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  • Police reported 8,105 victims of firearm-related violent crime in 2006. The rate of firearm-related victimization remained stable for the fourth consecutive year.

  • The large majority of police-reported violent crimes do not involve a firearm. In 2006, a firearm was used against 2.4% of victims of violent crime. Physical force and threatening behaviour were much more common, accounting for three-quarters of all victimizations.

  • As with the overall trend, the rates of firearm-related crime among major crime categories, such as homicide, attempted murder and robbery, have remained stable in recent years.

  • Victims of robbery and assault accounted for about three-quarters of the total number of firearm-related victimizations in 2006. Although the incidence of attempted murder and homicide was much lower, a firearm was used against approximately one-third of victims of these offences, substantially higher than the proportions of robbery (14%) and assault (1%).

  • Similar to the trend in violent crime in general, firearm-related violent crime rates were higher in western Canada than in the east. The 2006 rates reported in Saskatchewan and Manitoba were 2 to 3 times higher than those in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

  • The rates of firearm-related violent crime in 2006 were highest in the larger census metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto and lowest in the smaller areas of Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke.

  • The rate of youth accused of firearm-related violent crime increased in 3 of the past 4 years. Year-to-year fluctuations in the rate of youth accused were driven primarily by incidents of firearm-related robberies.

  • Persons convicted of a firearm-related violent offence were sentenced to an average of 4.2 years in prison, double the average custodial sentence length for those convicted of a non-firearm violent offence.