Mayor John Tory just posted an open letter to Justin Trudeau, urging the federal government to ban the sale of handguns in Toronto. In the wake of Toronto's alarming spike in gun violence, Mayor Tory says that more steps need to be taken to address the issue.
"Why does anyone in the city of Toronto need a gun?" Mayor Tory asks Trudeau in the letter, "I think this is an important question worth asking and, frankly, if we don't have a good answer for that then it's time to do something about it."
Mayor Tory says that he's asking for Trudeau's help not only as Toronto's leader, but also as a father and grandfather who has met with families who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
"It is my job to make sure we don't just talk about banning handguns and strengthening our laws, but that we actually ban handguns and that we actually strengthen those laws."
Mayor Tory is requesting a citywide ban on handgun sales. He's also asking for the federal government's help to put an end to the free flow of illegal firearms from the United States.
I sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the federal government to ban the sale of handguns in the city of Toronto and to take more steps to address gun violence in the city. pic.twitter.com/25crMAhhiq— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) August 6, 2018
In the letter, Mayor Tory asks the Government of Canada for $32.65 million in federal funding to invest in the city's onging programs and initiatives. The funding will go towards youth violence prevention, crisis response and mental health.
The city of Toronto is also requesting an additional $15 million for police enforcement and surveillance, for ordering more CCTV cameras and enhancing security in risk areas.
Finally, Mayor Tory requests tougher penalties, screenings and procedures to curb gun trafficking. He says that more thorough mental health checks and intimate partner violence screenings should be conducted for licensed gun owners. His last request is to amend the bail provisions for repeat gun offenders - Mayor Tory claims that Toronto's current regulations allow them to "almost immediately be back on the street" after an arrest.
"I believe that now is the time for all of us to take action to stop gun violence," Mayor Tory concludes, "I assure you that I am ready to support the federal government in taking action on this issue."