A private member’s bill introduced in the provincial parliament on Tuesday by MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence, Mike Colle is seeking to give police the power to impound the vehicle and the license of the driver if an illegal handgun is found in the vehicle.
If the bill get approval, the Unlawful Handguns in Vehicles Act 2013, introduced for the second time is as a result of the number of tragic drive-by shootings, including two recently in the Yorkdale area, will give police officers more power to take immediate action.
While the federal government has jurisdiction over the ownership of firearms, the provincial government has jurisdiction over road safety and motor vehicle licensing, a release from Colle’s office stated. .
It added that by adding direct penalties for individuals caught with unlawful handguns in motor vehicles, the Province has the ability to enhance public safety. The Unlawful Handguns in Vehicles Act,2013 is modelled on the anti stunt racing provision of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
“Smuggled guns are flooding across our borders and onto our streets endangering the lives of ordinary citizens and front line police officers. We need to impose more penalties on these gunmen who drive around our communities with little consequence” said MPP Colle.
“This bill is in the best interest of public safety and will directly support front line professional police officers working to keep our communities safe. Anyone with an illegal handgun should be stopped in his or her tracks,” according to David McFadden, President, Police Association of Ontario
“The members of the Toronto Police Association see firsthand the devastating impact firearms, especially handguns, have on the citizens of Ontario. Our association fully supports your laudable efforts to provide another tool to assist officers in fighting the proliferation of gun crime in our communities,” stated Mike McCormack, President, Toronto Police Association
“The implementation of this bill would enable the Province to play a significant role in the battle to eliminate the proliferation of illegal handguns,” Gary Grant, Chair, Toronto Crime Stoppers said.