25 years after the Montreal massacre, gun control is lax as ever

There’s been progress in the years since the shooting at École Polytechnique. But whatever happened to the Firearms Act?

Shaney Komulainen/CP

Shaney Komulainen/CP

Canada’s Firearms Act was already drenched in symbolism when it came into law in late 1995. Compelling Canada’s gun owners to register their long guns was an affirmation of Canada’s “character as a peace-loving, non-violent nation,” said then justice minister Allan Rock. The law, which imposed fines and up to six months in jail on gun owners who failed to register their weapons, came into being on the six-year anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. On Dec. 6, 1989, Marc Lépine shot and killed 14 women at Université de Montréal’s École Polytechnique, before turning his (legally registered) gun on himself.

Twenty-five years later, the Liberal’s signature law and the long-gun registry it birthed is all but a memory, victim of the Conservative government’s long-held promise to scrap it. Gone, too, are the data collected on Canada’s estimated six million rifles and shotguns. (A court injunction has prevented the destruction of the data pertaining to Quebec.)

Whether the law worked in preventing deaths is a matter of politics. Homicides involving long guns decreased by 41 per cent between 1995 and 2010, according to Statistics Canada—although gun control opponents credit a greying population, not the registry, for this. Still, there is little political will to reinstate it—least of all from the Liberals, who championed the law nearly two decades ago. Justin Trudeau declared the registry “a failure” in 2012, just months after voting against its destruction. “To go back in the process and re-register every gun in the country, that’s not where we’re at,” says Liberal public safety critic Wayne Easter. “There are too many priority issues.”

The Liberal reversal on gun control may have to do with the party’s attempts to woo the rural vote, where gun-control opposition is typically strongest. “[The registry] hurt us electorally, so why give the Conservatives an issue that we don’t need that probably isn’t going to make our streets any safer?” Easter says. The NDP, which also voted to maintain the long-gun registry, today sings a similar tune. “The registry’s gone, the data’s been destroyed, so the registry’s not coming back,” says NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison. Both parties, however, are opposed to Bill C-42, which is now before the House and which critics say would further simplify the licensing process for gun owners.

The long-gun registry was politically fraught for another key reason. A 2005 auditor general’s report says the registry cost $860 million to set up, or about 430 times the Liberal government’s 1995 estimates. Tales of botched registrations and long wait times for permits abounded. Yet law enforcement agencies were overwhelmingly in favour of the registry. In a 2011 letter to then public safety minister Vic Toews, Bill Blair, then the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), called it “invaluable in investigating firearms crimes.” Today, the CACP is also resigned to the loss of the registry. The organization, which represents 1,074 Canadian police leaders, won’t lobby for its return. “We have accepted [the government’s] decision and have moved on,” current CACP president, Clive Weighill, told Maclean’s.

Meanwhile, Lépine’s weapon of choice, the Ruger Mini-14, is easy enough to buy, with or without a permit. The same 2012 law abolishing the long-gun registry also relieved private gun sellers from the obligation of asking to see the buyer’s firearms permit. Until La Presse noted as much this week, several of the guns were available on Lespac, a popular online classifieds site in Quebec. A used Mini-14 cost about $900.


25 years after the Montreal massacre, gun control is lax as ever

  1. Easily available guns and mentally ill people are a dangerous combination.

    We need to tackle both problems.

    • The guns are not easier to get for an honest citizen, you still need to go through a process of 3 to 6 month to get your PAL and if you have lost your job, divorce or depression you won’t get that card for sure and to buy or sell a firearm in all Canada, you need that card.

    • Given that background checks required, it is highly improbable that the mentally ill are going out in droves and buying firearms. Legal firearms, are NOT easily obtained, Emily. There is a lot of legwork and prep before you can get one.

      As for the mentally ill getting guns………..I suspect there are none to be found in your home…at least not the legal kind.

  2. Well riddle me this why are Homicides going down in Canada…??

    • They’re going down everywhere in the western world, not just Canada.

      But easily available guns and mentally ill people are still a dangerous combination.

      • Emily,

        Mentally ill people with almost anything is a dangerous combination. Put them behind the wheel of a car, or a greyhound bus…….

        Fortunately, mentally ill people on the Macleans comment site is just comic relief; as you prove every time you comment.

    • Homicide rates go down in great part because trauma care is far more advanced than it was 30 years ago. Injuries that would have been life ending 40 years ago now have a much higher survival rate. Doctors, nurses, and first responders use techniques and employ technology that has been developed in war zones. This combined with 911 coverage and faster response times by first responders’ means a lot more people live than in the past.
      There are many politicians who will point to the decrease in homicide rate and take credit for the good work the medical field has done. Pointing to whatever program they implemented.
      What you need to look at are the numbers of aggravated assault increasing or decreasing in your area. These are assaults where the intention of the attacker was to kill the victim. If they are up in your area then violence has increased in your area but you have excellent medical care and fast first responders.
      I wouldn’t go around betting my life on a statistic though.
      Mentally ill people who fall under the very small percentage of people who suffer from mental illness that are violent obtaining firearms or any other weapon is a problem. The obvious fix to this problem is dealing with mental illness in our society properly.
      Mentally ill people in Canada and the US should all have access to a facility where they can receive the treatment they need. There should be outpatient services in the communities they are members of. Does it cost a lot of money and does it take years to see benefits? Don’t answer that the answer is obvious. I would be very wary of a politician who would suggest otherwise.

      • Uh no….it has nothing to do with medical care. And there are a great many mentally ill people in society. They fill the news every day.

        • Because that’s all you want to see in the new’s Emilyone… Tell me, would you care much for the new’s if they were reporting things that didn’t pull your heart strings?

          • LOL sexist mush.

            20% of Canadians are mentally ill.

          • Here’s an idea Emily if you are going to disagree with people try to have an actual argument.
            Not believing the advances in medical care and response time by first responder’s makes a difference in the saving of lives doesn’t exactly make it so. Take a look into it if it’s really concerning you that much. Also don’t just Google stuff up try talking to someone who has worked in a trauma room for ten or more years and ask them have advances in care technology and techniques have helped save people.
            Also I am not sure what you are trying to insulate by saying “And there are a great many mentally ill people in society. They fill the news every day”
            No where did I say the mentally ill were not visible in society.
            If you actually read what I said I am advocating for proper facilities and care for the mentally ill. Would it drop homicide rates? Well that’s pretty tough to answer. There is significant promise it would (In cases where someone suffering from mental illness became violent).
            More than that it would improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their family.
            Considering this demographic of people make up 20% of our society (Your number) than this is a worthy goal.
            You asked a question with your batman “Riddle me this quote” and I gave you an intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective answer. If you disagree with a post at least add something to the discussion instead of bluntly dismissing someone who had the temerity to have a different opinion than you.
            And also I am not sure why you think Alex’s quote was sexist.
            Be honest with yourself are you looking to argue with people or are you looking for truth.
            Good luck to you.

        • Emily wrote:
          “Uh no….it has nothing to do with medical care. And there are a great many mentally ill people in society. They fill the news every day.”

          And apparently, they have a lot of time available to fill out comment sections at macleans.

    • Riddle me as to why the Homicide rate was dropping BEFORE the gun laws came into effect?

      Simple……….it is DEMOGRAPHICS plain and simple.

      • Canada has always had gun laws…. and demographics has nothing to do with it.

    • Firearms deaths are at a 50 year low and that is reality. Not because of the Firearms Act because the trend has been on a steady downward trend for past forty years! The Firearms Act was a cynical response to the hysteria created by the Montreal outrage in 1989. There is a hardcore lobby of gun grabbers that will never be satisfied before there is no private ownership of firearms in Canada. That was never my Canada nor is the police state it reflects acceptable to the majority of Canadians. LEGAL firearms are not easily obtained in Canada. Assault weapons have been illegal in Canada since the 1970s regardless of the fear mongering propaganda from the anti-gun lobbies and political parties. Canada has some of the strictest laws governing private firearms ownership. The current laws are more than sufficient. Trying to correct problems in administration is not lessening public safety. Many of the negative comments are from the anti-gun lobbies that have only one agenda. They are part of the problem. They are not interested in improvement, only in the eventual confiscation of privately owned firearms. The Liberal firearms policies have created a societal rift between those that don’t own firearms and the millions of us that have a historic culture of firearms ownership and use. Unfortunately the Conservative Party is the only one willing to defend the rights of the minority.

  3. What total nonsense. Blatant lies. Other than the registry the oppressively draconian controls over firearm owners remains completely intact. If, by the way, a mini 14 is so easily accessible without a license why don’t you try and get one and see? Maclean’s has lost all credibility printing these lies.

  4. A staggeringly poorly researched and written piece. First of all, the Mini 14 (a rifle used by thousands of farmers, ranchers, and hunters in Canada) has been a non-restricted firearm since it was first sold here, and was NEVER registered. Secondly, one cannot legally acquire or even possess ANY firearm without a permit, and this includes high-powered airguns.

    Prior to 1977, Canadians could buy machine guns without even a background check. Yet mass femicides were unheard of. Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: Gamil Ghardi was the product of a violently misogynistic Muslim father, who beat his toxic cultural prejudices into his son. Gharbi and the Ecole Polytechnique slaughter was a side effect of multiculturalism, not the gun laws that were already tightening by 1989. The only beneficiaries of the gun registry was Liberal-connected IT firm CGI Group, of Obamacare infamy, as well as the union PSAC, for which it was a make-work program. Just because the police wanted it is not a valid reason, as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police was also vehemently opposed to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    • Kindly separate a serious social problem from your partisanship. We don’t need nonsense involved.

      A woman is killed by her partner every 6 days in Canada.

      • “Kindly separate a serious social problem from your partisanship” Your literally saying “ignore the facts”. I won’t be doing that any time soon thanks.

        “A woman is killed by her partner every 6 days in Canada”

        Great you can make a statement! Fear mongering at it’s finest. Provide no arguments or facts, just make a statement…. Your telling me we should spend more money on gun control rather than our flawed health care system? Your are Canada’s problem not these “everyday psycho’s” you speak of.

          • How many are killed with firearms?

            What you are stating is indeed a problem, no one should strike out so violently against their partner as to kill them. That is wrong.

            But what has that to do with the current debated article?

          • And to build upon that further, how many are killed by legally owned firearms?

          • Well BlakanWite….it’s about women being shot.

            If you can’t connect the dots, I can’t help you.

          • BlakanWite: no one should strike out violently at their partner, period. You seem to be OK with it as long as the victim lives.

          • Out right lies from what stats Can reported… Try again.

      • Every 6 days, that is over 62 homicides per year, but would you tell us with what they were killed, knives, by hands, beating, how many by gun??? tell the truth, no lies, this time, OK

        • You mean it’s okay if it’s a knife or fists….you only count guns?

          • yep they do and they twist the stats as well… Two families from the Montreal murders at poly have said not to use their lost ones names. Maybe people just want to greave! Lets ban Knives for the same reasons… all knives were mant to cut and kill things!

      • How many of these women are killed with guns? So tired of gun banners telling Canadians there is a problem with guns and domestic violence. Funding is going to organizations like the coalition for gun control instead of helping to fund women start new lives away from their abusers. This results in them being forced back into abusive homes. The sad results of this revealed itself in Toronto last weekend, with a mother and two innocent children being killed. I will also add that like in most cases, these victims were also not shot.

        Creating a problem with guns where one doesn’t exist, distracts people away from helping with the real more prevalent issues of violence. In short, you’re not helping anyone.

    • “the elephant in the room”. Snort

      You’d have more credibility if you removed your focus on race and religion from your comment. You do know violence against women is not limited to Muslims, right?

      Though no doubt your happy to have another opportunity to vent your racist screed.

