On October 19th, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-19 to abolish the long gun registry. Along with other members of the Coalition for Gun Control, CFUW is very disappointed that the government has chosen to continued its charge against the registry.
Brenda Wallace, our national president wrote a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday to express our opposition to the provisions of the bill that will roll back gun control measures that have been in place since 1977, including:
- Eliminating mandatory license checks with the Registrar for the purchase of non-restricted firearms to ensure that individuals are still eligible to hold licenses; and
- Eliminating the need to maintain transaction records of non-restricted gun sales. Beginning in 1977 Canada required merchants to keep the records of gun sale transactions. This obligation was removed with the introduction of the Firearms Act because all guns were registered to the owner at the point of sale. In the event that the long gun registry is abolished, these measures should be reintroduced. Several international treaties require that countries maintain firearm sales records for the purpose of tracing.
Furthermore, we are strongly against the destruction of the records on the 7 million non-restricted firearms that are currently registered. This will not refund the financial investment that has been made to build the registry, nor will it be cost neutral.
The Government of Canada has also failed to acknowledge that keeping the long gun registry data would be useful as an investigative tool for police officers to trace firearms. The provinces and territories may also choose to set up their own long gun registries and could significantly benefit from access to this data.
CFUW strongly recommends that Club Presidents and individuals write to their Members of Parliament to oppose Bill C-19. A template letter can be downloaded here. If you are writing as an individual please remove reference to CFUW.