Sunday’s shooting rampage in Toronto that left two people dead has brought more scrutiny on a growing issue in Canada’s most populous city: gun violence.
The Toronto City Council voted 41-4 on Tuesday to push the Canadian government to ban the sale of handguns and also for the provincial government to ban handgun ammunition sales within the city.
“There are far too many people carrying around guns in our city and our region who should not have them,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory in a speech to the city council on Monday. “That leads to another question we need to discuss: Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?”
Tory said the discussion about guns was worth having not only to protect the city from loss of life, but to also respect the victims of shootings.
“Gun violence in any part of our city is horrible and completely unacceptable,” he said.
The city council also wants the federal government to consider tougher penalties for gun traffickers, more resources to handle domestic firearm trafficking and tougher screening for mental health and partner violence issues for licensed gun owners.
Canada’s most populous city has been grappling with growing gun violence in recent years.
In 2017, Toronto Police Service reported 205 shootings. As of Monday – with five months left in the year – the 2018 totals have exceeded last year’s totals, with 228 shootings. Homicides in the city have also increased this year, so far to 58 – exceeding last year’s total of 24. Most of the homicides this year, 29 out of 58, were from shootings, according to police.
The shooting in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood killed two people – Reese Fallon, 18, of Toronto and Julianna Kozis, 10, of Markham – and injured 13 others.
The shooting suspect, Faisal Hussain, 29, also died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a source close to the family. Police are still searching for a motive.
The stretch of Danforth Avenue where the shooting took place was filled with mourners holding a community vigil and candlelight procession on Wednesday night, CNN partner CTV reported.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.