Manatt Files Amicus Briefs in Support of Pittsburgh’s Requests to Appeal Gun Ordinance Decision

Manatt filed two amicus briefs in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of Brady, an organization focused on gun violence prevention, supporting the City of Pittsburgh’s requests to appeal rulings (Firearm Owners Against Crime, et al. v. City of Pittsburgh, et al.) that invalidated three municipal ordinances promulgated by the City of Pittsburgh in the wake of the October 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation, a Jewish synagogue. 
Pittsburgh’s ordinances addressed specified uses of assault weapons in public places, prohibited the use of armor-piercing ammunition and large-capacity magazines, and created a process for removing firearms from an individual who presents a danger to themselves or others. The ordinances were struck down by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.   
Brady argues in the briefs that the court holdings relied on a 26-year-old state Supreme Court decision, Ortiz v. Commonwealth, and are not supported by a plain reading of Pennsylvania statutes. The briefs also explain that protecting people from gun violence has historically been the responsibility of localities, and it asserts that Pittsburgh has a right to govern itself.  
“A city’s ability to protect its citizens from gun violence—particularly where the State’s laws do not address the difference between its rural and urban communities—is an issue of vital public importance, and one this Court should address,” Brady said. 
The Manatt team that worked on the briefs included Partners Andrew Morrison, Benjamin Shatz and Jacqueline Wolff and Associate Thomas Worger


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