Saint-Laurent Urges Federal Government to Ban Assault and Handguns in Canada
4 mars 2020
At the Borough Council meeting of March 3, 2020, Saint-Laurent passed a resolution urging the federal government to ban assault weapons and handguns in Canada. The resolution also stresses the importance of maintaining this jurisdiction at the federal level since cities do not have the power to control people entering or leaving Borough territory with weapons.
"Despite a decrease in personal crimes on Saint-Laurent territory in 2019, the two incidents involving firearms near the Côte-Vertu metro station since the beginning of 2020 prove that we have to go even further. Our first duty is to do everything possible to ensure the safety of our residents and the workers on our territory. We are already partnering with the SPVM, which is doing remarkably well in this regard. But with the federal ban on assault weapons and handguns and a voluntary firearms buy-back program, we could cut down even more significantly on the number of weapons in circulation, while reducing the risk of theft, accidents or suicide."
Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint-Laurent
In the resolution, Saint-Laurent is also calling on Ville de Montréal and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal to put in place a voluntary firearms buy-back program on their territory. Such a program implemented by the City of Toronto in 2019 has made it possible, for example, to recover 3,100 firearms at a cost of $750,000.
At the same time, Saint-Laurent is asking that the SPVM collect and disclose more accurate data on the number of murders, crimes, suicides and accidents involving firearms as well as their status (legal or illegal), in addition to the number of stolen weapons.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of firearm homicides has increased for the fourth consecutive year (2013-2017), up 103% in four years. The current rate therefore represents the "highest rate observed in Canada since 1992". The number of handguns in Canada has more than doubled since 2012 (from 465,000 to 935,000) and handguns account for approximately 24% of all homicides in Canada.
Ville de Montreal unanimously adopted a motion in 2018 urging the federal government to ban assault weapons and handguns. With this resolution, Saint-Laurent is also calling for an immediate end to the importation and manufacture of handguns in Canada.