Kenney signs executive order to ban guns at Philadelphia playgrounds, rec centers

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City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and other city officials gathered Tuesday to sign an executive order banning guns and other deadly weapons from city recreation facilities.

The move comes after the tragic death of 41-year-old Tiffany Fletcher, a Philadelphia Parks & Recreation employee who was killed by a stray bullet on Sept. 9 at the Mill Creek Recreation Center on the 4700 block of Brown Street in West Philly.

Under the new order, no one carrying firearms or other deadly weapons is permitted at Philadelphia’s 159 recreation centers, which includes playgrounds, fields, courts, fields, and city pools.

The exception includes any law enforcement and professional security personnel.

“Banning guns from indoor and outdoor recreational facilities throughout our city is a critical step to protecting our public spaces and preventing the senseless violence that claimed Tiffany Fletcher’s life,” said Kenney in a statement.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell added, “We are banning weapons from recreation facilities to protect the children and families of Philadelphia, and our treasured staff, from gun violence and to restore a sense of safety to our playgrounds, pools, recreational courts, fields, and rec centers.”

Officials say there have been nearly 200 incidents of gun violence at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation facilities since 2019. As of Sept. 26, a total of 400 people have been killed by gun violence across Philadelphia, according to police data.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office also supports the mayor’s executive order banning guns in Parks and Recreation facilities.

DA Office Communications Director Jane Roh issued a statement to Metro that reads in part:

“DA Larry Krasner is supportive of commonsense restrictions on deadly firearms, which our city and country are sorely lacking because of legislative negligence by Congress and the majority of PA lawmakers in the General Assembly… It simply makes sense for City Hall to do everything it can to reduce the presence of deadly firearms in every public space it controls.”

Officials encourage residents with information surrounding any crime or acts of violence in the city to contact 215-686-TIPS. All calls can remain anonymous.

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