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Most Toronto crime committed with prohibited firearms

Data obtained for a Toronto Police Twitter account implies most firearms seized by cops this year are illegal, having been smuggled into Canada.

The Toronto Police 2020 Statistical Report lists 658 crime guns seized last year. Of these, 129 were determined to be non-firearms, a classification that includes replicas, toys and airsoft guns. Of the remaining 529, 318 were classified as prohibited, 144 were restricted, and 67 non-restricted.

Over the past five years, prohibited weapon seizures have increasingly outpaced those of restricted and non-restricted firearms — the Toronto Sun notes 331 out of 557 in 2019, 393 out of 628 in 2018, 233 out of 469 in 2017, and 186 out of 365 in 2016.

Canadian laws separate firearms into three classifications: non-restricted, restricted and prohibited.

Restricted weapons includes all handguns and some semi-automatic rifles, which require additional licensing above the non-restricted license class. Prohibited weapons, which generally cannot be sold in Canada by legal firearms retailers, include handguns with barrels shorter than 10.5 cm, full-automatic firearms, sawed-off long guns or firearms specifically listed as prohibited, including the AK-47, AR-15 and MP5. It also includes illegally modified weapons.

Prohibited firearms seized by police this year include an Intratec AB-10, a flare gun modified to accept shotgun shells, and one parts-built AR-15. Others were seized Glocks were fitted with illegal ‘converter switches’ that enabled the handgun to fire full automatic.

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