A series of shootings this weekend plagued the city of Toronto. According to The Toronto Star, 17 people are injured after 14 separate shootings over the August long weekend. The increase in gun violence forced Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders to make a plea for witnesses to come forward. The mayor is also expressing the need for a Toronto handgun ban.
“This is not Toronto,” Chief Mark Saunders stated during a press conference at police headquarters on Monday. “And rest assured that I will be providing the resources where they need to be to solve these cases.”
The shootings weren’t isolated to one particular area. Incidents of gun violence were reported from everywhere from popular nightclubs to Airbnb rentals in Toronto over the long weekend.
Saunders stated that police will be taking immediate action to reduce the recent surge in shootings. “I can tell you that we will be putting additional resources in specific places that we think will help deter and reduce the gun violence that’s occurring in the city,” he said.
Mayor John Tory took to Twitter on Monday to call for a city-wide handgun ban. Tory expressed the importance of the initiative in a series of tweets over the weekend.
The mayor also encouraged witnesses to reach out to Crime Stoppers to help police catch those responsible. Tory made a similar call for a ban against firearms last year, though it is unclear if any concrete steps were taken.
A city staff report back in June revealed that Toronto, on its own, can do little to reduce the number of firearms in the city. The city would likely need to seek provincial help to begin the process of enforcing a more restrictive gun ban.