The sale of bullets should be banned in Toronto, according to councillor Adam Vaughan, who said he’s proposing changes to city bylaws as an attempt to stomp out gun violence in the city.
“When a gun goes off in the city, it hits too many people and too many things,” said Mr. Vaughan, who represents downtown ward Trinity-Spadina.
Mr. Vaughan is making his proposal in the wake of this month’s Eaton Centre shooting, which fatally wounded two young men and injured several others. But the councillor said his talks around the ban started even before that. He said it’s time for city hall to step in since the federal and provincial governments, which oversee firearm use, haven’t done enough to get guns off Toronto streets.
“If we can’t ban guns then let’s ban bullets,” he said. “If we can ban plastic bags, why can’t we ban bullets?”
Changes to the city’s bylaw could restrict the storage, sale and use of ammunition, Mr. Vaughan said, adding that he believes no one other than police officers should be carrying guns.
On Wednesday, Mr. Vaughan and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam will be at Queen’s Park calling for the premier to preserve long-gun registry data. Wednesday also marks four years since Oliver Martin and Dylan Ellis were shot to death while seated in a Range Rover downtown Toronto.
Even at City Hall, Mr. Vaughan’s idea already facing opposition. Critics include Mayor Rob Ford, who said the ban would unfairly punish law-abiding gun owners.
“It’s not the hunters, it’s the gangs,” Mr. Ford said. “I wish we could get the guns out of the city with respect to these gangs, its going to be very difficult but you don’t take it out on hunters or the sportsman show.”
Ms. Wong-Tam, who represents the ward that includes the Eaton Centre, said the high-profile shooting earlier this month has brought the issue of gun control to the forefront for her.
She said she’s spoken to the city solicitor about a ban on the sale and possession of handguns. While Ms. Wong-Tam recognizes that there are jurisdictional issues, she said the city needs to do something about what she calls an escalating problem of gun-related violence. Banning the sale of bullets could be one way to work within the city’s jurisdiction, she said.
“It’s paramount that we do everything we can within our legal powers to keep our neighbourhoods and our streets safe,” she said.
With a report from Elizabeth Church