Guns are bad and a registry won’t make them less so

A new survey shows a majority of Canadians wants to do away with the long-gun registry


A new poll suggests Canadians outside Quebec are ready to do away with the controversial long-gun registry. The Canadian Press/Haris-Decima survey found 61 per cent of Canadians outside Quebec believe the registry is not helpful in stamping out gun crimes. However, within Quebec, it’s a different story; 56 per cent oppose abolishing the registry. Doug Anderson, senior vice-president of Harris-Decima says that, in general, Canadians still feel that “too many guns in society is a bad thing.” But many are convinced that the registry is simply a billion-dollar waste‹one that targets well-intentioned farmers and hunters as opposed to hardened criminals. Anderson speculates that the 1989 massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, which left 14 women dead, may have influenced Quebeckers’ reticence to do away with the registry. In the House of Commons, the Bloc Québécois voted unanimously against abolishment.

CBC News

Filed under:

Guns are bad and a registry won’t make them less so

  1. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.
    All guns should be registered in Canada. The fact that the development of the system was poorly done does not change this basic requirement.
    Help our law enforcement community. Keep the Long Gun Registry!

    • "don't throw out the baby with the bath water'??????? you obviously dont live in the north, here we rely on are gun to supply food for family majority of people arnt drug offenders etc…….. So if you live in the north you know that having a rifle is a way of life not a way of drug dealing robbing bank,stores,malls. The northern area of any continent would say they rely on there gun to bring home food for there kids their wives,and families that have a more difficult living stability.


      • Please tell me how registering your gun prevents you from using it.

        • Please tell me how registering your gun provides any benefit whatsoever. Please tell me how it is right for the government demand that our possesions are registered when there is no perceived benefit.

          • Sure. If it gets stolen, it increases the chances that you'll get it back.
            That's in addition to the benefits in that it allows police officers to know what's what before they go into a place. ie, If there's a domestic dispute and they know there's a long gun in the house, they can approach with a lot more caution and perhaps with backup nearby.

            So your second assertion is false.

            Now that you know a couple of the benefits, I'll also point out that none of your red herrings have any significant ability to injure or kill at a distance. As such, registering them is not as important, as the use of them will be obvious to the officer.

          • You are speaking with the false impression that the registry actually works. It doesn't. The registry might tell a police officer that the scene of a domestic had a resident with a long gun living there at one time. Not necessarily the current resident. And even knowing that there may be a long gun in the house does nothing to protect the officer from an unregistered hand gun

          • Wow.. you realize you're arguing that since we can't stop all lawbreakers, we shouldn't even try?
            That's a brilliant line of deduction.

            As for it not working.. perhaps you should speak with the various police chiefs who've said quite clearly that it does.

          • (I hope this post isn't duplicated — I lost the first one when I logged in)

            Cops ALWAYS assume there is a weapon on the premises when they go to a domestic. ALWAYS. They are aware that not everybody has registered their weapon, and don't assume that because an address doesn't turn up on a query to the registry, there there isn't a weapon on the premises. Do you really think that a cop says, "Hey, it's ok! This house doesn't have any weapons in it! It's not on the registry!"?

            It must drive you nuts, but the reality is that the masses are finally coming to understand that the registry was never anything more than a $2,000,000,000 feel-good, ideologically-reflexive, symbolic response to a horrific tragedy — a tragedy that the registry would have been unable to prevent in any case.

            If it worked I wouldn't oppose it; if it could be shown that the registry has resulted in real saving of lives, it would be worth the insane cost. But of course it's just a prop.

          • Additionally, gun owners are licensed, so officers already know if there may be a long gun in the house. Also, you still have no idea whether a gun is in any house whatsoever, once a gun is registered it can go anywhere. Thirdly, criminals don't register their guns. So the registry tells you nothing about whether there is a gun in the house.

            Finally, even if the registry had some sort of use (which it doesn't), that does not justify the expense, which is borne primarily by law-abiding gun owners, who pay fees for no benefit whatsoever.

          • Wow.. criminals don't register stolen vehicle either. Are you similarly in favor of not liscencing those?

            Please, the argument that unless enforcement is perfect we shouldn't even try is something most thinking people discard around junior high. But I rather expect that explains your use of it.

            Every argument you provide here applies equally or moreso to motor vehicles. So I take it you also argue in favor of getting rid of liscening for them as well?

          • I am not arguing that enforcement needs to be perfect. I am arguing that the registry is useless. I have other arguments against it as well.

            Do I favour licensing of motor vehicles? Funny enough, I've already answered that question, twice.

            The motor vehicle argument is a typical example of a slippery slope. There was a day when vehicles were not licensed. And at that time, I'm sure there was some opposition to it. Now, that particular decision is being used to justify the licensing of dogs, cats, and long guns used by hunters and farmers. Later on, we may be registering more and more and more.

            So here is what I have to say about motor vehicle licensing:



          • Actually registering makes it more likely to be stolen. The registry been compromised hundreds of times by criminals. And when you register the gun the government knows where it is and can find it when it comes time ton ban it. And the last time they banned something owners were not payed for their loss. Taking something without paying = stealing.

            What difference does it make if a police officer know the make, model and serial number of a gun that might be present at a domestic dispute?

  2. The vast majority of Canadians realize that the long gun registry was never designed to prevent or even reduce crime in Canada. It was simply a political means of appeasing the shock resulting from the horrible massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. Nobody more than Quebecers should realize what a horrible injustice this pathetic program has been to the memory of those innocent victims. Billions of dollars later Canadian schools, shopping malls, and a host of public places are no safer today then they were on that sad December day ten years ago. Canadians of all political stripes have paid a steep price for this foolishness. Criminal one has not registered a firearm since the beginning of time and the sooner we get off the backs of law abiding properly licensed hunters, farmers, and target shooters, abolish this useless piece of legislation and begin to treat the illegal ownership of firearms in this Country with the mandatory severe penalties it deserves, the sooner our communities will be safer places. The Long Gun Registry has been a bank of unreliable information for law enforcement officers and a political win for their chiefs.


    "Two in three Canadians want to keep gun registry, poll finds. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have a tough time convincing Canadians it's time to completely scrap the country's gun registry program, a new opinion poll suggests."

    So much for "NEW POLL FINDS blab blab…"

    The association of police chiefs supports the long gun registry and that's good enough for me.

    And extremely divisive issues ought never to be put to a vote – or, at least, we can count ourselves lucky that they are not. Capital punishment and abortion, to name but two.

    • Hey Gustav, politically appointed officials also supported the extermination of the Jewish population, was that good enough for you as well. Politically appointed folks typically do not bite the hand that feeds them which means that anything they support should be analyzed before assuming that it is right. Now, ask the Police officers on the street what they think.

  4. "don't throw out the baby with the bath water'??????? you obviously dont live in the north, here we rely on are gun to supply food for family majority of people arnt drug offenders etc…….. So if you live in the north you know that having a rifle is a way of life not a way of drug dealing robbing bank,stores,malls. The northern area of any continent would say they rely on there gun to bring home food for there kids their wives,and families that have a more difficult living stability.


    • Why is it so difficult to register one's gun, especially when one is using the gun for the purpose of hunting?
      I don't understand…

  5. "I implore you to become immediately involved by letting the coalition parties know that our massive constituency of gun owners in Canada will refuse to recognize this proposed power grab as a bona fide government…

    We must tell coalition leaders in no uncertain terms that this unholy alliance is not acceptable to us as Canadians

    Please call and write the opposition Members of Parliament in your province and beyond to stop the madness. They do not have a mandate to seize power from the elected government."

    – Garry Breitkreutz, Member of Parliament, Yorkton-Melville

    Suggesting insurrections against democracy would be more difficult in all long-guns were registered.

    • That's exactly why guns should never be registered. When government turns the tyrannical the first thing they do is seize guns from hostile parties to prevent resistance. No decrease in crime now is worth that price.

      • Yes, Britain's democracy fell immediately after they banned guns didn't it.. oh wait.. it didn't. Maybe because your argument is full of crap.

        If the government turns tyrannical, your .22 winchester is going to do all of jack and squat to the APV and body armored, M16 toting soldiers within.

  6. it really does not matter whether or not the long gun registry was effective or even if it could be, the entire thing is MOOT! a clear majority of canadians want it gone .. case closed and period. You can take your metropolitan philsophy and your metropolitan political representation and file it with your metro-sexual attitudes. It don't matter folks your input is no longer required if you live outside of the GTA or some other large grouping of sheeple your attitude in life becomes clearer and less cluttered with things that are irrelevant – there is only one fact that counts here and now = how will the MP's vote – they have started the process and the message was LOUD and CLEAR – begone long gun .. and that's it … you can debate all you want but the only thing that counts now is how will the committee treat it LPT = beware as this will cost you even more points down in the polls if you stall this one.

  7. Where did the poll take place, in the rural areas or at a gun show? How about we get to the truth on this and other important matters and settle them through referendum. We can’t trust the clowns in Ottawa to make the important decisions, no matter what party they’re in. They’re all proven idiots. It seems power makes your IQ drop substantially.

  8. IT's not the guns that are bad it's the CRIMINALs that get a hold of them smuggling them in from the US.
    Selling them in the black market!
    Responsible licensed gun owners are not responsible for the crimes that are happening!

  9. If we had more responsible gun owners there would be far fewer repeat criminals.

  10. Tax slave
    Don't blame repeat criminals on registered gun owners.
    WE don't have BOUNTY HUNTERS here in CANADA!

  11. if you were a criminal don't you think it would be quite easy to get a weapon…and do you really think they would buy a weapon and register it?? not very logical

    • Registered gun owners have NO CRIMINAL records?DAH!

      • it wouldn't be so bad if the government wasn't so incompetant, i registerd my itunes and it wasn't a two billion dollar program

  12. Hey, you pro-registry types are right that not wanting to get guns registered was a knee-jerk reaction and a dislike of change, mixed in with a bit of paranoia and conspiracy theory.

