Gun seizures by Winnipeg police soar to new levels

One year ago, Const. Jay Murray sounded an alarm about the number of guns police were encountering on Winnipeg's streets and how the totals were hitting unprecedented levels.

'We're starting to see more high-powered firearms and criminals have access to them'

Winnipeg police are seeing a spike in guns on Winnipeg streets, particularly high-powered ones, they say. (CBC)

A year after Const. Jay Murray announced police were encountering unprecedented numbers of guns on Winnipeg streets, it's only gotten worse, he says.

"I stood up on this podium last year and talked about how those numbers [of seized guns] were numbers we had never seen before," the Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson said Wednesday.

"With three months to go [in 2018], we'll certainly exceed the numbers we saw last year."

On Tuesday afternoon, police seized an SKS semi-automatic rifle, a high-capacity magazine containing 18 rounds, a telescopic baton like those used by police, a set of plastic knuckles and a gram of methamphetamine from a Furby Street home just north of the University of Winnipeg.

Const. Jay Murray says the type of guns being seized are a big concern to police. (CBC)

"We're starting to see more high-powered firearms and criminals have access to them," Murray said, referring to the SKS semi-automatic rifle.

"This is a very serious weapon, certainly a weapon I don't think there's much use for," he said. "It's not a gun we like to see around."

A 36-year-old woman has been charged with numerous offences.

In 2017, police took in 758 guns used to commit crimes and 219 more for public safety reasons, which means the person responsible for the firearms is not safe to possess it any longer due to mental health concerns, domestic issues or for other reasons.

So far in 2018, police have seized 686 crime-related guns and 118 more for public safety reasons.

Murray said the weapons are coming from many places, but they primarily are trafficked across borders or stolen during break-ins.