    • CBSA FOIP states that there are 97,000 Ruger Mini14 rifles in Canada that have come across the boarder lets scrap 10,000 of those as damaged and what have you… How often do you here about them being used in crimes? I dare you to buy one on the streets because you will be on the cops radar before you find one.

      How can a woman be killed every six days by their partner when the were only 14 domestic murders last year… and the only one that used a firearm was a cop… so where do you get your info?! Info standing and history please?

  5. Both parties, however, are opposed to Bill C-42, which is now before the House and which critics say would further simplify the licensing process for gun owners.

    The current licensing procedure in Canada to obtain a non-restricted or restricted license involves either taking and passing a non-restricted or restricted firearms course, or challenging the test offered at the end of the course. You must pass each individually to acquire both. You may not take the course and apply for ONLY a restricted license, you must complete non-restricted first. Though can apply for both licenses at the same time. Then applying to the RCMP to obtain a license in which they check your criminal history, interview any of your conjugal partners from within the last two years and obtain reference checks from a minimum of two individuals who have known you for a minimum of three years. They cannot be your current conjugal partner. The RCMP will check your criminal and mental history. If all of those requirements check out, then you will be issued a firearms license.

    Bill C-42 will make it mandatory for all first time firearms applicants to take the full course. No one shall be permitted to challenge the course by only taking the written and practical tests.

    Yes, obtaining a license shall be so much easier once the new bill has passed.

    However, don’t take that as criticism of the bill! I am all for requiring all new firearms owners to take the full safety course. I think it will promote safer and more responsible firearms owners.

  6. This article is no better and possibly no worse than most of the ones published on the side of gun control. At best these articles, including this one ignore facts and perpetuate myth. At worst, they include deliberate misinformation and lies. Gun control has been an abysmal failure everywhere. In the UK, the laws have all but eliminated gun ownership by citizens. However, this has done nothing to reduce violence perpetuated by criminals of various sorts. Knife violence has soared as have crimes against average people including home invasions where the criminals are now assured that the victims are defenceless. Countries with very high levels of civilian gun ownership are in many cases remarkably less violent. So the efforts which include systematic persecution of perfectly law abiding people do little or nothing. Recent data for Canada now shows very low aggregate incidence of homicides and not surprising to informed people, gun related homicides are less than those committed with a knife. The single most common weapon used in domestic violence is the human fist. The Montreal tragedy which the anti gun faction continues to milk was the work of a single disturbed person. The gun he used was a very ordinary rifle, not some scary assault rifle that the antis don’t understand but love to flaunt at every opportunity. In this age of extraordinarily easy research the facts are easily available for those that seek the truth. A few days after the Connecticut incident, again committed by a mentally ill individual, 22 children were victims of an attack with a knife. It’s not about guns people it’s about violence and includes mental illness as a major contributor. So stop wasting time and effort, get educated and put your energies into productive channels. As it is, you embarrass yourselves constantly and inhibit real progress.

    • Great post Hercster! What I would call a fair assessment of most of the writing and writers of these sensationalistic pabulum articles generated for the mindless sheeple.

        • Is that the only response you have? Name calling? Only good intelligent responses from you I see.

        • Sorry Emily NRA has nothing to do with Canadian Laws as they are only in the US.

          • What we have here are basement-dwelling yankee gun nuts trolling a Canadian site.

            Ignore them

    • “Countries with very high levels of civilian gun ownership are in many cases remarkably less violent.”

      So the US is “remarkably less violent” than Canada? Care to back that up?

    • Hercster,

      I took my firearms course over 25 years ago. When I took my course, the stats were a little different than the stats provided by the Liberals.

      In 1998, there were over 9 Million Canadians, who owned over 21 million guns. Do you recall the stats spouted off by the Libs about how successful the registry was after only registering 2 million canadians and about 7 million guns? It would seem that many Canadians simply didn’t comply.

      If you pass a law that the people know is wrong….they will ignore you. That is why the registry was not the “success” the Liberals had hoped for. Besides, many of the registries proponents didn’t give a damn about people being killed by firearms. The strongest advocates I saw for the registry were animal rights acitivists who assumed that eventually ALL GUNS would be confiscated, and Bambi and Thumper would be safe from the dinner table.

  7. When did Maclean’s magazine start writing only fictional pieces? I realize being a Rogers subsidiary Maclean’s would not offer much in the way of entertainment value, but outright lies by an obnoxious no nothing pretending to be quoting facts is just to much for my sense of fair news reporting. Perhaps Martin should take up writing pre school children’s stories at least he wouldn’t have to lie about what he does for a living.

  8. Amazing how many misogynists are um….duck hunters.

    However, deep thinkers they are not.

    • You have any sources to backup your claims? That seems like a pretty sexist comment to me. Given the fact that you called someone else sexist for a comment that was in now way sexist, I figured you’d be pretty sensitive that that kind of bigotry.

    • Bold words from someone who has yet to refute a single claim and merely uses ad hominem responses.

      • LOL Either of you read article titles?

        Yankee go home.

        • I’m Canadian, born and raised. More ad hominem responses I see. You’ve already lost the argument.

          • There isn’t any argument.

            Mentally ill people and guns are a dangerous combination. Period.

  9. Please learn to check your facts before publishing stories. It only makes you look like a fool. The Polytechnique incident was what brought about Bill C-68 which short of a complete gun ban represents the toughest gun laws in the world. Would-be gun owners are subjected to an intensive background check in order to get their licence and thereafter are subjected to a criminal check every single day of the year. Canadian gun owners are among the most law abiding of Canadian citizens. A simple paper crime can land them in jail for three years and have all of their property confiscated by the state. The Criminal Code of Canada and the Firearms Act are directed at law abiding Canadians. They in no way affect the behaviour of criminals who even with a complete gun ban will freely obtain, carry and use firearms in Canada without a second thought to the laws. In order to reduce gun crime, you must target criminals, not law abiding citizens. Further, here is a link to an article which by Stats Can’s own figures shows that homicide in Canada is at it’s lowest point since 1966 despite the LGR being repealed.


  10. That’s funny. Murders (and crime in general) are down in both Canada and the US. In the US, the gun zealots tell us it’s because of open carry and the dismantling of what little lax gun laws that they had in place. In Canada, where we had the registry, they tell us that it’s demographics.

    Actually, demographics are a reasonable explanation on both sides of the border. But don’t suggest that to the NRA.

    • Demographics and time moving on….Canada and the US never had a wild west era….

    • No, there is a mental problem in the US….and some Canadians caught it.

  11. This is probably the worst article on gun control that I have ever seen. Any licensed firearms owner in Canada will tell you that gun control is not “as lax as ever”. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    “Twenty-five years later, the Liberal’s signature law and the long-gun registry it birthed is all but a memory, victim of the Conservative government’s long-held promise to scrap it.” Most of C-68 is still in force, and as a Canadian gun owner, I can tell you that it is quite stringent, in fact. The notion that all measures of the Liberals’ signature law are gone is blatant misinformation.

    “The same 2012 law abolishing the long-gun registry also relieved private gun sellers from the obligation of asking to see the buyer’s firearms permit. ” This one is interesting, because again, my personal experience transferring firearms privately since the long gun registry was scrapped tells me otherwise. So does the RCMP’s website: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/sell-vendre-eng.htm

    “Transfers of non-restricted firearms (where both residents are outside Quebec) can be conducted without contacting the CFP, as registration is no longer required for this class of firearm. The transferor is nevertheless required to verify that the transferee has a valid PAL.”

    Blatant fear mongering targeted toward non gun owners who don’t know any better and he hopes won’t bother to check.

  12. Two comments really:

    (1) It’s unfortunate that Martin Patriquin claims that “whether the law worked in preventing deaths is a question of POLITICS” (emphasis mine). It’s true that all sides of the gun control question can be emotional, and that all political parties have some interest in the gun control issue… but surely whether the law works or not is a question of “facts,” or at least “statistics.” There are a sufficient number of good quality statistical studies around, including those produced by Statistics Canada, that anyone with web access can find easily enough, and I don’t mean the junk stats cited by either side in the debate. Just don’t be lazy and go look for yourself. (Oh, and don’t forget to include international comparative analysis in that search.)

