Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews
Toews called Vaughan's push to ban bullets in the wake of the Eaton Centre shooting "a misdirected effort."
"The issue isn't the legality or illegality of bullets or guns," Toews said Wednesday. "The issue is these guns in the hands of criminals. That needs to be stopped.
"Our focus has been on focusing on those individuals who, in fact, are breaking the law."
Toews said he wouldn't comment on whether Toronto had the jurisdiction to ban bullets.
"But, I think their time would be better spent on assisting the victims of crime with various initiatives," he said.
"I think there are things that the city can do in that respect, and also working with the federal and provincial governments in terms of implementing measures that will actually curtail the actions of those who are involved in criminal activities."
Vaughan wasn't backing down from his tough-on-bullets stand Wednesday.
"I think that bullets present a clear danger to a lot of people in a lot of different ways in the city - whether it is domestic violence, whether it is suicide or whether it is some of the situations we see in public spaces," he said.
"The harder we make it for people to get bullets, the safer we're going to make it for all those other people in the city."
Vaughan said if the federal Conservatives spent more time making the borders safe and less time worrying about some of the other issues "like gazebos in Muskoka and a billion on the G20," maybe we wouldn't have as many illegal handguns.
"The sad truth is it is not just the guns coming across the border - legal gun owners lose their guns, they have their guns stolen, they give away or they sell them sometimes," he said.
"Every gun starts out a legal one, every bullet starts out legal. The trouble is they end up in crimes."
- With files from Daniel Proussalidis