'Playgrounds are no place for a gun': Mayor Kenney bans deadly weapons from Philadelphia rec spaces

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order banning guns from recreation spaces and facilities as deadly violence continues to plague the city.

"We will not tolerate the endangerment of children and families while they are in the care of our treasured community spaces," Kenney said during a press conference Tuesday. "We must do everything we can to protect the public, as well as the dedicated staff that make these facilities run."

Guns and other deadly weapons will be banned from 159 public places across Philadelphia, including recreation center buildings, athletic courts, fields, playgrounds and pools.

"Pools, playgrounds and rec centers are no place for a gun," the mayor said. "It's unconscionable that anyone would bring deadly weapons to places where our city's children gather."

The gun ban comes just one day after the funeral of recreation worker Tiffany Fletcher, a mother who police say was shot and killed by a teenager earlier this month.

Kenney says "senseless violence" claimed Fletcher's life, calling her funeral "one of the hardest" he ever attended.


Philadelphia's recreation facilities have become the scene of nearly 200 "gun battles, incidents of violence and loss of life" since 2019, according to Parks and Rec 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," Lovell said.

Last month, two shootings erupted at recreational spaces across the city; with almost 100 rounds fired in West Philadelphia and a 23-year-old man paralyzed after a Kensington basketball court shooting.

Kenney says this order will give rec center employees "protection and some peace of mind" to contact police if they see someone carrying a firearm into any indoor or outdoor facility.