Council calls for a prohibiton on firearms at all city facilities

City Council approved a bill on Thursday calling for regulations prohibiting “firearms and deadly weapons in or around City-owned or City-occupied facilities, under certain terms and conditions.”

The legislation, introduced by Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass on behalf of Council President Darrell Clarke, passed via 15-2 vote (PDF).

City Councilmen Dennis O’Brien and David Oh voted in opposition.

Bass’ spokesman Joseph Corrigan explained that the measure calls on the city administration — namely the commissioners of parks and recreation and public property — to establish the regulations.

Weapons are already banned from City Hall since it is also a courthouse, from which weapons are already prohibited.

The regulations could expand the prohibition to all city facilities ranging from the Municipal Services Building to city pools.

Prior to the vote, Bass noted that if regulations can protect those in City Hall, “why not extend it to all citizens” at all city facilities?

“It’s common sense,” she said.

Oh countered that, “I don’t believe we have the legal authority [to do so] and I have concerns about the constitutionality.”

Administration in favor

Mark McDonald, spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter, noted that the city’s director of public safety, Michael Resnick, offered testimony in favor of the move at an March 7 council hearing.

“The Nutter Administration shares your concerns for the well-being and safety of all Philadelphia residents, visitors and employees,” Resnick testified. “We are fully committed to providing a safe and secure environment at all municipal facilities.”

McDonald said action could be taken as soon as the first council meeting in April.

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