Mayor Jim Kenney joined Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell on Tuesday to sign an executive order banning guns and other lethal weapons from the city’s recreational facilities, including recreation centers, plazas, fields, playgrounds and swimming pools . There have been nearly 200 incidents of gun violence in city parks and recreational facilities since 2019. Most recently, Tiffany Fletcher, a dedicated PPR worker, was tragically killed on September 9 while performing her duties at a municipal playground.
“It is ruthless for anyone to bring lethal weapons to where our town’s children gather to play,” Kenney said. “We will not tolerate the endangerment of children and families while they are in the care of our precious common spaces and we must do everything we can to protect the public as well as the dedicated staff who run these facilities. Banning guns in indoor and outdoor recreational facilities across our city is a critical step in protecting our public spaces and preventing the senseless violence that killed Tiffany Fletcher.”
“The staff at Parks & Recreation work tirelessly to serve our city’s children and families,” said Lovell. “We are banning guns from recreational facilities to protect Philadelphia’s children and families and our valued employees from gun violence and to restore a sense of security to our playgrounds, pools, recreational areas, fields and recreation centers.”
Since 2019, nearly 200 reported incidents of gun violence have occurred at city recreational facilities, in addition to dozens of other incidents of deadly weapon violence. Clear gun ban signs will be posted at the city’s 159 recreation centers. The ban on firearms and deadly weapons applies to active recreational spaces – including buildings, plazas, fields, playgrounds and swimming pools. Exceptions exist for law enforcement agencies and certain security professionals.
“These spaces belong to the residents and families of the city of Philadelphia. This executive order is a major step forward in preventing senseless violence that compromises the safety of children, families and employees in places that should be safe,” said Deputy Mayor Vanessa Garrett Harley of the Office of Children and Families. “We continue to work with law enforcement and community organizations to prevent gun violence, including working with county police captains to ensure a regular police presence in and around recreation centers in high-risk areas during hours of active programming.”
The city encourages anyone with information regarding these heinous acts of violence to call 215-686-TIPS. Reports can be made anonymously.