Message to residents: No guns when visiting indoor or outdoor recreation facilities in the City of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Today Mayor Jim Kenney joined Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell to sign an Executive Order banning guns and other deadly weapons from City recreation facilities, including rec center buildings, courts, fields, playgrounds, and pools. There have been nearly 300 incidents of gun violence at City parks and recreation facilities since 2019. Most recently Tiffany Fletcher, a dedicated PPR employee, was tragically killed on Friday, September 9 while performing her duties at a City playground.

“It is unconscionable that anyone would bring deadly weapons where our city’s children gather to play,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “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.”

“Parks & Recreation staff work tirelessly in service to the children and families of our city,” said 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.”

Since 2019, nearly 200 reported incidents of gun violence have occurred at City recreation facilities, in addition to dozens of other incidents of violence with a deadly weapon. Clear signage about the weapons ban will be posted across the City’s 159 recreation centers. The firearms and deadly weapons ban applies to active recreation spaces—including buildings, courts, fields, playgrounds, and pools. Exceptions exist for law enforcement 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 towards preventing the senseless violence that is interfering with the safety of children, families and staff in what should be safe places,” said Deputy Mayor Vanessa Garrett Harley, Office of Children and Families. “We continue to work with law enforcement and community organizations to prevent gun violence, including working hand-in-hand with District Police Captains to ensure regular police presence at and around rec centers in high risk areas during hours of active programming.”

The City encourages anyone with information about these heinous acts of violence to call 215-686-TIPS. Reports can be made anonymously.

The full Executive Order is available in its entirety online.