toronto police guns seized

Toronto police seized this gun over the weekend and people have questions

Did you know that the your local police service has an entire Twitter account dedicated to sharing pictures of all the guns they seize from the streets of Toronto (or perhaps in this case, the olde Town of York)?

It's called @TPSGunsSeized and it is legitimately one of the most underrated "official police business" social media accounts in existence.

With just under 11,000 followers, the account has a respectable-sized audience, but one not nearly as large as you'd think for how viral some of its tweets have gone.

These simple social media posts, always with the same text caption ("#offthestreets this week"), have developed a cult following of sorts comprised of people who like to ask questions and crack jokes about the firearms depicted.

Some of the guns they show are terrifying, some of them are rare, some are confusing and some of them are just like, what the heck happened here?

But it's the old-timey guns that look like they were apprehended from a civil war soldier by time-travelling cops that get the most attention.

On Wednesday, one such gun resulted in one of the most widely-shared tweets the @TPSGunsSeized account has ever produced, with more than 24,400 likes, 8,500 retweets and 3,400 comments in just over 24 hours.

Here is what that gun looks like:

Jokes about pirates and Alexander Hamilton and historic duels abound, as they often do, but some people have real questions about the origin of the gun.

Fortunately for them, TPS media officer Const. Caroline de Kloet was able to provide some background.

"On Saturday, April 17, 2021, at 12:54 a.m., officers were called to the Midland Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East," says de Kloet. "It is alleged that a man exited a TTC bus and was in possession of a firearm."

When officers arrived, they arrested the 29-year-old man and "charged him accordingly" while seizing what de Kloet described as "an antique firearm."

Antique indeed, as Twitter users are gleefuly pointing out.

"If only you'd been quicker, Abraham Lincoln might still be alive," joked one person in response to the account (which I can confirm is not a parody.)

"You're doing gods work, man," replied another. "Lost an ancestor to a pistol just like that in 1776."

"I, Uhm, feel much safer?" wrote another still. "I hope the highwayman that owned this has been flogged, chastised and firmly secured in shackles."

It's not clear (at least to me) what kind of firearm this is or which era it's from, but many people are saying it's of the flintlock class.

Whatever the case, this gun can no longer threaten the people of Toronto with tetanus.

Lead photo by

Toronto Police


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