Most guns seized in Toronto are smuggled — not stolen from law-abiding citizens

Keean Bexte

September 2, 2022

Most guns being seized in Toronto are smuggled into Canada from the US, revealing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handgun ban will have little impact on shootings. 

Most guns seized in Toronto are smuggled — not stolen from law-abiding citizens
Most guns seized in Toronto are smuggled — not stolen from law-abiding citizens.

A Toronto Police Service Twitter post shows that 55 of 77 guns seized by Toronto police from June to August were not legal to own in Canada, meaning they were illegally smuggled.

Toronto has some of the country’s highest violent gun crime rates. 

Since January, 84 of 116 guns posted to the Twitter account @TPSGunsSeized were all prohibited weapons, according to the National Post. 

In 2021, 98 of 138 weapons seized by Toronto police were also illegal to own in Canada. 

Crime statistics tell the same story. Last year, Toronto witnessed 635 violent gun crimes, which included 325 prohibited weapons. 

In August, Trudeau’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced that Canada is banning most handgun imports from the US until the Liberal’s firearm legislation Bill C-21 becomes law. 

“When we announced Bill C-21 and the national handgun freeze, we said we’d use every tool in our box to keep Canadians safe,” Mendicino said. 

“Today, we’re announcing a national ban on handgun importation, bringing the ultimate impact of the freeze into force sooner.”

Bill C-21 will freeze the purchase of new handguns for law-abiding Canadians. 

Police chiefs disagree with the Liberal government’s claim that guns used in crimes are stolen from law-abiding citizens. 

“Our problem in Toronto are handguns from the United States,” Toronto Police Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw said at a safety committee meeting in February. 

“The issues around investing in what you described is certainly not going to deal with the crime problem we’re facing in Toronto, as it relates to the use of criminal handguns.”

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