John Tory Asks for Gun Bans or ‘Repositories’ Across Canada

6 Aug 2018

City TV News Gun Advocate Challenges Tory Editor Nicolas Johnson speaks with CityNews Toronto via Skype on 06 Aug 2018. — Toronto Mayor John Tory officially asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban and confiscate all handguns and all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns from all federally licensed gun owners across the country.

In case a handgun ban fails, Tory requested new federal laws to “create gun repositories” where licensed firearm owners across the country would be forced to store all their rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers.

City Council requested the federal government to strengthen Bill C-71 by “prohibiting the availability, sale, possession and use of handguns, assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms in Canada,” Tory said in his letter to Trudeau dated Aug. 3 and shared today on Twitter. (Read the full letter below.)

The other measures aimed at the more than 2 million men and women with federal firearm Possession and Acquisition Licences (PAL) include:

  • “Ban the sale of handguns in the City of Toronto.”
  • “Enact or amend federal legislation: … Failing a handgun ban, create gun repositories, through a private-public partnership, that require all long and hand guns to be locked up and only retrieved if and where there is a need for hunting or going to the range for target practice.”

The measures are based on a series of motions that City Council passed by a landslide on July 24.

Read: Toronto Asks Feds for Canada-Wide Ban on Handguns, Semi-Autos

“Thank you for your consideration of these requests to help us send a message that gun violence is absolutely unacceptable in Toronto, or anywhere in Canada,” Tory said in his letter to Trudeau, a downloadable copy of which was shared by the Toronto Star.

The Globe and Mail reported July 26 that Trudeau is seriously considering a handgun ban and will decide on the measure in mid-August. He commented on a ban in Toronto at a July 30 memorial to the victims of a shooting massacre on the city’s Danforth Avenue.

Reporter: “Do you support a handgun ban in Toronto?”

Trudeau: “There’s a lot of things that we’re looking at right now. Obviously there’s a lot of strong emotions going on, grieving, looking at how we can continue to be stronger and more resilient as communities. We are looking at a broad range of things. We’re going to make the right decision for the long term, not just the short term.” (Source: CPAC TV on Twitter.)

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What to Say

Dear Prime Minister, Dear Mayor:

I am writing to express my energetic opposition to any new firearm bans or any new measures that unjustly restrict lawful and legitimate firearm users anywhere in Canada.

[Write whatever you are comfortable with, but 1-2 paragraphs is enough.]


[Your Full Name]
[City, Province]
[Postal Code]

More Talking Points

  • Toronto’s legislative proposals are irresponsible, unwarranted and unjust.
  • The proposals are defamatory, slanderous and insulting to more than 2 million Canadian men, women and youth by suggesting that we are somehow directly or indirectly contributing to violent crime in Canada.
  • Cracking down on the most scrutinized, safest and most responsible citizens of Canada won’t do a thing to stop violent criminals who disobey the law.
  • We already have total bans on the illegal purchase, sale, possession, transportation and use of any firearm anywhere in Canada by anyone.
  • The only thing any ban has ever achieved anywhere is to boost profits and safety gangs, mafias, murderers, rapists and robbers.
  • We eagerly want to stop criminal violence and welcome a serious exploration of how to achieve this, but Mayor Tory’s proposals are the wrong way to proceed.

By E-Mail

  • cc.,,
  • cc. Your MP (Google: Find my MP Canada, or click here)
  • Send copy to: so we can keep count.

By Canada Post

  • The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
    Prime Minister of Canada
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa ON K1A 0A2

(Note: No postage stamp required for the prime minister or MPs.)

  • Mayor John Tory
    Toronto City Hall
    100 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5H 2N2

Related Information

John Tory Justin Trudeau Twitter

Full Text of Tory’s Letter to Trudeau


John Tory


August 3, 2018

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

On your recent visit to Toronto you said that one of our single greatest responsibilities as elected officials is ensuring public safety and you know I wholeheartedly agree.

One of the purposes of your visit was to pay respects to those affected by the violence that has afflicted our city in recent weeks. I also know from our discussions and your public statements that your government wants to work with the City of Toronto to help address gun crime. As you know, this violence is taking lives, leaving families and our communities devastated as they look for answers and actions, some of which must come from us.

I am pleased with the fact our two governments are working together to invest in communities in young people, in families and in neighbourhoods to help set positive directions and help keep vulnerable youth away from guns and gangs, which are the cause of so much of this violence. These investments are crucially important to Toronto and I appreciate the personal assurance you gave me that the applications listed below will have your support to the maximum extent possible.

Beyond those important initiatives, I would ask again as you have heard me ask publicly before: why does anyone in the city of Toronto need a gun? I think this is an important question worth asking and, frankly, if we don’t have a good answer for that question then it’s time we do something about it.

