Toronto Police Chief: Enough guns to start a small war
By Salim Jiwa
TORONTO – A Toronto Rambo had 58 guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition plus gunpowder in his small apartment in a crime infested area.
Surprised cops found an armory in the home of the Toronto man during a raid carried out by the guns and gangs team.
Most of the weapons he had were poorly secured and some of them are illegal to possess privately with or without a permit.
“There were enough weapons to start a war in that part of the city,” said Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair about the weapons that could equip a small army.
Members of the Gun and Gang Task Force team found 58 illegally owned firearms, including a machine gun and submachine gun, 17 handguns, 35 rifles and four shotguns following a search of a residence in a high crime area of the city.
Police seized 36 high-capacity magazines, over 6,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 pounds of gunpowder, two starter pistols and one pellet rifle.
“The guns were found in a two-bedroom apartment, some on display, in an area of the city with a history of violent crime and drug activity,” said Const. Tony Vella, spokesman for Toronto police..
“One unregistered weapon is one too many,” said Vella in an interview. “This may not be the largest seizure, but it certainly is a significant seizure.”
Of the seized weapons, 25 had once been registered, but never re-registered under the current Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS), in place since 1998. The man had not been properly licensed to possess firearms since 2002.
No charges have been laid, as the investigation is ongoing. Police are trying to find out where the guns came and if they were ever used in a crime.
Blair said it was fortunate cops got to the apartment before criminals did.
“We’re fortunate the criminals did not find out before we did,” he said, of the concern the guns could be stolen and used in violent crimes.
The Chief said that the information in the gun registry led to the seizure of the weapons. As president of the Canadian Chiefs of Police, Chief Blair said the registry is a vital tool.
At present, a new bill is currently before Parliament to scrap the gun registry.
Project Safe City has, so far, muzzled hundreds of illegally possessed guns, in an effort to prevent violence in the city, he said.
The Gun and Gang Task Force project, which began early this year, has resulted in the seizure of over 400 guns that had been illegally licensed or registered.
Of the 500-plus crime guns seized by police this year, 30% had a domestic origin while the other two-thirds were smuggled into the country.
Police have seized an AK-47, shotguns and handguns including Colt .45s and Smith & Wesson .38 Specials.
Blair said licensed gun owners who register their weapons are safer because they are well educated on the laws around how to properly store their weapons.
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