Amid a national conversation about gun possession, Canadian municipalities are leading the fight to enforce tougher restrictions.

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This latest discussion comes as Toronto contends with a gun violence epidemic. The number of fatalities in the largest city in Canada is already 30% higher than it was for the entirety of last year, according to statistics from the Toronto Police Department.

Some of those guns are smuggled illegally from the United States, where gun laws are notriously liberal. But many of the guns used in acts of violence in Canada have local origins.

It is for that reason that some of Canada's largest cities are calling for more outright bans. The Toronto city council voted last month to endorse a nationwide ban on handguns.

Montreal is the latest city to call for such a ban with a unanimous resolution passed on Monday.

That consensus is a strong demonstration of the city's concern for public safety as well as the broad support such a ban has among urban areas.

The federal government has already indicated that it is exploring a handgun ban. The Montreal vote will likely only further push the conversation and pressure the government to make a public stance.

A ban on handguns is a good and radical first step toward addressing violence. But systemic issues and rising economic inequality across the country will also need to be discussed. Such inequality is a public health issue.

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