Pittsburgh Mayor Gainey calls for ‘commonsense gun control’ legislation

·3 min read

Mayor Ed Gainey and other city leaders called on state legislators Monday to implement “common-sense gun control” legislation.

Gainey said that if legislators are not going to implement such legislation at the state level, then he and city leaders want the power to do it locally.

“We are begging our legislators in Harrisburg. Give us the right to fight for the lives of our children. Give us that right,” Gainey said.

The mayor, along with city council members and other local leaders, came together this morning outside the City-County Building.

Gainey had one demand.

“Give us the right to ban military-style assault weapons in our streets. Give us a right to deal with our children getting these guns. 15, 16, 17-year-olds getting guns,” Gainey said.

Dwan Walker, the mayor of Aliquippa, also attended this event.

He said that local problems require local solutions.

“We’re not alone. We still need the state, federal. We still need everyone. All hands on deck for it to get down to the municipalities like Pittsburgh and Aliquippa and Beaver Falls and Midland and Homewood. It needs to make sense that way and then we can work this thing together. No one’s asking to be alone in this thing. We can’t do this alone,” Walker said.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed a gun violence compromise bill passed by Congress, the most significant legislation lawmakers have passed in decades. The legislation contains enhanced background checks and closes the “boyfriend loophole,” which allowed dating partners of people convicted of domestic violence to still purchase or possess firearms. The legislation also pours federal money into mental health resources and schools.

In the beginning of June, Gainey announced his “Plan for Peace.” It treats gun violence in the city as a public health issue. One part of this includes making police more visible in areas where violent crime is most prevalent, such as the South Side.

The city of Pittsburgh experienced more gun violence over the weekend.

Surveillance video captured the sound of gunshots and a car speeding off in the South Side around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Pittsburgh police said three women were shot on 12th Street between Carson and Sarah streets. All three were taken to the hospital.

Also on Saturday, a bulletproof vest likely saved a Pittsburgh police officer’s life when he was shot. A Pittsburgh officer responded to a shooting on Brownsville Road. Police chased an armed suspect into Mount Oliver, and that was where county police said the suspect fired and hit the officer in the chest. Police Chief Scott Schubert said the officer is out of the hospital and doing OK. Julian Reese-Krasausky, 21, was arrested. Police said he was shot as well, but it appears it happened during the initial call for a shooting on Brownsville Road. Police said this shooting happened at an after-hours club, where a man and a woman were also both shot in the legs. Allegheny County police have taken over this investigation.

On Sunday, two men showed up to the hospital with gunshot wounds. One of them died. He has been identified as 39-year-old Joseph Mitchell. Detectives are still working to determine where this shooting happened.

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