City councillor calls for bars connected to gun crime to have alcohol licenses suspended
City councillor Mike Colle says some bar owners in Toronto need to take the issue of gun violence more seriously.
That's why Colle will present at this month's city council meeting a motion that, if passed, would call on the provincial government to change the alcohol regulations in Ontario to give the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) the power to suspend or revoke licenses to establishments that have had repeated brushes with gun violence.
Colle says the Mayor is prepared to support his motion.
The veteran politician says it should apply not only to bars or restaurants where repeated shootings happen but also those where people connected to gun crime are known to frequent.
He believes some bar owners need to take a more active role in letting the police know who visits their establishment.
Former Toronto Police detective Mark Mendelson is critical of Colle's proposal.
NEWSTALK 1010's Crime Specialist says such a policy wouldn't be effective at fighting gun crime because there's often no way for a bar owner to tell who is armed and who isn't, beyond physically searching each patron or 'wanding' them with a metal detector.
Above all, Mendelson says, pushing more responsibility for the behaviour of customers is risky for bar staff and management.
He believes putting pressure on them to report sketchy clients, or to bounce possible troublemakers themselves, could lead to violence to begin with.