Two recent shootings in a space of just over two weeks in the vicinity of the Côte Vertu Métro station has prompted St. Laurent council to adopt a resolution asking the federal government to ban assault weapons and handguns in Canada.
The resolution, similar to one put forward by the Montreal Opposition last year, also calls for "an immediate end to the importation and manufacture of handguns in Canada," a borough announcement says.
The first shooting, in mid-February, resulted in the death of a 40-year-old man. The second shooting, last week and just before the March borough meeting, wounded a 28-year-old man, who was reported to be out of danger.
The St. Laurent council resolution also called for the issue of guns to be under federal jurisdiction, "since cities do not have the power to control people entering or leaving borough territory with weapons.
"Despite a decrease in personal crimes on St. Laurent territory in 2019, the two incidents prove that we have to go even further," Mayor Alan DeSousa stated. "Our first duty is to do everything possible to ensure the safety of our residents and the workers on our territory."
The St. Laurent resolution also calls on the City of Montreal and the Montreal Metropolitan Community to "put in place a voluntary firearms buy-back program on their territory. Such a program implemented by the City of Toronto in 2019 has made it possible, for example, to recover 3,100 firearms at a cost of $750,000."
The Mayor added that the borough is partnering with the SPVM, "which is doing remarkably well in this regard.
"But with a federal ban on assault weapons and handguns and a voluntary firearms buy-back program, we could cut down even more significantly on the number of weapons in circulation, while reducing the risk of theft, accidents or suicide."
The resolution is also asking the SPVM to "collect and disclose more accurate data on the number of murders, crimes, suicides and accidents involving firearms as well as their status (legal or illegal), in addition to the number of stolen weapons."
St. Laurent's resolution cites Statistics Canada figures saying that the number of firearm homicides increased 103 percent in four years, from 2013 to 2017.