    (2) I find it interesting that Patriquin states that LaPresse found out that private sellers “were relieved private gun sellers from the obligation of asking to see the buyer’s firearms permit.” Really??? That’s news to me. It’s completely illegal to transfer any gun to anyone without a permit. I’ve sold 2 rifles online over the past year and in both cases checked on the buyer’s firearms licence (once in person before I transferred the rifle and in the other case I verified all the information regarding the licence with the RCMP; what matters to the RCMP is the information on the licence not the piece of plastic per se). That’s the process you have to go through. While the gun registry may be dead, the police can still track down any long gun with a serial number if it has been used in a crime (just more time and effort required) so nobody but a criminal and/or idiot would try to sell a gun either in person or online without verifying the buyer’s permit. Check your facts Martin.

  13. I don’t know why it seems that anti-gun articles surprise us with inaccuracies , distortions and out and out misrepresentations. This article is somewhat of the norm. I’m not sure I have ever read a well researched and accurate anti- gun piece. Most of them are a form of soft, emotional terrorism. What is encouraging is that the comments made when these articles are published are trending more and more towards the positive and factual. I’m a gun enthusiast and so it can be expected where my comments will fall. But more and more it seems that the public isn’t buying the nonsense quite as readily. Commenting in a rational and factual way whenever the opportunity presents itself is good work folks. The facts are so overwhelmingly clear that people can’t be fooled quite as readily because the public is becoming better informed. People aren’t fools so we need to continue to lay out the facts and let them decide where the truth lies.

    • Hercster,

      Wait until the maudlin displays of sympathy for the women killed by the nut-case in Montreal. The anniversay to mark the “massacre” is no longer about the women killed; though the names will be read out, the anniversay is held to make those opposed to a useless registry look like uncaring and callous people.

      Logic will have no bearing on your comments’ responses.

      Just look at EmilyOne.

      Doesn’t matter how often you refute her arguments with facts (which she always fails to comprehend)….she will just call you names when she runs out of fallacies to throw at you. She is our comic relief….treat her as such.

    • The distortions go both ways. Have seen lots of pro-gun comments that were so full of crap it was unbelievable.

      Personally, I have no problem with long gun ownership for hunting or target shooting. Auto or semi-auto are for killing people; not sportsmanship – so I think such guns should be banned. And I think restrictions on handguns make perfect sense, for much the same reason.

      As for the long gun registry – never really had strong feelings about it one way or the other – but thought there was a hell of a lot of paranoia involved in the response from the gun crowd.

      • Keith, if anything, your post above is pretty clear evidence that you really haven’t a clue about guns, or gun laws; other than what you think you are “supposed” to believe as a good “progressive”

        Here’s a coupld of clues; since you seem to have lost yours:

        1. Automatic weapons in Canada are already banned; well before the registry. They were never used for hunting.
        2. Semi-automatic weapons are, and will continue to be used for hunting. They are all long-guns, as you cannot hunt in Canada with a pistol. Many shotguns are semi-automatic, as are many other types of long guns.

        You don’t seem to know this basic fact; which calls into question any comment you have on the issue. If you are going to argue, the least you could do is come to the debate with a modicum of knowledge about that which you want to debate.

        If you are still clueless….a little technical specification is in order.

        Automatic: Hold down the trigger, and gun will fire until all rounds are expended.
        Semi-Automatic: You need to pull the trigger for each round fired.

        As for the pro-gun folks who were opposed to the registry, one need only look at High River, where guns were confiscated under the premise of preventing them from being stolen. Ironically, it was the POLICE who stole them.

        Keith, it is ill-informed folks like you……..correction, it is ill-informed folks like you; who become politicians, that worry people. Someone just as ignorant about firearms as you seem to be, may want to pass a law outlawing some types of firearms because they SOUND or look dangerous.

        If they outlaw semi-automatic shotguns or rifles, because someone like “Keith” who knows nothing about guns, thinks they sound dangerous, then citizens of Canada will have the state breaking down their doors and stealing their property.

        As your your feelings not being strong one way or the other……..no one will be surprised, given that you have probably spent less than 30 seconds thinking about it before making your silly, ill-informed posting.

  14. To be fair to Martin Patriquin……..a writer doesn’t necessarily need to be familiar with the topic he is writing about. But this column is certainly an indication that it could help.

    Tellingly, this comment by a Liberal MP didn’t cause Martin to ask any futher questions:

    Wayne Easter asked:

    “so why give the Conservatives an issue that we don’t need that probably isn’t going to make our streets any safer?”

    Did you catch that, Martin?
    Even the party which created the Long gun registry knew it wouldn’t do a damn thing to make the streets any safer. You could have asked Mr. Easter why the Liberals went ahead with it anyway.

    here’s a hint, Marty. The Liberals were just climbing atop the bodies of 14 murdered women for political gain. that’s it..that’s all. Anyone with any ability to think critically would understand that the registry would not do a damn thing. In fact, the registry could be as successful at registering the guns as the Liberals pretended it was to be….and it wouldn’t do a thing. The very design of the registry was a failure to begin with. The reason is as obvious to me, as it appears to be to Liberal MP Wayne Easter. YOU ARE TARGETING THE WRONG PEOPLE.

    People who go through the expense, training, and documentation required to become a firearms owner, are NOT the people who troll the streets looking to “put a cap in someone’s ass” or commit robbery.

    Every country that has EVER implemented a gun registry, has eventually used it to confiscate firearms. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

    The anti-gun crowd wanted the registry because this was their end-goal. The weak minded MP’s who supported it, were simply looking for political support.

    The gun registry was a complete failure, which is why, not surprisingly, the NDP has promised to bring it back.

    good luck with that Thomas.

    • “Every country that has EVER implemented a gun registry, has eventually used it to confiscate firearms. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. ”

      That’s a statement that BEGS for proof. Let’s see some, James. (Hint: Even the US requires you to register your firearms. The law is weak, but it’s there.)

      • Keith, a quick google search turns up many examples. New Zealand implemented a registry for handguns in 1921, and used this list years later to confiscate all of the handguns from legitimate owners.

        All totalitarian nations (Cuba, Russia, etc.) did it.

        England did it for pistols.

        In Canada, it was recently attempted to confiscate a type of rifle that LOOKED like an assault weapon, but was a standard calibre…etc..etc..etc…

        And though I know you won’t bother…….here is a more extensive listing:


        This is what people are worried about, Keith. Every time a registry is put in place under the guise of public safety, the state has confiscated personal property of rightful owners.

        Mark my words, if Canada had continued with the registry, (or if they re-enact one in the future) there will come a time when some “progressive” government will move to take away firearms from its own citizens.

        But why believe my words………history has already proven my point valid.

  15. Either Mr. Patriquin did no research into firearms laws and regulations in Canada and/or he is willfully lying in his article. He lies or states a half-truth in virtually every sentence. Gamil Garhbi (Mark Lepine) did not have a registered firearm as there was not firearms registration in 1989. As for Bill C-68 passed in 1995, every single one of the dozens of sections in it remains in force of law except the long gun registry (e.g. possession now criminal; training courses & exams; licensing of firearms owners including mental and criminal records checks; classification of firearms; transportation and storage regulations etc. etc. etc.). No one can legally purchase a mini-14 (or any other firearm) without a valid firearms license. Anyone selling a firearm in Canada (dealer or private individual) is required by law to check that the buyer has a valid firearms license.

    Either this article needs a complete re-write to correct all of the factual errors (only some of which I pointed out), or better yet it should be deleted.

    • I’m thinking the article is a combination of both ignorance, and ideology.

      Martin may very well know his article is factually inaccurate, but sometimes not checking the facts makes it easier to meet a deadline; and if the facts contradict the narrative you are trying to create, why use them?

      Better to just look incompetent, than dishonest.

