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Gun Advocates Attempt To File Private Criminal Complaints Over New Gun Legislation

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- About a dozen city residents showed up at Municipal Court Friday morning angry about new gun legislation and hoping to file private criminal complaints; however, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office says it's too early to do so.

Residents came determined and prepared, peppering questions such as why they weren't able to file complaints in their fight against the city's new gun control legislation.

They say what Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council did was illegal.

"Where is the justice for us? Where is the justice for people who are having their constitutional rights abridged by the criminals in the City Council and the criminal Mayor Peduto," said Dr. Vals Finnell, a gun advocate who is fighting the new gun control legislation.

But Mayor Peduto said the community has come together "to say enough is enough" when he signed the legislation earlier in the week.

"Change doesn't happen on its own. Change only happens when you challenge the status quo," said Peduto.

Watch Lindsay Ward's report --


The legislation was introduced last year after the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Eleven people were killed when a gunman opened fire during services, and seven others were wounded.

KDKA's cameras were held back while the discussion was happening inside Municipal Court on Friday morning. However, we did learn that the District Attorney's Office called the legislation a process and that no complaints can be filed right now.

"He's actually expecting someone to violate the law and stick their neck out and suffer personal consequences in order to challenge this, to file a criminal complaint," said Finnell.


"They're going to force me to fall on a sword to move this forward, it's very obvious to all of us city residents that the mayor broke the law," said Tony Golembiewski, who wanted to file a private criminal complaint.

Some say it's those in the city that will suffer the most from this legislation, which will take effect in June and in August.

"We have firearms at home, we can't go to our camps through the city, a lot of us have camps can't go to them in the city and carry our firearms to camp," says Michael Roberts, who doesn't support the legislation.

Even though the city residents weren't able to accomplish what they wanted to do today, they say they will be back and the fight is not over.

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