MONTREAL – Quebec has won the latest stage in its legal battle against the federal government to keep long-gun registry data for the province.
Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard of the Quebec Superior Court sided with the province and ordered the federal government to hand over the information.
It’s just one more step in the battle over what to do with the remnants of the now-defunct federal gun registry — a fight that could end up before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Today’s decision comes after the province obtained a series of temporary injunctions safeguarding the Quebec data. That meant long-guns continue to be registered in this province, a process that has ended elsewhere in the country.
The bill to end the federal long-gun registry received royal assent on April 5, fulfilling a longstanding promise by the Harper government to decriminalize non-registration of long guns.
In Quebec, where there is a strong current of support for gun control, the provincial government has sought information from the registry and it plans to start its own provincial long-gun registry with data from that province.
Quebec argues that it has a right to the information because its taxpayers helped build and pay for it.
The Harper government is opposed to relinquishing any data, which it is determined to destroy. It says Quebec can start from scratch if it wants to build its own registry.