Toronto mayor wants to shut down gun clubs
The city of Toronto wants to shut down gun clubs and shooting ranges in an effort to cut down on gun violence.
Mayor David Miller introduced the plan on Monday, and it could be passed by council as soon as this summer.
It stops short of banning the sale of guns — something only the federal government can do — but Miller is moving to end the recreational use of firearms in the city.
"I want a safe city," said Miller, who promised to do everything in his power to run guns out of Toronto.
Under the new plan, gun clubs and shooting ranges will be banned and forced to close down. That includes a gun club that operates at a community centre in Scarborough and a little-known shooting range on top of Union Station.
"Why do we allow this to happen? We can choose as a society [to be] a safe society," said Miller. "Look around the world, countries that have banned handguns and taken strict measures have far lower rates of murder."
Gun owners not happy
The move has infuriated gun owners. Tony Bernardo, of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, which represents 10,000 people in the GTA, said Miller is targeting the wrong people. It's not "the trustworthy firearms owners of Toronto ... who are shooting up the city."
"This is an abomination. There's a couple of shooting ranges in Toronto. One is 103 years old. The other is where Olympic athletes train. Another is a small bore rifle club where air cadets and boy scouts train," said Bernardo.
Police say one major source of guns which end up in the hands of criminals is private collectors who keep guns in their homes, which are then stolen.
Miller said those guns have repeatedly been used to kill people.
"Nobody can deny that [the gun] hobby directly results in people being shot and killed on the streets of our city. Those are the facts. [There] are steps we can take within our jurisdiction to stop that happening in Toronto," said Miller.
Under Miller's new plan, the city cannot do anything about those collections, because gun control remains a federal responsibility.