Hundreds of Gun Owners Rally in Pittsburgh to Oppose AR-15 Ban

Last month, lawmakers in Pittsburgh introduced legislation that would ban semiautomatic weapons such as the AR-15, since it was the weapon of choice for the Tree of Life synagogue shooter in October.

The legislation is championed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who believes “the goal is to start small and eventually change the laws in Harrisburg.”

However gun owners in Pennsylvania contend that the city has no such authority to pass this legislation. 2nd amendment enthusiast Justin Dillon argues that it is unlawful for Peduto and the city council to restrict the right to bear arms, and that only the state government can draft firearm legislation.

Dillon and a number of other Pennsylvania gun owners outraged by the proposed legislation decided to organize a protest in front of the mayor’s office to voice their concerns. With just three weeks to organize, Dillon was able to draw a large crowd of about 600 gun owners to join him on the steps of the City-County building to let it be known that they will not comply with their unlawful edicts. The event was appropriately titled¬†We Will Not Comply.

Dillon invited a handful of activists to speak alongside him, including national gun rights activist Kaitlin Bennett. In her speech, Bennett called Mayor Peduto “Mayor Potato Head,” and challenged him to confiscate people’s firearms himself.

At the conclusion of the rally, Dillon, Bennett, and others entered into the City-County Building in hopes of having a discussion with Mayor Peduto about the legislation. To their disappointment, the mayor was not present. 

They proceeded to seek out a council member to get a comment on the legislation, only to be told by a secretary that no council members were present. However as soon as they walked in, city council members could be seen scurrying away and shooing others not to walk past the front desk.

Overall, Dillon was very satisfied with the outcome of his rally, but dissatisfied with the lack of communication and professionalism from city council.

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