Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says he’ll be ‘happy’ to leave office after July 4 shooting: ‘I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time’

Mayor Jim Kenney speaks ahead of the unveiling of an PA Historical and Museum Commission marker at the Bethel Burying Grounds, in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, on October 1, 2019.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D).Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney gave a raw response to Monday night’s shooting.

  • Kenney said gun violence has been a constant worry for him while in office.

  • “I’ll be happy when I’m not here — when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy some stuff,” Kenney said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said gun violence has been such a constant stress for him while in office that he’s looking forward to his second term expiring in 2024.

“I’m concerned every single day,” Kenney said after two police officers were shot and injured during a concert and fireworks show on the night of July 4. “There’s not an event or a day where I don’t lay on my back at night, look at the ceiling, and worry about stuff. So everything we have had in the city over the last seven years, I worry about.”

“I don’t enjoy the Fourth of July,” he continued. “I didn’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention. I didn’t enjoy the NFL Draft. I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. I’ll be happy when I’m not here — when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy some stuff.”

Kenney, who wore a Real Madrid soccer jersey during the press conference, lamented the culture of gun ownership in the US and the lack of action on gun safety measures.

In Philadelphia, lawmakers are unable to regulate firearms because of a Pennsylvania state law. The 1996 state supreme court case Ortiz v. Commonwealth overturned assault weapons bans in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with courts interpreting the state law as preempting any regulation of firearms at the local level. Pennsylvania’s Republican majority legislature passed a law to strengthen the preemption statute back in January, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

“This is a gun country,” Kenney said. “It’s crazy. We are the most armed country in world history and we are one of the least safe. So until Americans decide that they want to give up the guns and give up the opportunity to get guns we are going to have this problem.”

Mayors in the City of Brotherly Love are limited to two four-year terms in office.

When asked to clarify if he truly meant he was looking forward to not being mayor, Kenney doubled down.

“Yeah, as a matter of fact.”

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