Here is a news report on how the Toronto Police view firearms owned by citizens:
Cop project aims to disarm city | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun
Cop project aims to disarm city
400 guns seized in bid to keep them out of criminal hands
By ROB LAMBERTI, SUN MEDIA
Last Updated: September 23, 2009 5:10am
They used to be legal firearms, but now they're either unregistered or outright banned, and they're wanted by police before there's a chance burglars put them in Toronto's underground and underworld markets.
Since March 1, Project Safe City swept 400 unregistered weapons -- 150 of them handguns -- from homes throughout the city. No charges were filed.
It's part of a plan to ensure that neglected firearms don't fall into criminal hands, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said yesterday.
Police are reviewing thousands of gun ownership files to determine which weapons have lapsed registrations and which are now banned, he said.
Owners can surrender the weapons for destruction or, if they can be registered, police will hold them until the owners comply with gun laws, Supt. Greg Getty said.
"We cannot leave those firearms in that person's possession," he said.
Those who "are less vigilant in maintaining proper licensing ... may be equally lax in maintaining the safety and security of their weapons," Blair said.
"Now that there are 400 fewer guns that can be stolen and put into the hands of criminals, I think we've created a safer situation," he said. "This is very much an anti-violence measure."
Of the 510 crime-related firearms seized so far this year, about 30% are stolen locally, with the rest smuggled into the country, he said.
"What we believe is that legal handgun owners are not dangerous individuals, but we know from experience that their firearms can become extremely dangerous when they get into the hands of criminals," Blair said.
"One of the issues that we have become aware of is the confusion among legal gun owners regarding their responsibility" that the weapons they own are properly licensed and maintain registration, he said.
Project Safe City is proactive policing, Getty said.
"This is not an enforcement initiative, this is a crime-prevention initiative," he said. "We have a responsibility to ensure that these firearms are not diverted to the streets of Toronto."
TORONTO GUN STATISTICS FOR 2009
- Shootings to date: 259
- Persons shot: 135
- Murders: 23
- Seized: 1,576
- Number used in the commission of a crime: 510
- Seized in Project Safe City: 400
n Between Jan. 1 and the end of June, 27 firearms were stolen in 11 thefts, 10 from homes and one from a business. Of those firearms stolen, 16 were handguns, two rifles, three shotguns, three air rifles, two flare or paintball pistols and one replica.
-- Toronto Police