Toronto city council is calling on the upper levels of government to ban the sale of guns and ammunition locally.
City council approved several motions during its meeting on Tuesday aimed at addressing gun violence in Toronto after several high-profile shooting incidents this year, and two days after a mass shooting on Danforth Avenue that left two dead and 13 injured.
There were 29 fatal shootings and 228 shooting incidents between Jan. 1 and Monday, according to the most recent Toronto police shooting statistics. During that same period in 2017, 17 people were killed by guns and there were 205 incidents.
In a 41-to-four vote, city council voted to “urge” the federal government to ban handgun sales in Toronto. It also called on the provincial government to ban handgun ammunition sales in the city.
City council called on the federal government, in a separate vote, to prohibit “the availability, sale, possession and use of handguns, assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms in Canada, with the exception of the Canadian Armed Forces, police services or other entity that is authorized to possess firearms with legal obligations imposed by the municipal, provincial and federal governments.”
It also called for amendments to proposed federal gun control legislation by requiring firearms dealers to record serial and licence numbers of all guns sold as well as increased rules around the transport of restricted weapons.
Members of city council voted to spend millions on additional CCTV cameras in different parts of Toronto, implementation of the ShotSpotter program in a five-square-mile area of the city, Toronto police overtime costs as a part of the gun violence reduction plan, and community-based violence prevention and response initiatives.
Use of the controversial gunshot detector technology known as ShotSpotter, as well as the doubling of surveillance cameras, was approved by the Toronto Police Services Board at its meeting last week.