A proposal by a Toronto city councillor to implement a gun amnesty program to help curb gun violence will be debated at city hall on Tuesday.
Ward 7 councillor Giorgio Mammoliti will head up a motion that would offer the public food vouchers in exchange for guns turned into police.
“My effort here is to try to convince the relatives of those that are involved in these gun crimes to almost steal the guns off of them and hand them in,” said Mammoliti in an interview on Tuesday.
“If we’re offering them a few hundred dollars worth of food, they might just do that.”
The proposal, which was made public on the weekend, has since been panned by local critics including Mayor John Tory who insist similar amnesty programs in the past have provided mixed results.
“The guns that tend to get turned in are turned in by law-abiding citizens who had it in the basement from a relative who passed away or whatever. The bad guys don’t tend to show up to get the grocery coupon and turn in their guns,” Tory said on Monday.
Still, Mammoliti believes the program may be enticing enough for some to turn in their weapons.
“At the end of the day, we all know that those guns could very well be stolen as well,” he said.
“Even Mayor Tory or anyone else, if you’ve got something better, bring it to this council meeting cause we’ve got a crisis. We’ve got people getting killed in the streets, it’s getting worse.”
The latest Toronto police gun violence statistics show the number of shooting deaths have gone up 122 per cent as of June 5 from 9 in 2015 to 20 in 2016.