|Posted:||January 6, 2021 10:37 AM|
|From:||Senator Vincent J. Hughes|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Prohibiting Weapons in Public Parks|
|In the near future I plan on reintroducing Senate Bill 839 from last session which prohibits firearms or other dangerous weapons in public recreation areas.
In 2019 there was a mass shooting that wounded seven people at Baker Playground in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, this was not a one-time occurrence. Several weeks before the shooting at Baker Playground, there was a shooting at Finnegan Playground in Southwest Philadelphia and one at a graduation party in Paschall Playground in Southwest Philadelphia.
In 2018, there were 526 crimes committed at a recreation center in Philadelphia. More troubling, in 2018, there were 18 gun-related crimes committed on or near a city owned recreation center. According to data from the city, one in three shootings that result in injury or death in Philadelphia occur near a school, recreation center or park.
It is beyond time for us to act to protect the most vulnerable of citizens, our children, who are the primary users of publicly owned recreation centers.
My legislation, which is mirrored after current provisions of law which prohibit the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapons in court facilities and on school property, would make it a crime to possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a public recreation area. A public recreation area would be defined as a park, recreation center or pool owned or operated by a political subdivision.
I believe this is a reasonable solution to a horrendous problem plaguing our public recreation areas. We provide these protections in court and on school property and it is time to extend these protections to our public recreation areas.
I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation. Please contact my office if you have any questions.
Introduced as SB239