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Over 3,100 guns surrendered to police during gun buyback program

Toronto police display some of the firearms surrendered during the gun buyback program, June 20, 2019. CITYNEWS/Jason MacLellan

Toronto police say homes and neighbourhoods are a little bit safer now after collecting over 3,100 firearms during their gun buyback program.

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Insp. Chris Boddy said Torontonians had an overwhelming response to the program in just a matter of three weeks.

“Our communications folks received many more than 1,000 calls just for people wanting to turn in their firearms and of course with that we had our police officers attend well over 1,000 addresses — 1,000 homes — throughout neighbourhoods throughout the city,” he explained.

The program, which ran from April 26 to May 17, was a part of a larger strategy to help reduce the supply of guns available to criminals.

Police said over 2,200 long guns and over 900 handguns were surrendered for destruction, making it the largest number of firearms collected through a gun buyback program in Toronto.

Members of the public were offered the chance to turn over guns they no longer wanted in their homes and were compensated $200 for long guns and $350 for handguns. Those who turned in their firearms have yet to be paid.

The last buyback program occurred in 2008 when over 2,000 guns were turned in.

See a gallery of the variety of guns collected during the program below: