Irrational call for outright ban will do nothing to stem gang violence
TORONTO, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The call for a complete ban on all guns and ammunition in the City of Toronto by Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan is another naïve and misdirected attempt to address the issue of gun violence by gangs in that city.
"Once again, we see an urban politician seeking to demonize all legal law-abiding firearms owners and portray them as part of the problem, when the recent violence in Toronto is clearly the result of gang activity and has nothing to do with trained and licensed hunters and recreational sport shooters," said Greg Farrant, Manager of Government Affairs & Policy.
"We agree that having bullets flying in public areas of the city where innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire is deplorable. The recent shootings at the Eaton Centre are profoundly disturbing, but they had nothing to do with the legal, lawful use of firearms by trained, licensed and law abiding firearms owners, and everything to do with street violence. To suggest that by banning legally owned guns and ammunition, this type of gang related activity will cease, is ridiculous."
Police forces across Canada have indicated that a large number of illegal guns that have ended up on the streets of their communities and in the hands of criminals and gang members have been smuggled in from the United States. The OFAH does not believe that a ban on guns and ammunition in the City of Toronto will hamper criminals' ability to illegally acquire guns, nor will it stop them from using illegal firearms to target their rivals. Criminals who cannot acquire guns within the City limits will simply travel to neighbouring jurisdictions and use these same guns on the streets of Toronto.
"The only ones affected by bans are the legal firearms owners. Criminals will continue to acquire guns on the street, whether it's in the City of Toronto or elsewhere, and use them to settle their differences. No ban, however well intentioned, will address that fact," added Farrant. "Instead of targeting the law abiding, the Councillor should be looking for ways to work with the senior levels of government to significantly increase the penalties for the illegal possession and/or use of illegal firearms and to prevent these illegal guns from getting into the country in the first place."
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 675 member clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.
For further information:
Manger of Government Affairs and Policy
705-748-6324 ext 236