Private Members’ Bill, C-391, to repeal the long-gun registry, continues to be a contentious issue here in Ottawa. The lines are drawn, but for the life of me I cannot fathom the logic of those opposing the elimination of this costly Long-Gun Registry. Below are some facts:
- The Auditor General, in her 2006 report, condemned the current gun registry as inefficient, wasteful and containing unreliable data. The original cost was to be $2 million. To-date, $2 billion has been spent.
- Bill C-391 eliminates only the Long-Gun Registry. Handguns and automatic weapons will still require registration.
- Persons owning long-guns will still need to have a license, store the firearms in a safe locked place, and be required to take firearm handling training.
- Those purchasing a firearm from a retailer will still be registered at the time of sale as the owner of the firearm.
- Criminals do not register their firearms. 59% of all gun-related homicides in Canada are committed with handguns; 93% of those handguns are smuggled into Canada. Only 28% of homicides were committed with long-guns, and of that only 3.5% were registered long-guns.
- Because there will never be 100% compliance with the Long-Gun Registry, police can never be certain of the information they receive from the Long-Gun Registry Data Center.
- The Long-Gun Registry has proven to be a costly ineffective way to reduce guns on our streets. I believe that law enforcement is the way to reduce guns and gangs.
- Police can still know who has a firearm license and access where that person lives.
- Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. With the money saved by eliminating the Long-Gun Registry more focus can be spent on investigating people with mental health issues or criminal records. These people should not be allowed to hold a firearm license.
Colin Mayes, MP
Okanagan - Shuswap