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Ottawa, May 25 (Canadian-Media): A project to increase the amount of information collected on guns used in crime has been started by Statistics Canada in collaboration with police services and Public Safety Canada, media reports said.
Statistics Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
For decades missing information has created greater challenged to stop the flow of illegal guns into Canada or to curb gun violence.
Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control said that information on origins of guns is fragmented, need of detailed data would help identify hot spots of gun activity in the country.
Although the broad pattern of gun crime in the country has been known for years, Cukier said that the figures used in crimes are elusive.
Even what police refer to as a gun used in a crime isn't the same across the country and Statistics Canada says it's working with police and other groups to come up with a definition.
Statistics Canada's work is further complicated by a lack of requests to trace a gun's ownership history.
There is no legal requirement that firearms be submitted by police for tracing through the RCMP-run Canadian National Firearms Tracing Centre as the centre is not mandated to collect statistics on illegal firearms and hence does not retain the information it gathers and the records are maintained in inconsistent, formats.
The origins of some guns remains a mystery.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which represents senior police leadership from across the country also wants to standardize definitions of key firearm-related concepts.
Despite the difficulties, collecting the information is still worth the effort said Jooyoung Lee, a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, who studies the causes and consequences of gun violence.