Philadelphia, December 5, 2019 – City Councilmembers stood with community anti-violence activists, Philadelphia Police, religious leaders and victims of gun violence today to unveil a new effort to engage citizens to conduct gun checks in their homes. The purpose is to have individuals exercise personal responsibility in identifying guns in their residences — and turn them in at safe locations in Philadelphia, no questions asked.
The “home gun check” campaign comes in response to a wave of recent incidents of gun violence in Philadelphia, particularly shootings involving children. A 2-year-old girl was shot and killed by a bullet that went through the window of her family’s Kensington home. An 11-month-old boy was shot and critically wounded during an alleged dispute between drug dealers. A 10-year-old boy was shot in Frankford as he walked home from school. Last week, a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed as she got off a SEPTA bus in North Philadelphia. The victim, Ceani Smalls, was the 106th person under the age of 18 shot in Philadelphia in 2019. Overall, more than 1,350 people have been shot in the city this year.
Councilmembers and anti-violence activists say that home gun checks and safe disposal are just two strategies that residents can embrace in helping to fight an epidemic of gun violence in Philadelphia. Council has passed various gun violence prevention measures, including legislation prohibiting guns at city recreation centers, a lost or stolen handgun reporting law, a law making it easier for those seeking court orders removing guns from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others, and legislation requiring gun owners to keep their firearms safely secured in locked containers in homes where children reside.
“We will continue to do what we have to do in Council to deal with the problems associated with too many guns on our streets,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “But we cannot do this alone and neither can the police. We need citizens to do their part and exercise personal responsibility. If you know there is a gun in your residence and it has no legal purpose, take the gun and safely dispose of it at one of the locations we’re announcing today.”
Council President Clarke was joined at today’s news conference by acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter, Bilal Qayyum, a longtime community anti-violence advocate, local ministers, and victims of gun violence. Councilmembers Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) and Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District), who co-chair City Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, were also present.
“People in our neighborhoods know where the guns are,” Qayyum said. “We’re asking them to do the right thing and bring guns they find in their homes to one of these four locations. They can turn the guns in safely and confidentially.”
Philadelphia Police are supporting the effort, and will retrieve any guns turned in at the participating locations.
The locations, dates and times announced today for safe firearms disposal are as follows:
|Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.|
|Bible Way Baptist Church
1323 N. 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19131
|Every Murder Is Real
59 E. Haines Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144
|Saturday, December 14, 2019, 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.|
|Taylor Memorial Baptist Church
3817 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
|Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
419 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Download a printable flyer here.
This community-based effort to urge residents to locate and turn in guns at the four named locations involves numerous grass-roots organizations, including the Fathers Day Rally Committee, Black Men Community Council of Philadelphia, Black Men Uniting Black Men, Every Murder is Real, Nation of Islam, Nicetown CDC, NoMo, Inc., One Day At A Time, Town Watch Integrated Services and Unity in the Community.
Save a Life. Turn in a Gun. Safe firearms disposal locations.
December 7, 2019, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Every Murder is Real, 59 E Haines Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Bible Way Baptist Church, 1323 N 52nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19131
December 14, 2019, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Taylor Memorial Baptist Church, 3817 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia PA 19140
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 419 S 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
No questions asked. Call 215-667-9870 for more information.
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Watch the news conference: