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October 4, 2000
Gun Amnesty Program Begins - October 4 to 14, 2000
Toronto City Council has passed an innovative gun amnesty and buyback program
that encourages safe disposal of unwanted or illegal firearms.

The program, Operation: Save a Life, is a campaign that offers $50 to gun
owners who surrender their unwanted firearms to a maximum of $100. The amnesty
would allow individuals to dispose of firearms without fear of charges for
illegal possession. The program is open to City of Toronto residents only.
Replica, BB, Pellet or AirSoft guns are NOT eligible under the program.

"One less illegal or unwanted gun on our city streets is one less potential
tragedy," said Councillor Rob Davis, co-chair of the City of Toronto's crime
prevention task force. "We hope to see between 500 and 1,000 firearms
surrendered during the campaign."

The City, in co-operation with the Toronto Police Service, will administer
Operation: Save a Life, scheduled to take place October 4 to 14. The Toronto
Police Service will follow its existing protocol concerning the pick-up and
disposal of unwanted or illegal firearms during the campaign. Firearms are not
to be brought into police stations. Those wishing to surrender firearms may
call 416-808-2222 to arrange for police pick-up. Once the firearm is
surrendered to police, the owner will be issued a receipt for the firearm. The
original receipt and a complete mailing address should then be mailed by
residents to:

The City of Toronto
Accounts Payable
Attention: Operation Save-A-Life
Metro Hall, 14th Floor, 55 John Street
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6

A cheque will then be mailed to residents. Only qualified firearms surrendered
between October 4 and 14 for which a police receipt is issued will be honoured
by the City under the amnesty program.

The campaign offers individuals the alternative of disposing of their firearms
as opposed to purchasing the new mandatory federal possession licence. The
licence fee will increase from $10 to $60 on October 16.

"Our main goal is to make sure our residents feel secure," said Councillor
Davis. "This campaign, as in other amnesty and buyback programs carried out in
many other cities, will reduce the number of gun-related incidents."

Media Contact
Christie McLardie



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