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Toronto sees rise in weapon use, violent crimes among teens

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Gun-related crime in Toronto has taken a new twist, according to a city police commander. Firearms are being shared or rented for use in multiple violent crimes. Police reported that the increase in the seizure of guns from individuals under the age of 20 reflects a trend of weapon use in crimes committed by and against young people.

There have been numerous seizures in the Rexdale neighbourhood of Toronto, which could mean that police are looking for teenagers that they believe to be suspicious. All Canadians have rights, including teenagers, and whether an officer has sufficient cause to check for weapons is a legal matter. Working with a criminal defence lawyer can help to throw out inappropriate violent crimes charges or argue why police were wrong to stop a suspect.

Toronto police seem focused on searching for guns, especially amongst teenagers, and it remains to be seen what measures they will take to ensure there are fewer guns on the streets. In 2011, 907 guns were confiscated by police. It is unknown how many of those guns were taken from teenagers. It is also unclear how many of those guns were allegedly used in violent crimes.

Violent crimes such as aggravated assault or murder charges can result in a prison sentence and other penalties if one is convicted. A person accused of a violent crime or a crime involving a threat of violence could benefit from representation by a criminal defence lawyer. Not only can a lawyer help to have charges dismissed, but he or she may also be able to obtain a reduction in the charges or in the penalties imposed by the court. 

Source: The Toronto Star, “Guns seized in Toronto most often carried by youth,” Jennifer Pagliaro, Feb. 21, 2013

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