Tom Gill, Surrey First mayoralty candidate, says he’s firm on handguns and public safety

Tom Gill

SURREY First mayoralty candidate Tom Gill on Thursday announced that he and his Surrey First team will “never apologize for keeping his city safe and keeping handguns out of the hands of gangs and criminals”.

“Despite the arguments for and against gun ownership making the rounds in the news, there is absolute proof that getting guns off our streets leads to improved safety for everyone,” Gill noted.

Gill said that proof that reducing the number of handguns improves safety is borne out by the results of Australian’s gun-buyback program in 1997. Within a decade, 650,000 guns were collected. The number of homes with guns dropped by half, the homicide rate involving such weapons dropped 59 per cent, and the suicide rate dropped 65 per cent.

Gill pointed to an RCMP-commissioned report that says there are 840,000 restricted or prohibited guns in Canada, almost double the number recorded in 2005.

He said: “As mayor, I will leave no stone unturned in getting guns out of the hands of criminals. That means talking to the federal government about tougher sentencing, looking at a potential made-in-Canada gun buyback program as they’ve done in Australia, or banning certain weapons outright. Public safety has got to trump gun ownership every time.

“The idea that we want to ban all guns, or take guns away from responsible owners, is a red herring. This is about getting handguns out of the hands of gangsters and keeping our city safe. My number one priority is to work with police, city staff, the community and other levels of government to ensure that our citizens are safe and young lives do not continue to be wasted. I’m absolutely firm on this, because public safety is the single biggest issue in Surrey or any other community.”