[Page 2]

I write to you today as the Mayor but also as a father and grandfather who has met with families who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. I believe it is my job to try to comfort them and express our city’s collective sorrow for their loss. But I also believe it is my job to seek action, it is my job to make sure we don’t just talk about banning handguns and strengthening our laws but that we actually ban handguns and we actually strengthen those laws.

We have taken action at City Hall. Toronto City Council recently considered the issue of gun violence in Toronto with the goal of identifying immediate steps to address gun violence in the city. We discussed in depth both prevention and intervention strategies to deal with this urgent issue, and identified strategies in three key areas – community investments, police resourcing and gun control that we are asking the federal government to work with us on. As referenced above, this includes immediate requests through the National Crime Prevention Strategy call for applications and we look forward to other programs including financial commitments under the federal Initiative to Take Action Against Guns and Gangs which is currently being developed.

Specifically City Council has requested:

Community Investment

  • Federal funding of $1.05 million in 2018 to immediately implement the City’s Youth Violence Prevention initiatives and expand the City’s Community Crisis Response Program.
  • Federal funding of $29.0 million over five years (2019-2024) for additional and ongoing investment in community violence intervention and prevention programming, including programs focused on youth violence and mental health.
  • Federal or provincial funding of up to $2.6 million to implement measures in the City’s Youth Equity Strategy to address the roots of youth violence.

Police Resourcing

  • Federal or provincial funding of up to $15 million to support enforcement initiatives such as increased CCTV cameras and enhanced security in local communities most impacted by gun violence.

Ban Guns and Control Access

  • Ban the sale of handguns in the City of Toronto.
  • Identify how to stop the free flow of illegal guns along the United States border into Canada.

[Page 3]

Improve Federal Legislation

Enact or amend federal legislation to:

  • include tougher penalties — including mandatory-minimum sentences — for gun traffickers;
  • direct more resources to tackle domestic firearm trafficking, specifically targeting large single purchasers of firearms;
  • implement tougher screening for mental health and intimate partner violence issues for licensed gun owners and those seeking to acquire firearm permits;
  • much tougher procedures to help control guns coming into Canada along the American and Canadian border; and
  • failing a handgun ban, create gun repositories, through a private-public partnership, that require all long and hand guns to be locked up and only retrieved if and where there is a need for hunting or going to the range for target practice.

Specifically strengthen proposed gun control legislation in Bill C-71, by:

  • restoring the 1977 controls on the sale of unrestricted firearms including requiring gun dealers to record firearms sales and allowing police to inspect records annually;
  • creating more stringent transport provisions for restricted firearms to limit transport outside of direct transfers between their place of storage and approved destination; and
  • prohibiting the availability, sale, possession and use of handguns, assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms in Canada with some exceptions for the Armed Forces, police services or other entities that are authorized through municipal, provincial or federal legal obligations.

City Council is seeking to understand how the federal government can support efforts to deter or reduce gun and gang violence in Toronto and how federal funding will assist the City in eradicating gun violence in Toronto. City Council’s full decision can be accessed at:

Bail Provisions

Beyond City Council’s discussion this week, I would also like to draw attention to the easy availability of bail for repeat gun offenders which in City Council’s view must be addressed. City Council’s full decision can be accessed at:

I have heard from frontline constables and our Police Chief how frustrated they are by the fact someone they arrest for a gun crime who already had a criminal record or similar offences or who was already out on bail on a similar charge, can almost immediately be back out on the street on bail.

[Page 4]

The focus of this ask is on repeat offenders. I believe first-time offenders have the best possibility for our diversion and rehabilitation programs to help them out of the gang lifestyle and become contributing members of our society and bail might well be appropriate for them in some cases.

We ask that the federal government conduct a complete and expeditious review of bail guidelines and procedures applied to those already on bail, previously convicted of offenses involving the possession or use of illegal firearms, or previously convicted of the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. We want to ensure that repeat gun offenders not be granted bail in the event of a subsequent gun charge and remain in custody until the charges have been disposed of by the judicial system.

Toronto City Council and I endorsed all of these measures because we need a wide variety of the strongest methods possible to deal with gun violence in our city.

I believe now is the time for all of us to take action to stop gun violence. I assure you that I am ready to support the federal government in taking action on this issue.

If we do focus on the question of “why does anyone in Toronto need a gun?” I believe we will conclude that they don’t and we can then move forward with measures, such as the above not with a view to making life more difficult except for criminals, and with the primary objective of saving lives.

Thank you for your consideration of these requests to help us send a message that gun violence is absolutely unacceptable in Toronto, or anywhere in Canada. Thank you, as well, to you and your government for your co-operation and assistance to date and for your stated willingness to look at a full range of options.


John Tory
Mayor of Toronto


The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Government of Canada

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Government of Canada

Giuliana Carbone, Interim City Manager, City of Toronto

The most important part of gun rights isn’t “gun,” it’s “rights.”


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