Following a trio of shootings in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside this past weekend, the city’s mayor said he “fully supports the idea of cities being able to enact a ban on handguns.”
In a statement to Daily Hive, Kennedy Stewart said handguns “have no place in our city and if able, I would work to bring in a ban as quickly as possible.”
The mayor said this would be “be just one more tool in tackling a very complex issue,” as well as “to increase public safety.”
Stewart admitted that so far, “there hasn’t been a lot of detail on how this would work for cities.”
But, he continued, “we know that when we make it harder to buy a handgun it’s harder for them to get diverted on to our streets by criminals.”
This past weekend, there were three shootings in the span of 15 hours in the Downtown Eastside, with four people sent to hospital with injuries as a result.
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And earlier this month, the VPD expressed ongoing concern over what they say is a “spike” in crime and street disorder “stemming out of Oppenheimer Park,” (the site of a homeless camp) and “sprawling” into the surrounding neighbourhood.
However, despite the recent outburst of gun violence, Stewart said Vancouver residents are “lucky to live in a city with very low levels of crime, and the Vancouver Police Department does a tremendous job maintaining public safety.”
Still, he said, “we can always take steps to make our city even safer, and I think people in our city would feel better about our streets if they knew no one could have a handgun.”