Montreal mayor wants to see federal ban on handguns
MONTREAL -- Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is urging federal leaders to ban handguns, following a string of violent incidents in recent weeks.
Tuesday, the mayor stated she wants to see tighter controls at the borders to stop weapons trafficking in Canada.
She also suggested setting up a mandatory buyback program to get firearms off the streets.
"There is gun violence, yes in Montreal, but also in Contrecoeur, in Laval and Longueuil. That's the reality," Plante said. "So, I need the federal parties to understand and do the right thing, which is eventually coming up with a bylaw and right now, I want to have a concrete plan on how to protect Canadians, Quebecers and Montrealers."
Earlier this month, Quebec Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) would be partnering with Montreal police (SPVM) to fight gun trafficking, following a triple homicide on the island.
Authorities say they are on high alert, as “more and more criminals [are] wearing and using weapons in the city,” according to Sergeant Emmanuel Anglade.
“We've seen an increase in the past two years," he said. "There are more guns on our territory... more illicit guns, more illegal guns, more stolen guns that we've seized."
Anglade explains officials believe criminal groups are at the root of the violence.
“Our investigation leads us to conflicts between criminal groups, but we see other factors leading us to gun violence and violent crimes,” he said. “We could also talk about COVID-19, which shifted criminality to public spaces.”
Plante insists she wants to see all federal parties propose their plans to combat gun violence as part of their election platforms.
The federal elections are slated to take place on Sept. 20 and municipal elections in Quebec are set for Nov. 7.