The Toronto police are preparing to launch an unwanted gun buyback program, that would help get firearms out of city streets.
At a press conference at police headquarters Friday, Mayor John Tory, along with Toronto police chief Mark Saunders, announced the program, which will run for three weeks from April 26 through May 17.
The city says the buyback program will help Torontonians keep the city safe by having police pick up unwanted guns that have been inherited or are no longer used and often stored unsafely.
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Tory said that gun violence still remains a serious issue of concern in Toronto for both the community and law enforcement.
“We know ending gun violence will take a variety of measures – there is no one magic answer,” said Tory. “Every gun surrendered is one less gun in our community. One less gun potentially available to people who want to cause mayhem in our city.”
Any Toronto resident who wants to have police pick up a registered or unregistered gun from their home for destruction will be compensated with $200 for a long gun and $350 for a handgun.
Residents who turn over guns to the police for destruction will not face a charge for possessing or unsafely storing a firearm.
Those who surrender firearms will receive their compensation in the form of a pre-paid credit card four to six weeks after police pick up their weapon.
Police are stressing that residents should not bring the guns to a police station or any city facility. Instead, they need to call the Toronto police’s non-emergency line at 416-808-2222 between 7 am and 7 pm and an officer will visit your home to pick up the gun.
“This is a great opportunity for Torontonians to get rid of unwanted guns from their homes that present a potential danger if they fall into the wrong hands,” said Saunders. “These guns can be stolen in a break and enter and sold on the streets.”