Most Toronto crime guns prohibited firearms: TPS reports

318 out of the 529 firearms seized by police in 2020 were illegal to buy or possess in Canada

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Data gleaned from a Toronto Police Twitter account suggests most firearms seized by cops this year were smuggled into Canada.

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And reports published by Toronto Police show most seized crime guns over the past five years were likewise illegal to possess or own in Canada, when compared to restricted and non-restricted firearms.

The Toronto Police 2020 Statistical Report lists 658 crime guns seized last year.

One-hundred and twenty-nine of those guns were determined to be non-firearms, a classification that includes replicas, toys and airsoft guns.

Of 529 firearms seized last year, 318 were classified as prohibited, 144 were restricted, and 67 non-restricted.

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Over the past five years, prohibited weapon seizures have outpaced those of restricted and non-restricted firearms — 331 out of 557 in 2019, 393 out of 628 in 2018, 233 out of 469 in 2017, and 186 out of 365 in 2016.

Canadian laws separate firearms into three classifications: non-restricted, restricted and prohibited.

Restricted weapons, which generally includes all handguns and semi-automatic rifles, require additional licensing above the non-restricted licence class, which includes most shotguns and non-restricted rifles.

Prohibited weapons, which generally cannot be sold in Canada by legal firearms retailers, include handguns with barrels shorter than 10.5 cm, full-automatic firearms, sawed-off long guns or firearms specifically listed as prohibited, including the AK-47, AR-15 and MP5.

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Illegally modified weapons and over-capacity magazines are also prohibited.

The Toronto Sun also found 98 of the 138 firearms posted to the Toronto Police Service Guns Seized Twitter account this year were classified as prohibited under current regulations.

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Prohibited firearms seized by police this year include an Intratec AB-10, a flare gun modified to accept shotgun shells, and one parts-built AR-15.

Some of the seized Glocks were fitted with illegal ‘converter switches’ that enabled the handgun to fire full automatic.

Bill C-21, the Liberal’s firearms legislation that died on the order paper when the election was called, would have permitted municipalities to pass handgun ban bylaws — a move purportedly to prevent legally-owned handguns from falling into criminal hands.

But with only 43 gun thefts reported to police last year, a likelier source would be illegal arms smuggling from the United States.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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