March 5th, 2009

Canadian Politician Introduces Bill to Scrap Long-Gun Registry

The Canadian Firearms Registry is a government-run registry of all legally-owned guns in Canada. Compulsory gun registration was written into the Firearms Act (Bill 68) in 1995, which also provided for the establishment of a centralized database. It requires every firearm in Canada to be registered or rendered in an unusable state. This was an effort to reduce crime by making every gun traceable. Any person wishing to obtain a firearm must first acquire a Possession and Acquisition Licence or PAL.

MP Garry Breitkreuz

$2 Billion Tab for Failed Gun Registry
The Registry was supposed to cost Canadian taxpayers approximately $119 million dollars. Instead, documents obtained by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation show the program has cost upward of $2 BILLION dollars. At the same time there is little evidence that the Registry has had any notable effect on crime.

MP Garry BreitkreuzThere has been intense opposition to the Firearms Registry since its beginnings, and now the drive to eliminate the Registry has gained force. In the website, Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Garry Breitkreuz has called for the abolition of the long-gun Registry. MP Breitkreuz has introduced new legislation, Bill C-301, that would dismantle the long-gun provisions of the Registry.

Breitkreuz argues: “The Gun Registry has not saved one life in Canada, and it has been a financial sinkhole, estimated to have cost some $2 Billion. Imagine how many more police we could have on the streets if we had invested more wisely…. We need to dismantle the wasteful, futile registry and abandon the notion that this political pacifier is working.

Bill C-301 will scrap the long-gun Registry, improve efficiency and reduce costs without having any negative impact on public safety. The bill introduces a number of amendments to streamline the Firearms Act…. The Auditor-General has already blown the whistle on the gun registry. My bill proposes to ask for regular independent cost-benefit analyses on all aspects of the firearms program every five years.

Many Canadians have come to realize that the long-gun Registry is merely a bureaucratic exercise designed to lay a piece of paper beside every gun in the country. That piece of paper has no effect on the criminal and does nothing to prevent the misuse of a firearm.”

MP Breitkreuz’ efforts have been applauded by Canadian citizens writing to the National Post:

“[Canada’s Gun Registry] was a ‘paper’ ideological exercise which has proven worse than useless.” — Robins

“The Firearms Act as it exists is an incredible drain on much needed financial resources while giving very little of value in return. Streamlining the redundant, byzantine and costly bureaucracy is a worthy goal”. — Chuckbuster

“The gun registry was SUPPOSED to ‘make our streets safer’. It is beyond me how a slip of paper sent to law abiding persons was ever going to accomplish this task. The registry was always about confiscation of firearms. Despite political promises at the time, that it was ONLY for safety, it has shown itself time and time again, to be a tool of confiscation of legally-owned property. Time for it to go.” — Anopheses

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