Police room scrambling to store pace with criminals who are coming up with creative ways to supply Canada's black market with firearms.

You are watching: How many guns are sold on the black market a year

Mia Sheldon & Matthew Amha · audioeditorfree.com News · Posted: might 12, 2019 4:00 to be ET | last Updated: might 15, 2019

Sporting products store owner Wes Winkel shows components of a handgun that can be replicated or modified come render a firearm untraceable. (Mia Sheldon/audioeditorfree.com)
Police room scrambling to store pace with criminals who room coming up with creative ways to supply Canada's black market with firearms.

"Gun violence is acquiring worse, over there is more access to firearms," Toronto Police Chief note Saunders told audioeditorfree.com News. "And for this reason we have to look at the difficulty from a larger perspective."

That method looking an ext closely at the circulation of guns throughout the country.

Police room trying to alleviate the variety of guns through things choose Toronto's current gun buyback program, which pays $200 for lengthy guns and also $350 because that handguns. By Friday, two weeks right into the three-week program, it had actually collected 1,235 firearms. But also as programs choose this look for to get firearms out that circulation, fresh ones room being included through the black color market.

The bulk of the illegal firearms in Canada offered to it is in smuggled throughout the border native the U.S., yet that seems to it is in changing. According to police, a growing number of guns room bought legit in Canada and also resold top top the black market, or made below illegally.


That's no to speak smuggling isn't quiet a problem. The variety of firearms confiscated in ~ the Canada-U.S. Border has fluctuated over the years — 751 were seized during the 2017-18 budget year, according to the Canada Border services Agency.

They are surprise in gas tanks, the trunks of cars, in luggage, or on someone's body. In one remarkable circumstances involving Montrealer Alexis Vlachos, guns were smuggled through a publicly library that straddles the border with the U.S.

Last year, The Canada Border Services firm (CBSA) was granted an extra $51.5 million in capital over 5 years to boost screening, detection and also training about firearms smuggling. The RCMP were also given $34.5 million over five years because that the brand-new Integrated Criminal guns Initiative to improve intelligence gathering, modern technology and investigations.

Superintendent Jason Crowley v the Windsor police department states the appeal of smuggling weapons is pure economics.

"You will view a gun, a firearm purchase in the says for perhaps $200 to $300, and also they'll walk on the roadways for $3,000."

Crowley calls the a "pipeline" — guns smuggled throughout the border native Detroit into Windsor, and then come cities across the country. He states the influx of firearms has added to boost in violent pistol crime in Canada.

Home-made guns

However, Crowley points out that it's not only weapons smuggled throughout the border that room a problem these days.

Last December, police in Ontario busted a firearm production ring and also confiscated so-called "ghost guns," guns assembled indigenous parts derived legally and without any serial numbers.

Police additionally say 3D printers and also other gadgets are being supplied to either make guns, or produce parts that revolve some firearms into automatic weapons capable of shoot many much more rounds a minute. Such guns have to be found throughout the country.

Police in Winnipeg said this week that the number of homemade guns seized top top the streets has actually spiked from three in 2016, to an ext than 60 critical year.

"I think it's safe to say that the development of tools will it is in something the will absolutely play a huge, disruptive variable when it concerns community safety and security in the year to come," Toronto's chef Saunders says.


A current search because that keywords consisting of gun, Canada, Ontario and also Toronto gained 25 hits. One more search because that "weapon" obtained 164 results. Every the firearms, native a specialized pistol to assault-style rifles, to be apparently easily accessible for purchase and could it is in couriered to someone's home.

Chief Saunders states the transforming sources that firearms and how they're circulated is a growing concern. "It's going to it is in a whole brand-new script, and also it will certainly be borderless as soon as it comes to anyone that is urged to accessibility or use a part."

Straw buyers

Another growing resource of illegal guns in Canada, according to police, is firearms that were originally bought legitimately with retailers.

While the Canadian association of Chiefs that Police says it is working through Statistics Canada come compile national figures, Chief Saunders claims what he's watched in Toronto is a cultivation concern.

"It's Toronto-specific that the crime guns, the the bulk of them are domestic, predominately v straw purchasing," Saunders says.

Some that these guns were stolen from their legitimate owners and resold, others to be bought legitimate by Canadians and then available for sale illegally because that a profit.

"Straw purchasing" is when a legitimate Canadian firearm licence-holder buys a gun and also then sells that on the black color market. Criminals try to remove the serial number to make them untraceable.

"Those weapons are now in the illegal market and being supplied as crime guns, typically," Crowley says.

And it is happening across the country. Law enforcement officials describe widely publicized cases of Canadians gift convicted of offering legally purchased guns on the black color market.

Among the much more notable situations is Justin Green, a former philosophy college student at the university of Toronto, that legally purchased 23 handguns end the course of 22 months starting in 2011, consisting of as numerous as 15 native a solitary location, and then illegal resold them. That same year, Andrew Winchester purchased 47 handguns in the higher Toronto Area end the food of 6 months, marketing them on the illegal market for as lot as $100,000.

Green and also Winchester were only caught after the guns they purchased and resold were uncovered at crime scenes and also identified. Straw purchasing cases have additionally recently occurred in Alberta and also B.C., with officers telling audioeditorfree.com News it is a growing problem for them as well.

"Straw purchase is a hot-button topic," states Wes Winkel, owner that the Ellwood Epps sporting items store in Severn, Ont. He states it can be challenging for retailers to determine a feasible straw purchaser, although there room some telltale signs.

"They tend never to to buy accessories. Friend know, many sports shooters will need accessories to go through their firearms, whether it be holsters, ammunition, stuff prefer that."

Still, Winkel states the proposals supposed to stop it — including broadened background checks, licence verification and also extended obligated record-keeping by pistol retailers that has details that the gun and also who bought the — would not be effective due to the fact that the real issue is a absence of enforcement.

Winkel claims years that sales records are currently kept through retailers, and also yet authorities aren't efficiently using that info to conveniently flag straw buyers. "For every little thing reason, the amount of time the takes for law enforcement to recognize a straw human being is also long."

Still, Crowley of the Windsor Police states stronger legislative actions would help.

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"There is a need for this guns, these firearms, and there's definitely going to it is in a market," the says, and also the potential for benefit will continue to fuel straw buying and smuggling without deterrents.

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