State Rep. Aaron Bernstine campaigned for Second Amendment rights yesterday morning in Pittsburgh, while at the same time criticizing that city council’s bills that would ban semi-automatic rifles and certain ammunition in the city.
Last month, Pittsburgh city council introduced bills after the October massacre at Tree of Life synagogue, where 11 people were killed.
Bernstine, whose office represents a portion of Lawrence County, posted video of his speech to his Facebook page.
“I wanted to let you guys know its is good to be here with gun carrying, flag waving, national anthem singing, patriot bunch of deplorables,” Bernstine said to the crowd in his opening remarks.
“We continue to have our Second Amendment rights protected each and every day. Thank you for being here. Thank you so much for officers and first responders. Give them a round of applause.”
Bernstine specifically called out Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto “because of a clear violation” of the Constitutional amendment calling the proposals “a political stunt by the district attorney of Allegheny County, city council and Mayor Peduto.”
“Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania state Constitution is very clear,” Bernstine said. “The rights of the citizens to bear arms to defend themselves shall not be questioned.
“This is example of laws being passed when the people in this building themselves failed to obey the laws. We will not stand for it now. We will not stand for it ever. This mayor, this council and this district attorney are breaking the law.”
One crowd member then shouted “Will someone please charge him!”
Bernstine told the crowd the city of Pittsburgh does not have the authority to pass such ordinances.
Bernstine did recognize one woman who was in attendance who supported the measures.
“There is a woman over there that says ‘Keep your guns away from our kids,’” Bernstine said. “Well let me tell you something, ma’am. We will keep our guns away from your kids until they need protected. Then these people will be right here ready to protect your kids.”
Bernstine went back to addressing the crowd.
“Real quick, listen, this is important,” Bernstine said as silence washed over the crowd. “She has a right to be here just like we do as long as she is not causing a disturbance. Ma’am, continue to listen and I guarantee by the end of this we might change your mind.”
“I want to know if the people out here are in favor of a total ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms? Are we in favor of a ban on several common firearm accessories and capacity magazines? Are we in favor — listen to this — of allowing the confiscation of individual firearms without the due process of law?
“Hey mayor, listen up, they said ‘No.’”
Bernstine said the proposals are designed to ban assault weapons and they it will be “unlawful to manufacture, sell or hold in one’s possession.”
“I am trying to figure out what an assault weapon is, but it seems to me it is one of these made up unicorn, snowflake terms,” Bernstine said.
Bernstine told the crowd he was there to “protect the Constitution” and “Mr. Mayor do not go after the Constitution. Go after the criminals.”
He then urged concerned citizens to contact their local representatives.
“I will finish with this,” Bernstine said. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and the mayor and his cronies are trying to force these ordinance on law abiding citizens. We say no to them and say no to any other local government. God bless you. God bless America. God bless our Second Amendment rights.”