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Toronto and Mississauga City Councillors call on the Province to take action to preserve Ontario’s Gun Registry Data

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 June 2012

Toronto and Mississauga City Councillors call on the Province to take action to preserve Ontario’s Gun Registry Data

City Councillors from Toronto and Mississauga joined together at Queen’s Park today to urge Premier McGuinty to take action to stop the deletion of the data on non-restricted gun ownership to Ontario owners.

Bill C-19, which received Royal Assent on April 5, 2012, orders the deletion of the data on 7.1 million non-restricted firearms currently registered. This decision runs contrary to international treaties that require record-keeping to reduce illicit trafficking.

”The long-gun registry has proven time and again to be an effective tool for law enforcement to protect public safety. Long-guns continue to be used in suicides and domestic violence and I think it is imperative that we keep a detailed record of who owns them, ” said Mississauga Councillor Bonnie Crombie. “I and the City of Mississauga urge the provincial government to preserve the data already collected from the long-gun registry because this information is far too valuable to do away with for ideological reasons.”

”Toronto and Mississauga city councils, the first and third largest municipalities in the province, have passed motions to urge the Ontario government to do everything in its power to save the province’s data.”, said Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. “Residents of Ontario’s largest cities expect leadership from their Provincial Government to be their advocates for public safety.”

“A safe community requires police to have all the tools to solve murders and bring them closure. Registry data across the country has helped bring criminals to justice and has been used to support the prosecution of gun-related crime,” said Priscilla de Villiers whose daughter was murdered with a long-gun. “Police associations have testified that dismantling the long-gun registry will add significant time and costs to police investigations involving firearms. It would be a tragedy if this data is deleted.”

“It is too late for my son Oliver and his friend Dylan Ellis who were killed at gunpoint four years ago today, but more gun violence can be prevented. Any gun in the wrong hands is potentially dangerous and all firearms must be regulated to reduce the risk of misuse, and to ensure gun owners’ accountability and responsibility,” said Susan Martin, mother of Oliver Martin who was killed with his friend Dylan Ellis while sitting in their SUV near Trinity Bellwoods.

“Stopping the gun registry and deleting the data is dangerous. We have to register our vehicles, so why don’t we have to register our guns that can kill? We need stronger measures to protect our children from gun violence, not less,” said Audette Shephard, who co-founded United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere (UMOVE) after her19-year-old son Justin, her only child, was shot to death on June 23, 2001.

“We need to make cities safer. Gun Control is part of the solution but as gun violence continues to hurt Toronto communities, other orders of government are abdicating their responsibilities for public safety. We need to step up and find new solutions,” said Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan.

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Media Contacts: Melissa Wong, Office of Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, 416.873.4372, mwongb@toronto.ca Councillor Adam Vaughan, Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina, 416.392.4044, councillor_vaughan@toronto.ca Councillor Bonnie Crombie, Ward 5 Mississauga, 905.896.5500, bonnie.crombie@mississauga.ca

Download a copy of the release here.