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Toronto mayor calls for complete Canada handgun ban after latest shooting

[JURIST] Toronto Mayor David Miller [official website] Friday condemned a Wednesday shooting at a Toronto Ontario high school that left a 15-year-old student dead and called for a complete ban on handguns to prevent similar incidents in the future. Despite an increased police presence in the city to combat gang activity, Miller admitted the Canadian metropolis has so far been unsuccessful in eliminating gun violence. He insisted the problem requires federal action to close legal loopholes that allow target shooters and gun collectors to own firearms. Miller said most of the illegal handguns confiscated in Toronto are either stolen from collectors or illegally imported from the US. Miller's call was echoed by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who said in an open letter to federal leaders that "Handguns are designed for one purpose only -- to shoot people -- and should have no place in Ontario or anywhere in Canada." CTV News has more. Canadian Press has additional coverage.

In 2005, Miller blamed weak US gun laws for a surge of gun violence [JURIST report] in Toronto after a fifteen year-old girl was killed and six bystanders were injured in a random shooting spree on a busy downtown shopping street. Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin proposed a nationwide handgun ban [JURIST report] in 2005 during his losing national re-election campaign. In 2006, the Ontario Attorney General asked the Canadian federal government for the power to ban handguns [JURIST report]. Current laws make handgun ownership illegal, except for collectors.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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