A Year After Toronto Voted To Ban Hand Gun Sales, The City's Gun Crime Is Worse Than Ever
It's no secret that gun violence happens in Toronto, we all know that. Just last year city council voted to urge the federal government to implement a Toronto hand gun sales ban. But no ban has come and, in fact, there have been more shootings this year than there were at this same time last year.
In July 2018, a motion was raised in city council to urge the federal government to ban hand gun sales in Toronto. This came after the infamous shooting on the Danforth and was raised by councillor Joe Cressy.
"There's no easy answer when it comes to eradicating gun violence," Cressy told Narcity.
That motion passed with only four "no" votes. One of those votes came from Michael Ford, Premier Doug Ford's nephew.
The premier himself is also publicly against a hand gun ban, previously stating: "That's not the solution."
Cressy motion urging the feds to ban handgun sales in Toronto and the province to ban ammo sales CARRIES 41-4. https://t.co/3QfpCfWd6h— Matt Elliott (@Matt Elliott) 1532476260
According to the Coalition for Gun Control, there are more than a million legally-owned hand guns in Canada and many legal hand guns are often stolen and then illegally sold.
In 2018 there was a total of 428 shootings in Toronto. As a result of those shootings, there were 613 victims.
As of Aug. 25 of this year, there have been 285 shootings in the city. That's 13 more incidents than there were during the same time period last year. And there's been 66 more victims of shootings this year than there were at this time last year.
[rebelmouse-image 25941286 photo_credit="Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal" expand=1 original_size="319x135"]
With four months left in the year, and the number of shootings and victims in the city is already greater than it was at this time last year, it is very possible that Toronto could see figures higher than the 2018 numbers.
"We're having more shootings and more disturbing incidents and we still have no action from the federal government," said Cressy.
Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control, perhaps put it the most poignantly.
"People often do not pay attention to gun control until it affects them or someone in their family," Cukier told Narcity.
Unfortunately, municipalities don't have any real power to ban guns and implement gun control. That all falls to the federal government.
But both Cressy and Cukier agree that they don't want the federal government to allow gun laws to be made at a municipal level.
"We do not believe municipal legislation is desirable. Instead, national legislation is critical," said Cukier. "But, cities have control over policing and can make tracking and stemming the flow of illegal guns a priority."
But with an election coming up in October, gun control may become an issue that's built into platforms and talked about on the campaign trail.
"At this point, I'm hopeful but not optimistic that the government would implement a full hand gun ban," said Cressy.
For now, it seems that the city's hands are tied when it comes to fully eradicating gun violence from Toronto and getting rid of guns.