Philly Bans Guns in City Parks

Mayor approves bill but gun ban still has hurdles to clear

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Apr 4, 2013  |  Updated 11:20 AM EDT
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Philly Bans Guns in City Parks

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Mayor Nutter signed a bill this week that bans guns at Philadelphia playgrounds and recreation centers.

If you are caught with a gun in a Philly recreational park the bill, which amends the city's "Public Property" code, makes it that you can face a fine up to $2,000 if you bring a deadly weapon "in or around city-owned and occupied facilities."

“There’s no reason to have a firearm at a public playground,” said bill sponsor Councilwoman Cindy Bush.

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Currently the city owns about 10,000 acres of open space ranging from athletic field to parks to pools to rec centers. Police records show that there have been more than 50 shootings at rec centers and playgrounds since 2010.

The measure could be difficult to enforce. The hope of its supporters is to add a deterrent to anyone who might think of bringing a gun.

“Obviously we’re not going to have folks searched as they enter the facility but we want to send a message,” Bass said.

Police records show that there have been more than 50 shootings at rec centers and playgrounds since 2010.

Councilman David Oh, one of two council members to vote against Bill No. 130065, argues that the ban hurts legal handgun owners since in most shooting cases at city parks have involved illegal guns.

“There’s not one case that has indicted that the criminal involved was a legal handgun owner,” he told NBC10’s Daralene Jones.

The ban may be short-lived. Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act of 1995 makes it illegal for any county, municipality or township to regulate an individual’s possession of firearms. The law has led other towns to reexamine or repeal firearm bans at parks, reported NBC10.com’s Vince Lattanzio.

 


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