Nearly 700 guns taken off Manitoba streets as part of annual amnesty program

Nearly 700 guns taken off Manitoba streets as part of annual amnesty program

A provincial gun amnesty program brought in nearly 700 firearms and 22,000 rounds of ammunition this year.

The month-long program is run by the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police, and allows people to turn in unwanted firearms and ammunition without the fear of being charged.

This year, 13 police agencies from across the province took part.

In addition to guns, the program also collected about 22,000 rounds of ammunition. (CBC )

“Every one of these firearms is one less weapon that may find its way into the hands of criminals or gangs,” said Scott Kolody, president of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police, at a press conference Tuesday.

Manitoba RCMP said they received 248 long guns and 36 handguns. Brandon police saw a similar ratio, with 36 long guns and five handguns turned in during the amnesty.

Most of the weapons will be destroyed, although a very small number will be retained for historical, educational, or training purposes.

In additional to the hundreds of firearms, the program recovered a nine-pound cannon ball and a non-operational military bomb.

Last week, Toronto city council approved a motion urging the federal government to ban handgun sales in the city, and calling on the province to outlaw the sale of handgun ammunition in Toronto.

The motion came days after a shooting in the city’s Greektown that claimed the lives of 10-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto. Thirteen others were injured.

After Tuesday’s event, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson wouldn’t say whether the Manitoba government has had, or intends to have, discussions around banning handguns.

“We will continue to work with law enforcement and other experts in the field to see and develop policies around those,” she said. She also said the topic has come up at meetings between the federal government and provincial and territorial justice ministers.

Published at Tue, 31 Jul 2018 17:17:58 -0400