    However, it wouldn't be an issue if it would have been implemented for a reasonable cost, and it was a user-friendly database to register with. Given that it was simply an extension of a handgun registry in place for decades, and it was simply an electronic database, there is no reason why we should have spent 2 billion dollars and still not have a working gun registry after a decade. It is only 7.4 million entries for pete's sake.

    If it hadn't been seen as such a holy cause to keep us banjo-playing, cousin-lovin, tabakee chewing rednecks in check (because you watch a lot of American TV) you would have asked questions about the registry and made corrections to its implementation a decade ago. It would be a settled matter. Instead, you have screwed yourself out of the implementation of a long gun registry for at least a generation. So if it was important to you, the fact that you couldn't look at things objectively ensured its demise.

    I'd also like to immediately start an inquiry as to where all that money went. You don't spend 2 billion dollars on moderately sized database without a vast amount of incompetence or a a vast amount of corruption. Or both.

  13. Although there is a lot of people wanting to do away with the gun registries and visa versa thinking it will lessen crimes(NOT SO)
    If they do this and get rid of the long gun registries and hand gun ones.
    I suppose they would GRANDFATHER all the people that at present own legal guns.

  14. I don't really follow the "police" notion they should have the registry so they can check on a residence before they go in etc … shouldn't they always presume (in a possible violent situation) lethal force might be necessary and thus be prepared. Most gun owners realize that guns don't kill people (unless used as a club) but that bullets kill people. It's the bullets that are the problem – why not register "persons" enabling them to purchase bullets. Six of one half dozen of another eh (!) but slightly different in that with a system or registering persons enabling them to purchase bullets you could own as many guns as you might like without having to register etc.

  15. Let me break it down for you

    Guns aren't bad. They're inanimate objects, like cars aren't bad.

    Some people are bad, and the focus should be on keeping them from having guns.

    Most people are good, and some of those people own guns.

    Bad people will not register their guns. Bad people will get guns illegally.

    The registry is be full of guns owned by good people (you know, the ones who don't commit crimes).

    Bad people will continue to do bad things, and the registry will neither prevent them from doing them, or help catch them after the fact.

    Ergo, we wasted $2 billion dollars to make a list of good people with guns. Does THAT make any sense?

    • You hit the nail on the head completely. The gun registry is a huge waste of time and money. Does anyone really think that having a gun registry is any sort of a deterrent to any criminal owning a gun! Really, if you believe that I have a bridge in brooklyn I can sell you….

      I am not certain how most intelligent people can be fooled into believing that a registry is any form of deterrence for gun crime – I think its one of those things that sounds good on first blush to most people, but it should be pretty self evident that it is an implicit fallacy.

    • As well:

      Being a police officer is all about control, and so having a registry is another tool in the control toolbox for police forces – so of course they love the idea of the registry. But any citizen concerned first and formost with liberty, rather then control, should resist this. I decry bureaucracy that requires you jump through hurdles to prove you can do something, when in most situations it should be the reverse – unless it can be proved you are not fit, there should not be a barrier.

      Try to pin a police force to showing how the registry has actually prevented 99% of the gun crime that has occurred – you can't because they can't. About the only thing they can do is use the registry for determining providence on stolen weapons, and they could do that anyways in almost all cases without the registry. As my math profs at Waterloo used to say, ignore the pontificating and look for the hard facts in the statistics. On this issue they are non-existent.

  16. If Bill 361 goes through then all registered legal gun owners won't have to pay renewal fees.
    Grandfathered without cost! Saving a bundle is what it's all about!
    Keeping it simple!

    • Bill 391-error in 361
      Doing away with the gun registries.
      A gun registry is an important part in catching criminals.
      The police including Chief Bill Blair do not support getting rid of it!

  17. The gun registries are an important part of finding criminals.
    The police forces
    in Toronto and Montreal do not support getting rid of it!

    • Sorry Pat, you are completely incorrect. The gun registry doesn't find any criminals at all. Seriously, think about it.

  18. To be politically correct.The gun registry is a helpful tool to determine suicides and can trace murder weapons to it's owners.
    Without a gun registry we would live in a world with all guns being illegal unless some are Grandfathered.

  19. The gun registry is an example of how stupid people make stupid laws. Shooting is a wholesome sport, and competent gun handling will allow lawful citizens to defend themselves if one has the conscience and courage to do it.

    I can see why the fwench in quebec have a problem with ideas like that.

  20. I highly doubt that poll. Most urbanites – which means most Canadians – have always favoured the gun registry. However, they have favoured it under the false assumption that the registry somehow makes it less likely that guns will fall into the wrong hands. This is absolutely false. You still require a license to purchase a gun, and to own one. Period. Registry or no registry, that law remains unchanged. Also, handguns and all other restricted weapons will continue to be registered, as they have been since 1932.

  21. The long gun registry was an emotional response to a tragedy (École Polytechnique) which morphed into a typical bureaucratic nightmare which became a sacred moneypit. Do you hate violence? Throw your money right there, in that pit.

Sign in to comment.