February 22nd, 2012

Canada’s House of Commons Votes to Repeal Long-Gun Registry

Canada long-gun registryLast week in Ottawa, Canada’s House of Commons voted to nullify a long-gun registry law that had been in place since 1995. The bill still needs to be ratified by the Canadian Senate. However, because Conservatives hold a majority in the Senate, most experts believe the repeal of the Registry is a “done deal” as soon as the repeal legislation goes up for final vote in the Canadian Senate.

The Chronicle Herald reports: “The vote effectively puts the registry on life support; all that remains is for the Senate to pull the plug. Since the Conservatives enjoy a commanding majority in the upper chamber as well, the Registry’s fate is sealed.” Liberal Senate leader James Cowan conceded: “They’ve got the majority and unless something extraordinary happens, it will pass.” Unfortunately, the Calgary Herald also predicted that Liberals might try to delay the Senate vote for weeks or even months.

If the Conservatives succeed in dismantling the Registry, tens of thousands of Registry records would be deep-sixed. That idea is popular with critics of the Registry: “the Harper government’s further directive to destroy all the data is a mammoth victory of the people over Big Brother” (Calgary Sun). Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said of the registry, “It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life. It criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.”

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