Mayor Jim Kenney recently signed an executive order banning guns and other deadly weapons from recreation facilities throughout the city, including rec center buildings, courts, fields, playgrounds and pools.
The ban comes amid a noticeable rise in gun violence at city parks and other recreational facilities. Most recently, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation employee Tiffany Fletcher was killed outside of a city park on Friday, Sept. 9.
“It is unconscionable that anyone would bring deadly weapons where our city’s children gather to play,” Kenney said in a press release. “We will not tolerate the endangerment of children and families while they are in the care of our treasured community spaces, and we must do everything we can to protect the public, as well as the dedicated staff that make these facilities run. 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.”
Throughout the city’s 159 recreation centers, clear signage will be posted regarding the ban. It will apply to active recreation spaces with exceptions existing only for law enforcement and certain security professionals.
According to the mayor’s office, there have been nearly 200 reported incidents of gun violence at recreation facilities throughout the city since 2019.
“Parks & Recreation staff work tirelessly in service to the children and families of our city,” said PPR Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “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.”