred to the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee last Friday.

And on Monday, anti-gun violence advocates took to the state Capitol to press legislators to act on that bill.

As that fight drags on in the Legislature, Pittsburgh could have its own red flag rule in effect in as soon as 60 days -- if a judge allows the newly-signed legislation to pass, which could prove difficult.

State law prohibits local regulation of guns and ammunition, and a coalition of gun-rights groups filed suit just minutes after Peduto signed the bills.

Additionally, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe called for the mayor's impeachment on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, saying "I just asked our attorney to have a resolution drafted to IMPEACH the Mayor of Pittsburgh for his illegal gun control ordinances!"

But Mayor Peduto has said he's aware the laws won't go unchallenged. City Council members watered down the legislation before passing it in an effort to make it more likely to survive a court challenge.

After last week's vote, the mayor said, "We're not surprised by the lawsuit, we anticipated it. We look forward to the next part of the challenge, through the court system."

He offered assurances to city residents that they will be not be burdened with any lawsuit-related costs.

"We will be represented by Everytown, a national organization that will be putting a team of lawyers in place for us," Mayor Peduto said.


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