Toronto’s Tory Cites 2-Yr-Old Memo to Ban Guns: Mark Towhey Show — Toronto Mayor John Tory is urging the federal government to ban guns owned by federally licensed hunters, farmers and sport shooters across Canada based on a two-year-old police memo that he refuses to share, he told Mark Towhey yesterday on NewsTalk 1010 radio.

Toronto police data obtained by Dennis Young through a special request contradict the claims cited by Tory.

The two-year-old police document said that Canada’s 2.2 million licensed gun owners are increasingly supplying firearms to violent criminals, and that outlaws are now getting most of their weapons from within Canada, Tory told Towhey, the chief of staff to the previous mayor.

The full transcript of the 5-minute radio segment is below, followed by Related Information.

All guns are banned already for everyone under threat of prison unless they have a licence authorized by the federal police. As Towhey replied to Tory, any new bans would affect only lawful, legitimate, licensed shooters. Outlaws don’t obey current bans and won’t obey new ones.

The Toronto police didn’t respond to a request by for the latest data cited by Tory, who was re-elected in October.

Sources, Links

  • The mayor spoke with Towhey yesterday in Part 2 of The Council Brief show on NewsTalk 1010.
  • The full transcript is printed below and has been edited for clarity. The bold was added by
  • The text was prepared for by Palmina D’Alessandro, an actress and occasional shooter in Waterloo, Ontario. (This was a superb example of spontaneous collaboration by concerned citizens.)

Towhey: I have said some nasty things about you on the air since the election time.

Tory: [Inaudible] has reached my ears.

Towhey: Yes, so this is our chance to go “mano a mayoro” on gun control. Let me read you something that you said in 2014:

“What Ms. Chow doesn’t seem to understand is that criminals and gang members don’t obey the law. Calling for such a ban (a handgun ban) isn’t leadership. It’s an empty gesture.”

You were right then. What has perverted your thinking and gotten you, basically quoting, telling people things that aren’t true in the election? Why has your opinion changed on handgun control? Why are you kind of toadying up to this fiction that banning legal handguns is going to help anything?

Tory: Two reasons, I’d say, and I’d like to think I’m not telling untruths, but two reasons, Mark. One is the intensity of the violent crime and gun issue in Toronto has really stepped up, and we have to look at everything we could do to try and address it. But the second is, since that time, it has been brought to my attention — and there’s some debate about this — that a lot of the guns that end up being involved in the very gun crime that we are trying to fight in the city of Toronto are domestically sourced, as opposed to the previous assumption that they used to all come across the border. And all I am saying is any tool, any tool at all, that is going to reduce even by a few the number of these guns, wherever they may come from, domestically or otherwise, and get them off the streets and out of the hands of, yes, the criminals. It’s not the law-abiding gun owners who use them to shoot people, but they do own them.

Towhey: But all the laws that you’re talking about, this handgun ban only affects the lawful gun owners. It will not affect the criminals. And the number that you quoted, and you just repeated it now, is a fiction. It’s a falsehood. And you’re a smart guy, Mayor Tory. You know that it’s a falsehood. Your own police service has said it’s a falsehood in the documents that were released. The vast majority of guns used in crime, in Toronto and elsewhere, did not come from lawful owners at any time.

Tory: Well, respectfully, Mark — we always have a very respectful discussion the reliance that I have on a greater proportion today in 2019 being domestically sourced guns, as opposed to international, comes from the police service in a document …

Towhey: They have no data for that.

Tory: No, no, but just wait. In a document that I received, on a piece of paper, so it’s written down …

Towhey: Will you publish that?

Tory: Saying that the proportion of guns that are coming from domestic trafficking of guns — where people will go out and buy 10 guns legally and then turn out to traffic them — that came from … No, I didn’t make that up. It came from the police.

Towhey: Will you share that with us? Because the police have published documents on this topic saying that that is not true.

Tory: Well, why don’t you ask them, and I’d be happy you should, because I have the documents. It’s not up to me to release it, it is up to the police who worked on it.

Towhey: But it is up to you to substantiate claims that you’re making that we know to be false.

Tory: Well, I am substantiating by telling you I have a written report …

Towhey: That I can’t see.

Tory: And if the police want to make that available to you, and you’re welcome to ask them for it and they can tell you whatever they wish to tell you about that.

Towhey: But you’re going to stand by something that you won’t share with anybody, so basically as far as we know, you’re just making this stuff up.

Tory: No, the part I’m standing by, Mark, which we have to be very clear on, is that I’m standing by the fact that I have a written report that came from the police service, that told me that the domestic trafficking in legally purchased guns within Canada and involved with crimes in Toronto has dramatically increased, so that we can’t anymore just say they all come across the U.S. border. There is a significant number now that come from domestically sourced places where they start off being legally purchased by people, say, buying 10 guns and filling out all the papers and doing all the things. But then those people sometimes do turn into criminals who give those guns to others.

Towhey: I can’t, I can’t let you finish that sentence, because it’s just B.S. The RCMP have stated in writing, I have it right here, the Toronto Police Service have stated in writing that what you have just said is not true.

Tory: Well, I’m just telling you that I guess I’d better check and see if they updated the correspondence with me. Because at the end of the day the correspondence they shared with me said exactly what I have said to you. And you know, you know that I would not, first of all, make that up. And you know, secondly, that if I got a revision to that, saying, “Oh, you know what, we’ve checked, there are things have changed.” I would say that to you.

I’m just telling you, I have no up-to-date information beyond what I was given — admittedly, it was a couple of years ago — that said in no uncertain terms that this domestic trafficking of guns, often resulting from people legally buying multiple guns and then trafficking them, was a real problem that was contributing to an increased number of domestically sourced guns.

Towhey: Wait a minute. You’re, you’re talking about a two-year old document? This is what you’re basing your policy on? When the media, every single major public outlet in the media, has published extracts and documents released by the Toronto Police Service, by the RCMP — you must have seen them; if you haven’t seen them, your staff should be fired — that say that it’s not true.

Tory: No, I will update myself. But the other thing I’ll say to you is this, I mean, we’re going around in circles on this one report, which is important and we should get to ground on it, but I will say this to you — I also pose a question all the time. And I think that people like you, who have a point of view on this, which I respect, also have an obligation to answer it, which is: “Why does anybody who lives in the city of Toronto need to have a handgun?” Because those handguns being around our city are contributing just a factor around and then can fall into the hands of criminals, are contributing to …

Towhey: Except that doesn’t happen. Mayor Tory, I’ve got to let you go, I’m up against the thing. When did “need” become the test in a free and open democracy? That’s my concern. Anyway, Mayor John Tory, thank you very much for putting up with me.

Tory: Thank you, Mark. All the best.

Towhey: I always appreciate it.

Related Information

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