At the Conseil d’arrondissement meeting on September 7, Saint-Laurent adopted a new resolution appealing to the federal government to ban assault weapons and handguns in Canada and to cease their illegal production and import.
The resolution also underscores the importance of keeping jurisdiction of weapons at the federal level since cities have no control over individuals who enter or exit their territories with firearms. Conseil de Saint-Laurent adopted a similar resolution on March 3, 2020.
In its resolution, Saint-Laurent also requested that the federal government put in place a voluntary buyback program firearms on its territory and to reinforce penalties for the illegal production, trafficking and use of firearms in Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of homicides committed using firearms increased over four consecutive years (2013 to 2017), or by 103% over this period. The current rate is “the highest observed in Canada since 1992.” The number of firearms in Canada has more than doubled since 2012 (increasing from 465,000 to 935,000) and accounts for around 24% of all homicides in the country.
In Montréal, an average of 18 individuals are killed by firearms every year, representing more than 50% of annual homicides. In 2018, Ville de Montréal unanimously adopted a motion requesting the federal government to ban assault weapons and handguns.
In 2007, Saint Laurent created the Patrouille de sécurité urbaine to enhance public safety. This patrol uses marked vehicles and bicycles to ensure a daily and nightly presence on the streets and in parks across the territory. It works closely with the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal to address residents’ concerns and respond to minor incidents, and provides security at major public events held in the borough.
“Despite a drop in crimes against persons in Saint-Laurent in recent years, recent incidents involving firearms prove that we need to step up our efforts. Our number-one priority is to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the citizens and workers on our territory. We are already working with the SPVM, which is doing a tremendous job. But with a federal ban on assault weapons and handguns, as well as a voluntary buyback program for firearms and the enforcement of penalties, we would be able to more significantly reduce the number of weapons in circulation and thereby be more effective in fighting violent crime.”