At least 2,000 illegal firearms in circulation


No less than 2,000 illegal firearms of a frightening variety are in circulation in Montreal at the start of this year when the outbreak of violence continues.

• Read also: “It’s not safe”: the resumption of violence worries in Montreal North

• Read also: Two shootings in the same place in 24 hours

This is what our Bureau of Investigation was able to learn from well-informed sources in the criminal and police milieu. No wonder the criminal gangs behind the outbreak of shootings that have rocked the metropolis since 2019 can easily obtain them.

Again this weekend, three events involving gunshots shook the borough of Montreal North in less than 24 hours. And on January 13, a 17-year-old teenager was shot dead in the middle of the street in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal.

According to a trafficker who confided in us and who requested anonymity, this black market is fed each month by “at least” two new shipments from the United States.

Conventional handguns, shotguns, ghost guns, submachine guns and semi-automatic military rifles: the variety of weapons arriving in Montreal is frightening.

Many are designed for carnage, firing close to a thousand rounds per minute.

The price of these illegal weapons varies according to the category, its particularities, as well as the urgency for the buyer to acquire them. We are talking about $1000 to $8000 on the black market.

For all tastes

A large number of weapons are first purchased from American dealers, particularly in the state of Pennsylvania where the legislation is very permissive. We have access to American, Israeli, Swedish, Czech Republic and ex-USSR products.

In Montreal, it is the Irish underworld that oversees the importation of weapons. Street gangs are further down the chain.

« [La pègre] negotiates directly with the big heads of organized crime, not with street gangs,” the arms dealer told us with a laugh.

Arab organized crime is “not far behind” the Irish in terms of influence, according to our source.

Once in town, the weapons are placed in caches before being sold to organized crime, street gangs, but also to young people.

Transactions often take place in a car, in an underground parking lot or behind a restaurant.

According to our sources, a Montreal grocery store would even serve as a weapons supply point.

Real customers come in through the front door to buy food there. The others enter through a back door of the warehouse to obtain weapons hidden in crates.


In early September 2021, the police found a firearm near a residence riddled with bullets in the Saint-Laurent borough.

Photo d’archives

In early September 2021, the police found a firearm near a residence riddled with bullets in the Saint-Laurent borough.

“Trust can kill”

The criminal underworld does things its own way, we are told. And since “trust can kill”, no one should be trusted.

“The guy has to pay before I give him the gun. And it’s not loaded because if it was, it could kill me with the gun which I am selling to him. Then I give him the ammunition,” the arms dealer told us.

Important precautions, he tells us, since “young people no longer respect anything” according to him.

According to the dealer, it is better to buy new.

“It’s a very big risk to buy a used weapon, unless you get rid of it very quickly, added the trafficker. Nobody wants to be caught with a weapon that was used in a murder. The world is crazy, but not that crazy. »

There are several strategies to avoid getting caught with a weapon. For example, street gang members sometimes use young women as screens.

Our sources explain that they are the ones who carried the handgun in a satchel before the shooter retrieved it, fired and returned the weapon. Neither seen nor known. If the shooter is stopped and searched by the police, the girl and the gun are already somewhere else.

No serial number

The ghost handgun, which we often see under the guise of the Glock model, has also been very popular in recent years.

She’s called ghost gun because it does not have a serial number, which is normally affixed to the lower part of the weapon – called the low in the jargon of gun owners.

The serial number is registered in the Canadian Firearms Registry. Investigators use it to identify the owner of the weapon, and then try to establish who had it in their hands at the time of the crime.

– With Eric Thibault

The weapons that circulate the most in Montreal

VZ 58

  • Provenance : Czech Republic
  • Price : $7000 to $8000
  • Use : within 90m

◆ Semi-automatic military carbine with a rate of 200 rounds per minute. Less used on the territory, it is used to intimidate, because of its resemblance to the Russian AK-47. This is the weapon used in 2012 during the attack on the former premier of Quebec, Pauline Marois. It ends up in the hands of different mafias.

.12 caliber shotgun

  • Provenance : United States
  • Price : $1000 to $1500 for the model long, $2500 for the short model
  • Use : inside of 30 m

◆ Extremely powerful shotgun. The shady midfielder cuts the barrel lengthwise, rendering the gun illegal. Coupe, the price is more expensive on the black market. He is the choice of killers who want to loudly intimidate. Death is almost certain. Enters through native reservations and border crossings.

Ghost gun – gun chassis replica

  • Provenance : Can be crafted anywhere
  • Price : $1500 to $2500
  • Use : within 30m

◆ Known as “low”, the lower part of the weapon is a replica that does not have a serial number. Once assembled, the weapon is similar to the Glock. the ghost gun is very present in street gangs. Police, customs and federal agencies are fighting against the increase in its use.

MAC-10 and Cobray M11

  • Provenance : United States
  • Price : $6000 to $7000
  • Use : within 10m

◆ Submachine gun with a rate of approximately 1000 rounds per minute. Very light, it is a devastating gun at close range. As soon as you move away, it becomes inaccurate and could hit unwanted targets. Enters exclusively through Native reserves and border crossings.

Uzi and mini-Uzi

  • Provenance : Israel
  • Price : $3500 to $4000
  • Use : within 20m

◆ Submachine gun with a rate of approximately 900 rounds per minute. One of the most widely circulated guns in the world. Highly accurate, the Uzi is used by all criminal groups. It enters through Aboriginal reserves, the Port of Montreal and border services.

VZ 61 Scorpion

  • Provenance : Czech Republic
  • Price : $5000 to $6000
  • Use : within 10m

◆ Submachine gun with a rate of approximately 800 rounds per minute. Used by gangs and hitmen who act on behalf of criminal organizations. It enters through the Port of Montreal, Akwesasne and border crossings.

TEC-9

  • Provenance : Sweden
  • Price : $3500 to $5000
  • Use : within 10m

◆ Submachine gun with a rate of fire of 1000 rounds per minute. Formerly used by the Hells, it is very popular with street gangs and used for drive by shooting. It enters mainly through Akwesasne.

From watch in Akwesasne

Police officers are regularly intimidated while trying to carry out investigations on the territory of Akwesasne, often referred to as the gateway to illegal weapons in Quebec.

Investigating on Mohawk territory is complex, police sources tell us. Some criminalized members of the community carry out a surveillance called watch.

They observe who is accessing the territory and try to locate unmarked police cars.

Investigators from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) were intimidated there. Police sources who are not authorized to speak to the media told us that they were followed and cavalierly ordered to leave the territory.

“We cannot send our police officers to patrol the lakes, they will be killed”, even advanced one of our sources.

Organized crime knows this and takes the opportunity to use indigenous reservations to bring in illegal weapons from the United States, another source continues.

Delicate investigations

Executing judicial authorizations on reserves is not easy, according to our sources. All truth is not good to say and even less to write.

In 2017, Judge Stéphane Godri, of the Court of Quebec, admonished an SQ sergeant who had invoked difficulties in investigating the territory of Akwesasne.

“I find it very regrettable that stereotypes […] still find their way into court documents,” the magistrate mentioned in his decision.

Our police sources observe that the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, former police officer Ian Lafrenière, sees to establishing a partnership between the SQ, the SPVM, the RCMP and the Mohawk police in order to work in collaboration.

For any information, you can contact me confidentially at [email protected] or 514 212-3937



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