Ottawa's 'criminal underworld' blamed for more gun seizures
More guns seized by Ottawa police in 8 months of 2014 than 2013, officer says
Ottawa police have seized more guns used for crime this year than all of 2013, saying it’s tied to an arms race in the city’s criminal underworld.
They said they’ve seized 43 "crime guns" so far in 2014, which includes guns used for a crime, carried with the purpose of committing a crime or guns with the serial number erased.
That number has increased from 36 seized over 12 months last year.
Det. Chris O’Brien of the Ottawa police said it’s an alarming trend.
"Once one bad guy has a gun, everyone will try to get a gun to try and maintain their competitive status in the criminal underworld," he said.
"I definitely do think there are more guns out there now than say five, 10 years ago."
Most gun seizures are handguns
Insp. Chris Renwick said most of these guns are easily-concealed handguns.
"The drug trade and criminals who are using guns for protection and for enforcement, it’s predominately handguns," he said.
"I can tell you since the end of May, 11 handguns have been seized off the street."
There have also been 25 shootings in 2014, which is on pace to surpass the 30 that happened in the city in 2013.
Ottawa police point to their "Pistols for Pixels" program last year, which exchanged more than a thousand free cameras for turning in a firearm, as one of the ways they’re trying to get guns off the streets.
Ottawa police said if you have a gun you’d like to get rid of, call them at 613-236-1222 so an officer can come pick it up.