  16. Update : Tom Mulcair has announced that should the NDP form the next government they will re-introduce the gun registry.

    • Merely an NDP gambit to protect their Quebec seats.

  17. my grand father told me “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a GOOD GUY with A GUN” I have a family and NO one will take MY right to protect them. anyone that gives up there rights to be armd is a damn fool and deserves what ever they get.

    • And kooks and cowboys like you are why we NEED gun laws.

      • Keith,

        If ever a time comes that someone breaks into your house and threatens your family, I hope your have more in your arsenal than debating skills.

        Because the kind of folks who will break into your home while you are there, won’t be interested in your “progressive” credentials no matter how hard you try to convince them of your moral superiority.

        They just want your TV.

  18. This story is full of lies.
    1) The NDP said they will bring back the LGR
    2) Blair and the CACP are not police, they are a political lobby organization who received kickbacks from the registry software provider
    3) Anyone who sells a gun to a person who doesn’t have a license is a criminal. Legal gun owners do and will continue to check a buyer’s PAL
    4) firearms ownership and use does not equate to peace-hating or violence. And firearms owners are sick and tired of being associated with and scapegoated for criminal behaviour

  19. Any one else here feel that McLeans completely missed the mark with this article?

    The issue with the Montreal Massacre is not one of guns, but one of misogyny and violence against women. I agree the gun issue is an important one, but here it takes away from the real discussion we should be having.

    If you are truly interested in learning about what the Montreal Massacre was all about and how we can work towards preventing tragedies against our mothers, sisters and daughters in the future, read this: http://rabble.ca/news/2014/12/voices-change-reflections-on-25th-anniversary-december-6

  20. “Meanwhile, Lépine’s weapon of choice, the Ruger Mini-14, is easy enough to buy, with or without a permit.”

    Are you freaking kidding me?

    Does any so called journalist bother to do any kind of research anymore or just write whatever they read on facebook? Of course you need a license to legally buy any kind of firearm in Canada weather it is a non restricted long gun or a restricted handgun. First you have to take a course on firearm training, then you have to fill a bunch of paperwork that ask all kind of questions about your background like your mental health, your ex or current spouse and other references phone number (they actually call them) to see if you’re a violent person. After that the RCMP and CSIS will run a background check on you so even if you lie on paperwork they will likely find out if you did something wrong and only then after you successfully receive your license you can buy a firearm. Even when you have that license the criminal code only considers civilian ownership of a firearm a privilege and the police can come and seize you whole firearm collection without you even being charged of a crime, all they need is “justifiable cause”.

    So do us all a favor, next time do some more research before writing something based on your emotions rather than sound common sense.

    • Well…it is Martin Patriquin.

      Accuracy has never been as important as a good story.

      Maybe his next gig should be “screenwriter” as fantasy is a requirement in that job.

  21. What nonsense. Martin Patriquin’s article is apprentice reporting at its worse. For the past 25 years , and to the delight of Canada’s news media (because it guarantees the continuation of such an emotional debate), Canada’s gun law has done nothing but pit gun owners against the survivors of the Polytechnique massacre. This article is proof. First of all. only the long gun registry is gone ….nothing else. And in case you missed it, Martin, I’ll say it again: the only part of the Liberal’s gun law that changed is the long gun registry. This means that the statement about the law being scrapped along with the registry is wrong. And so is the statement about private gun sellers not being required to see a buyer’s firearms permit. This requirement is law and it’s absolute. So before you allow Martin to author any more articles, send him back to journalism school. While I’m at it, shame on the editors to trust a junior reporter with such an emotionally charged topic.

  22. Gun control lax in Canada? I guess only a stupid, fucking journalist could see it that way. Canada has some of the most strict, stupid, useless gun laws in the world. These laws only serve to crucify law abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to prevent crime and violence. So when you decide to publish a piece of shit article like this, you should check out the facts. Every year, at this time, the fucking grave dancers come out of the woodwork bleating for more gun control, to try and prevent something that has only happened once in 30 years. And all the gun control in the world would not have stopped what happened in Montreal.

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