Federal freeze on firearm imports ‘does nothing’ to slow gun crime: Toronto Police Association president


Light sentences and lenient parole, bail decisions are part of the problem, says John Reed

The president of the Toronto Police Association (TPA) said firearms trafficking and violence were on the rise following the shooting of two police officers in Innisfil, Ontario, and efforts to curb gun violence in Ottawa were underway. said to be out of place.

“The proliferation of firearms from the United States to Canada is out of control in my opinion,” John Reid told the Epoch Times.

“The amount of guns here in Toronto is massive. There are more firearms than I’m concerned about right now.”

Epoch Times photo
Constant Morgan Russell is pictured in a South Simcoe Police Department handout. (Canadian Press/South Simcoe Police)

The vast majority of guns used in crime in Canada are illegally smuggled from the United States, Reed said. He says the federal move to freeze handgun imports starting Aug. 19 was “pointless.”

“A freeze on legal firearm imports will not stop the flow of illegal firearms, so that is the first problem,” he said.

When Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino announced the handgun freeze, he said the measure would stop “almost all Canadian individuals and businesses” from importing handguns.

On October 12, in Innisfil, less than an hour north of Toronto, two police officers were shot dead while responding to a nighttime disturbance call.

Earlier in September, Toronto police officer Andrew Hong was shot dead in what was described as an “ambush attack.” Related shootings spanned his three cities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas one afternoon.

on the other hand, 320 rounds According to the Toronto Police Department, so far this year in Toronto.

The fact that Toronto’s police have not kept up with the city’s growing population and rising crime rate compounds the problem, Reed says.

“We’ve lost 400 police officers in the last ten years.”

Reid said the TPA, which represents nearly 8,000 uniformed and civilian members of the Toronto Police Service, “offsets some of its losses” in civilian personnel, but the city has more. Said police needed.

gun trafficking

In February, Customs and Immigration National President Mark Weber said: said to The House Public Safety Committee has said that only “one in a million of all rail freight” will be inspected before crossing the Canadian border.

“In other words, the chances of finding illegal weapons brought into the country via rail are almost zero,” Weber said on February 1.

“As it stands, not only is Canada’s capacity to prevent smuggling lacking, but so is its ability to collect reliable and robust data.”

Mendicino said in August that 2021 was a record year for the seizure of illegal firearms at the border. federal data indicates that the Canadian Border Services Agency has seized more than 1,200 firearms at the border in 2021. This is more than double his number seized in 2020.

But Reed said such a huge number of illegal firearms have been pouring into Canada’s borders over the years, and the impact is being fully felt.

“What we need is more enforcement at the border, more scrutiny, more powers to search,” he said.

Epoch Times photo
Jenny Hong, wife of Toronto Police Const. Andrew Hong and her children Mia and Alex bow in front of his coffin at his funeral in Toronto on September 21, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn)

Part of the problem, Reed said, is that too many perpetrators of gun crime are given easy sentences, are released from prison prematurely, and end up committing similar crimes repeatedly. He called the government’s withdrawal of certain mandatory minimum sentences “inexcusable”.

The Senate is currently reviewing legislation passed by the federal government. The legislation aims to amend the Penal Code and Controlled Substances and Substances Act primarily to abolish the mandatory minimum sentence of 20 for certain drug and gun offenses.

Building C-5 Judges are also empowered to make more conditional judgments. That means those convicted of certain drug and gun offenses covered by the law are more likely to be released on bail outside of prison.

“If someone is involved in gun trafficking, they have to go to jail for a long time,” Reed said. should take precedence.”

Bail reform is desperately needed, he said, noting that even gun offenders with relatively harsh sentences are granted parole too easily.

“We had it recently,” he said. “A young man was found carjacking a gun. Arrested, released on bail. After being released on bail, he went and cut his ankle bracelet.”

“I don’t know if he has been arrested yet.”

So many uncorrected criminals will be released on bail and innocent civilians will likely suffer the consequences, Reed said.

“If you are caught with a loaded illegal firearm, you [should] No bail,” he said.

underlying factor

Darryl Davis, a professor of criminology at Carleton University, believes the cause of Toronto’s rise in gun crime runs much deeper than cross-border smuggling.

Davis, an expert in the fields of youth gangs, police and criminal justice policy, said the combination of broken families and poor education has created more inner-city gangs, some of which are just 2 It points out that it consists of one or three younger members.

“We’re talking about kids who aren’t in school, kids who don’t have parental supervision, kids who are basically ignored by society, kids who are on the street, kids who do drugs.

“We’re seeing young criminals behaving violently in ways we’ve never seen before.”

Davies says gun laws completely misunderstand the root causes of crime.

“You can’t legalize gun violence. It’s impossible,” he said. “More importantly, we fail to recognize the systemic, or what I call, etiology of crime, which is the root cause that governments have always politically ignored.”

He says the only way to solve this problem is to focus on restoring strong family units.

“The only way criminology shows that empirical evidence works is to invest in families, dysfunctional families, better housing, better education,” he said. rice field.

Canadian Press and Lee Harding contributed to this report.

peter wilson


Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.