After this week’s mass shooting, Toronto Mayor John Tory and council are asking the Trudeau government to disarm the city with a total ban on handguns and the sale of ammunition. But as the Toronto Star reports, gun owners are fighting back.
Toronto council voted 41–4 on Tuesday night to approve a motion that asked the federal government to ban handguns in the city. The sale of handguns in Canada is a federal issue controlled by the public safety minister. Ralph Goodale, who currently holds that office, says he is considering the proposal.
Handguns are already a restricted weapon in Canada and cannot be purchased without an exhaustive background check and justification provided for ownership.
Toronto has seen an explosion in gang and gun violence this year with 29 of its 58 murders in 2018. A provincial cabinet minister was accused of racism last week when he said he had toured some of Toronto’s more crime-ridden districts wearing a bulletproof vest. That criticism has ceased in the wake of the shooting.
But gun rights advocates, though low-key in Canada, say enough is enough. “They spent a day slandering gun owners and accusing gun owners of supplying violent offenders with their weapons,” Nicolas Johnson told the Toronto Star.
Johnson, who runs The Gun Blog, says the temptation to further tighten gun laws in Canada should be avoided: “The people who are shooting up our streets are not the people who will be obeying any gun bans. The only people who will obey a ban are the people we don’t need to worry about.”
James Cox, who owns Target Sports Canada, reiterated those sentiments, telling the Star that banning handguns is like banning any other item because it has been used inappropriately or tragically.
“There is no gun problem in Toronto. There is a crime problem.”