Tory in Ottawa for national meeting on guns, gangs
Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018 8:34AM EST Last Updated Wednesday, March 7, 2018 1:50PM EST
Mayor John Tory says he believes flagging people who purchase multiple firearms in a short period of time could help curb the increasing number of guns being trafficked within our country’s borders.
Speaking at a national guns and gangs meeting hosted by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on Wednesday, the mayor said while background checks and permits are required to legally purchase guns in this country, there are “holes” in the system.
“I have been pointing them out for some time, including recent discussions with the minister. You can be a person who has the requisite permits and has had all the requisite background checks and interviews but can still go and buy dozens of guns in Canada legally without any red flag,” Tory told a number of political and community leaders attending the conference in Ottawa.
“Some of the regulatory changes that have been made, to be quite frank, have moved in the wrong direction, in my view. Before… if somebody bought more than two guns in a 30-day period there would be a red flag. Now that has been changed to be six guns in 90 days, so it has actually allowed greater latitude for people to be making multiple purchases of these guns.”
Tory said anytime a person purchases multiple guns at once, it should be flagged.
He added that while at one time it was thought that about 80 per cent of guns used in criminal activity were coming from beyond our borders, recent information shows that the split is now closer to 50/50.
In the coming weeks, the federal government intends to table new legislation around firearms and Ottawa has set aside more than $327 million over a five-year period to address criminal gun and gang activities.
Tory said he hopes some of those funds will be earmarked to provide the Toronto Police Service with resources to keep up with criminal activity online.
He said he would also like to see funding go to programs aimed at keeping people, particularly youth, away from gang activity.
Tory noted that funding should flow directly to the organizations or police services that require it.
“I have seen now even in my short time as the mayor, which is three years, the fact that when these programs flow through the provinces… somehow these very large sums of money that are allocated to address things like I’ve been talking about seem disappear into the ether,” he said.
“What happens is the people who are on the ground, actually having to deliver on these social challenges that we face in order to prevent gang activity and keep young people from gangs, don’t end up with it.”
-With files from The Canadian Press