Banning handguns in Canada


City Council approved a motion asking the federal government to ban handguns in Canada, including the sale, purchase and possession of any handgun. Police officers and military personnel would be excluded from the ban. Council also voted to ask the Government of Canada to institute a mandatory five-year minimum sentence for any person found guilty of handgun possession and those persons involved in the sale or purchase of such firearms. A national handgun ban is just one of a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring the safety of Toronto neighbourhoods and communities. Other initiatives include advocating for stronger border security to stop illegal guns from being smuggled into Canada from the U.S., pushing for tougher laws to address the illegal use of guns, and building on the success of the Toronto Police Service’s Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS). This approach is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Toronto Gun Violence Strategy, which is part of the Mayor’s Community Safety Plan. Passed unanimously by City Council in March 2004, the Mayor’s Community Safety Plan balances law enforcement with crime prevention, builds on strengths in neighbourhoods, and builds partnerships to increase employment, training and recreational opportunities for youth in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods. Staff will report back in June 2008 on further options and measures the City can implement to address gun violence.