Toronto police and politicians would like to get guns off the streets. Quite correctly, the thinking is that reducing the number of guns in the city will reduce crime.
In response to this, Toronto Police are currently operating a gun buy-back program that will continue until May 17. The idea is to pay cash ($200 – $350) for guns so that they can’t be used in criminal acts. On the surface, this sounds like a good idea. Could such a program reduce the number of guns in criminal hands? Sadly, not the way Toronto’s doing it.
Residents wishing to participate are asked to call police to come to their residence and pick up a surplus weapon(s). Criminals having second thoughts about a life of crime are not likely to do this. Since the program is targeting legally held guns, the only people likely to participate are collectors and owners who want to make a bit of extra cash.
Sadly, the vast number of guns in the wrong hands will remain where they are, untouched by the program.
If the City and Toronto Police are serious about getting guns out of criminal hands, they need to hold a gun amnesty. Other police forces have done this; there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.
As it stands, the current buy-back plan is laughable.