TORONTO — A Toronto city councillor is proposing a gun amnesty program for the city that could see firearms exchanged for cash or grocery gift cards.
Giorgio Mammoliti is making the suggestion after a spate of shootings in the city.
He says gun amnesty/buy back programs provide a legal route to dispose of unwanted firearms without the threat of prosecution while reducing the supply of guns that make their way onto Toronto's streets.
He notes, however, that the "amnesty'' part of the program would be for those who turn in the guns, not for those who may have used the firearms during a crime.
Toronto city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti says he smells another "Year of the Gun." (Photo: Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Mammoliti says the city can offer $100 per gun as part of the program, or partner with a corporate sponsor like a grocery chain to offer gift cards worth $200.
He plans to move a motion on the matter at a city council meeting that is to begin Tuesday.
"I smell another `Year of the Gun'. Before we get to a point that's unmanageable, we should start talking about how we're going to deal with it,'' Mammoliti said in a statement. "Whether the incentive is offered directly through the City of Toronto or a corporate sponsor, a Gun Amnesty/Buyback program, with minimal costs, will have enormous benefits and increase safety.''
In 2008, Toronto police ran a program called "Pixels for Pistols,'' where residents could call police to pick up firearms from their home and were given a digital camera in return. Mammoliti noted that the program resulted in 1,900 guns and 60,000 rounds of ammunition being turned in.