Proposed bylaw angers Toronto gun enthusiasts

Tue May 27, 2008 5:03pm EDT
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By Ashleigh Patterson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Firearm enthusiasts slammed Toronto's proposed anti-gun measures on Tuesday, which would see shooting ranges, gun clubs and firearm manufacturers banned from Canada's largest city.

Toronto Mayor David Miller announced on Monday he will support staff recommendations contained in a new report that recommends restrictions on land use for the manufacture, distribution, assembly, warehousing and discharge of guns as part of the city's move to reduce gun crime.

The report also calls for new zoning regulations that would eliminate recreational use of firearms, effectively terminating permits for gun clubs in Toronto.

Marc Porter, a member of the Forest Hill Revolver Club, who owns two target pistols, said Miller was "misguided in his quest" to rid the city's streets of gun violence, adding that only athletes and hobbyists will suffer.

"I've been doing this for 31 years and we are not the problem. We are not training criminals; we are not offering criminals instruction," Porter said.

Inspector Tony Cooper, Ontario's acting chief firearms officer, said the clubs have not been a public safety issue

"It's the mayor's prerogative to do whatever he likes, but we have had no problem with those particular ranges," he said.

In response to the criticism, Miller said the proposals were an effort by Toronto to "take care of our own house."   Continued...

<p>File image shows a woman using a handgun in the shooting range of the Shanghai Modern Military Sport Club in Shanghai February 28, 2008. REUTERS/Nir Elias</p>