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Toronto police say over 3,100 guns netted in buyback program

WATCH ABOVE: To help solve a growing problem of violent gun crime, the city approved a gun buyback program in the summer of 2018. But even after gathering more than 2,700 firearms, now destined to be destroyed, those on the front lines of anti-violence programs say the measure is not enough. Matthew Bingley reports. (May 2019)

Toronto police say the city received over 3,100 guns as part of its buyback program.

Police held the three-week program between April 26 and May 17.

READ MORE: Toronto gun buyback program is most successful in city’s history, nets 2,700 firearms

Officials said it was the services most successful program in Toronto’s history.

Police said over 2,200 long guns and over 900 handguns were collected. In comparison, a similar program in 2008 brought in a total of 2,000 guns.

During the program, Toronto residents were able to call police to request a pick up for both registered and unregistered guns from their homes. Residents received compensation amounting to $200 for handing over long guns and $350 for handguns, resulting in a total payout amount around $660,000.

“This is a great outlet for the public to get rid of unwanted guns that may pose a risk because they are improperly stored and otherwise neglected. They can fall into the wrong hands through theft and be sold on the street,” Chief Mark Saunders said.

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“This program is part of a larger strategy to help reduce the supply of guns available to criminals. I’m confident we’ve kept some guns out of the wrong hands through this program.”

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Residents who turned over illegal guns did not face charges for possessing or unsafely storing the firearm.

READ MORE: Toronto gun buyback program is most successful in city’s history, nets 2,700 firearms

Police said all guns collected through the program will be destroyed.

The results of the program were also on display.