How guns hit the streetTWO recent West End shootings raise a troubling question: How do teens get lethal weapons?
According to Winnipeg police Det. Rob Duttchen, a firearms enforcement support officer, there are three ways criminals get their hands on guns.
They're stolen from lawful owners or businesses during crimes like break-and-enters.
Someone who legally owns a gun sells or gives it to a criminal.
The gun is illegally trafficked into Canada, generally from places like the United States.
Duttchen said finding a gun isn't necessarily difficult for people enmeshed in an illegal lifestyle.
"When you're engaged in the criminal and drug subculture, your network is within the criminal and drug subculture, so if you need to secure a firearm or you need to secure drugs, you use the people with whom you're engaged in criminality," he said.
City police seized 894 firearms last year and about 400 so far this year.
He estimated 60 per cent of illegal guns come from domestic sources and 40 per cent come from international destinations.
"When you talk to police officers who started in the (19)70s, they will tell you that it was a rare occurrence for a firearm to be seized," he said.
"If you talk to a police officer who started last year, they will tell you that rarely a week goes by that there's not some sort of seizure of a firearm."
The main problems surrounding the west end, are; addictions, poor and ineffective parenting, poverty, unemployment and family violence/dysfunction along with negative influences and role models. More police, will not solve these problems that plague the west end. If we want to reduce crime, we need to address these root causes.