A three-week gun buyback program resulted in more than 2,700 guns surrendered to Toronto Police.
The “Gun Buyback Program” began on April 26 and ended on May 17. During that time, police collected over 1,900 long guns and over 800 handguns for destruction.
According to Toronto Police, this is the largest number of firearms collected through a gun buyback program in the city.
“We are pleased with the participation of Torontonians taking steps to safely dispose of unwanted guns in their homes. These guns can present a potential danger if they fall into the wrong hands,” said Chief Mark Saunders. “Removing access to these guns, many of which are not securely stored, contributes to community safety.”
Mayor John Tory said gun violence remains a serious concern for both the community and law enforcement.
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“We know ending gun violence will take a variety of measures – there is no one magic answer,” said Mayor Tory. “Every gun surrendered is one less gun in our community and one less gun potentially available to people who want to cause problems in our city.”
In July 2018, Toronto city council adopted the Immediate Steps to Address Gun Violence report, which included a Council decision to establish a gun buyback program. The City of Toronto funded the program with unanimous approval from city council.
I have repeatedly said that ending gun violence will take a variety of measures – there is no one magic answer. This gun buyback program is just one of a number of initiatives we are taking to reduce violence in Toronto and making our city safer for all its residents.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 18, 2019
Under the Gun Buyback Program, Toronto residents were able to request police pick up a registered or unregistered gun from their home for destruction for compensation amounting to $200 for long guns and $350 for handguns. Residents who turned over guns to police for destruction would not face charges for possessing or unsafely storing a firearm.