Toronto police say they’ve collected the largest number of firearms ever in the city through a gun buyback program.
According to police, authorities have collected over 3,100 firearms from city residents over the course of their three-week gun buyback program.
From April 26 to May 17, police collected over 2,200 long guns and more than 900 handguns, which will all be destroyed, police officials announced Thursday.
- Over 500 firearms surrendered in first week of Toronto's gun buyback program
- Over 2,700 firearms surrendered during Toronto's gun buyback program
Chief Mark Saunders said the program was asked for by members of the public who no longer wanted these guns in their homes.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
In July 2018, Toronto city council adopted the recommendations in 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 council.
Under the Gun Buyback Program, Toronto residents were able to request police to pick up a registered or unregistered gun from their home for destruction.
After their gun was picked up, residents were compensated either $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.