Attorney General Calls For Federal Action At Justice Ministers' Meeting
WINNIPEG, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - Ontario's Attorney General Chris Bentley called
on federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to ban handguns, including
through changes to the Criminal Code, at this week's meeting of federal and
provincial justice ministers.
"We need to get these dangerous weapons off our streets now - before they
are used," Bentley said. "The federal government has accepted the McGuinty
government's push for mandatory minimum sentences and reversing the onus for
bail when it comes to gun crimes, but they need to go further. The time has
come for a full handgun ban."
During a session on firearms, Bentley called for a handgun ban through
immediate amendments to federal gun laws, and spoke with Day about the issue.
"Current federal licensing and storage regulations are too weak. They
don't go far enough to reduce the risk," said Bentley. "With more than 215,000
handguns licensed to private individuals in Ontario, there are more than
215,000 potential opportunities for theft and misuse."
The Toronto Police Service estimates between 30 and 50 per cent of guns
used in crimes in Toronto are stolen from lawful owners.
"We want to do all that we can to fight crime and the causes of crime in
our communities," said Ontario's Community Safety and Correctional Services
Minister Rick Bartolucci, who is also at the meeting in Winnipeg. "Ontario is
making unprecedented investments in police, prosecutors, victims services and,
probation and parole officers. We're doing our part. Now it's time for the
federal government to step up to the plate and work with us to make sure all
communities are safe."
Since 2005, the McGuinty government has announced more than $68 million
in new initiatives to fight gun crime.
Disponible en français
For further information:
For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-6686; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the
Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210