A proposed handgun ban has been a controversial topic after the violent Civic Holiday weekend in Toronto. 17 people suffered gunshot wounds across the city in 14 different incidents, sparking the question of how to get gun violence under control in urban areas. Mayor John Tory thinks it is time for a Toronto handgun ban, while Premier Doug Ford and Ottawa aren't so sure.
Ivana Yelich, a spokesperson for Ford, told the Toronto Sun, “We don’t believe it’s an effective way to combat guns and gangs." A handgun ban would have no impact on those who do not obey the law anyway, according to Yelich.
Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones agrees. Her spokesperson, Marion Ringuette, gave the following statement on the issue.
“We are greatly concerned about the episodes of gun violence which occurred over the weekend causing injury and loss of life,” she said. “However, it has not been demonstrated that banning legal firearms and targeting law-abiding citizens would meaningfully address the problem of gun violence.”
Some people agree with this, as you can see below.
According to CBC, Toronto city council has asked Ottawa for a gun ban 3 times since the Danforth shooting last year. Danforth was the first time, the second time was the Raptors parade shooting, and this past Civic Holiday long weekend was the third time that this request was made.
The Globe and Mail reported that former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is now Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister, has said, "It would not, in my opinion, be perhaps the most effective measure in restricting the access that criminals would have to such weapons, because we'd still have a problem with them being smuggled across the border."
According to this forum poll on the subject, out of 1,143 voters from Toronto, 62 percent believe that a gun ban would reduce shootings in the city, while 38 percent believe the opposite.
There have been 244 shootings in Toronto since January of this year, according to this year-to-date report by the Toronto Police Service: