Judge Dismisses Gun Laws Passed After Pittsburgh’s ‘Tree of Life’ Shooting

On Tuesday, a Pennsylvania Judge dismissed three assault weapon restrictions that were previously passed in Pittsburgh following the Tree of Life synagogue shooting that occurred last year.

The three bills passed recently restricted the use of assault weapons, extended magazines, and armor-piercing ammunition in public places within the city of Pittsburgh.

In addition, they allowed courts to temporarily remove guns from individuals deemed to pose a significant threat to themselves or others.

the Tree of Life synagogue
A makeshift memorial stands outside the Tree of Life synagogue in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 29, 2018. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

The ordinances were signed into law by Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, 11 months after a gunman killed 11, mostly elderly worshipers, on Oct. 27, 2018. According to police, the shooter used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns to carry out the attack.

According to the Star Tribune, council members who opposed the bills—having doubts the legislation would ever go into effect—referred to it as a waste of time and money.

A lawsuit was later filed against the city by several groups including Firearm Owners Against Crime which resulted in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James, ruling the ordinances “void and unenforceable,” citing the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act.

According to the judge, the law “preempts any local regulation pertaining to the regulation of firearms.” The judge also noted that city officials “are not able to avoid the obvious intent of the Legislature.”

Attorney Joshua Prince, who represents Firearms Owners Against Crime and other groups involved in the lawsuit said, “we are extremely pleased with Judge James’ decision today striking down the City of Pittsburgh’s unlawful firearm ordinances and signage, which only sought to eviscerate the inviolate right of the residents of the Commonwealth to keep and bear arms and ensnare law-abiding citizens through a patchwork of laws.”

Peduto’s spokesman, Timothy McNulty, said in a statement, that the city plans to appeal the ruling.

“The city and its outside legal counsel have always expected this would be a long legal fight, and will continue to fight for the right to take commonsense steps to prevent future gun violence,” he said.

The city attempted a similar assault-weapon ban 1993, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court however, was quick to overturn the measure ruling that officials had gone too far.

New Texas Gun Laws Provide More Freedom on Where Guns Can Be Carried

Another case of gun restrictions being mitigated is happening in Texas, where a host of new laws went into effect, according to reports.

guns
A woman inspects a firearm in an exhibit hall at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center during the NRA’s annual convention in Dallas, TX on May 6, 2018. (Loren Elliott/AFP/Getty Images)

The laws include the lessening of restrictions for carrying guns on the premises of houses of worship, on school grounds, during disasters, and more.

The laws were passed during the state’s last legislative session that ended in June. The new laws went into effect in Sept. 1.

Colin Fredericson and the CNN News Wire contributed to this report.