Handgun ban decision awaits options
Thu, February 12, 2009
By JONATHAN SHER
Challenged by Toronto Mayor David Miller to support his efforts to ban handguns across Canada, London’s board of control ducked yesterday, deferring the decision to another day.
Controller Gina Barber supported the ban, arguing it would reduce the number of fatal gun accidents, suicides and severe crimes of passion.
“It’s time we stood up with other cities across Canada. A city is no place for a handgun,” she said.
But none of her colleagues would second her motion for a ban, instead asking staff to prepare a second option: A ban that would create exclusions for those who own legally registered guns.
The board would choose at some future date between the two options.
Controller Bud Polhill opposed the delay, noting the second option simply mimics the current federal gun ban that also creates an exception for registered guns.
“(The current law) already covers it,” he said.
The push for a second option came from Controller Gord Hume.
“I’m not a supporter of handguns, but I am a supporter of gun clubs,” he said.
His comments came after a lengthy presentation by the East Elgin Sportsmen’s Association that argued bans are ineffective and a waste of money.
“I have a gun licence and I’m checked every day by the RCMP to make sure I didn’t commit a crime yesterday. I’m more trustworthy than you are. We’re the good guys,” the association’s John Evers said.
Also opposing a ban are London police Chief Murray Faulkner and three of five members of the police services board.