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Regina Police promises new gun amnesty program

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-02-28 Alec Salloum
a pile of garbage: Under the city's first gun amnesty in 2017, 157 guns were turned in to police by members of the public. Regina's police chief says another amnesty is coming soon. © Regina Police Service Under the city's first gun amnesty in 2017, 157 guns were turned in to police by members of the public. Regina's police chief says another amnesty is coming soon.

Another gun amnesty is coming to Regina as police continue to seize large numbers of firearms in the city, chief of police Evan Bray says. 

Bray wasn't able to commit to a specific time frame, but speaking with reporters after Wednesday's board of police commissioners meeting, he said the amnesty would happen in the next month to month and half.

In 2017, the police service held its first gun amnesty program, which brought in 157 guns to be destroyed.

Bray has been vocal about his concerns with the increase in firearms on Regina's streets and felt that another amnesty would be warranted.

"We're continuing to seize guns. I was just downstairs the other day and saw, I don't know, 140 guns in the office where they just were seizing guns. We're constantly trying to take those guns out of the hands of criminals," he said.

Gun-related crime in Regina rose by 223 per cent in 2016 from the previous year, jumping from 17 incidents in 2015 to 58 the following year, according to Statistics Canada. 

The police service says it seized 643 firearms in 2017, including the 157 collected during the gun amnesty program. Another 268 were seized during criminal investigations.

By comparison, RPS seized 343 guns in 2016, including 246 through criminal investigations.

But Bray has no illusions that an amnesty will be the solution to the current issues police and people in Regina face when it comes to guns.

He said education, greater awareness about gun storage and enforcement will help tackle gun crimes in the city.

"Not any one of them is the magic solution to the problem but if we combine those efforts all together it's hopeful that it will make a difference."

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