Happiness is a warm, registered firearm - Macleans.ca

Happiness is a warm, registered firearm

Michael Ignatieff lays out the Liberal approach to crime


In a speech to the Canadian Police Association this morning, Michael Ignatieff laid out the Liberal approach to crime, with three proposed changes to the gun registry.

First, we’d change the law, so that people who forget to register their gun can be issued a ticket, rather than face a criminal charge. This will give front line officers the tools you need to distinguish an honest mistake from a threat to public safety. Someone who habitually breaks the law and flouts the regulations should be treated far differently from someone who makes a one-time mistake. One kind of behavior is criminal, the other isn’t. And you need the appropriate tools to deal with each situation. That’s a message we heard loud and clear.

Second, we’ll permanently eliminate fees for new licenses, renewals, and upgrades.

And third, we’ll streamline paperwork, to make registration as quick and easy as possible.

Liberals will apparently be required to vote against Conservative Candice Hoeppner’s bill—a private member’s initiative that would effectively end the registry—when it comes up for a final vote. Eight Liberals (Simms, Russell, Rota, Martin, Easter, D’Amours, Bagnell and Andrews) voted in favour of the bill on second reading and two (Guarnieri and Karygiannis) abstained. In his speech, Mr. Ignatieff said the party had been working with these MPs on the proposed reforms.

Even if you move those 10 votes to the no side, the bill would pass by a count of 156-147.


Happiness is a warm, registered firearm

  1. This is good news. But the second step – permanently eliminating fees – is ridiculous. Gun owners should be at least partly responsible for the collective cost of gun ownership in this country.

    • Why? we didn't want it in the first place.

    • If urban Toronto voters want to impose something on the rest of the country, why shouldn't they have to pay for it?

      • And if Conservatives want to impose more military, why shouldn't they be the ones that pay for it?

        Oh yeah.. because we're a society, not just a collection of individuals.

        • Except that the Conservatives received more votes from every different geographic part of Canada than any other party. The Liberals only represent Toronto, thats the difference.

          • So what you're suggesting is that the society doing something you don't like is okay if they happen to be in your area..

            Hey guess what.. your area is Canada.. all of it.

          • No, I don't think the federal government should be able to impose the will of any small group of people on Canadians at large. If Toronto wants gun-control, let them have it. But why the hell should it affect the rest of the country that sees it as stupid, expensive, and pointless?

          • Some problems with this: First. it's not small. I want it, I'm in Calgary. I have a number of friends both from this city and from other provinces out west here who are in agreement. So your argument fails right there.

            Second, I believe that's what voting is for. If the federal government attempts to appeal to too small a group of people, they won't get the votes to get back in. That's simply the nature of gov't. The fact that they were re-elected after the passage of the registry in the first place suggests that what you think is a limited appeal isn't.

            Third, that's part of what government is actually about. Helping to moderate the tyranny of the majority. I mean, if you honestly think that the will of gays not to be discriminated against shouldn't be imposed by the federal government, we simply have too little in common to continue.

          • Okay, Calgary and Alberta voted for more Tories than any other geographic place in Canada, and the Tories CAMPAIGNED on repealing the gun registry. Saying that voters supported the Liberals due to the gun registry is simply false, since it was never part of an election platform.

            To your second point, again, the Tories campaigned on repealing the gun registry, and won.

            To your third point, I think we're in agreement. The federal government should impose the will of gun-owners not to be discriminated against. Why not have a registry for bow-and-arrows, fast cars, knives, or say, homosexuals? It's because gun-owners are being discriminated against by the tyrannical majority of Toronto-based Liberals.

    • I'm in favour of it. While they're at it, they can get rid of fees for drivers' licenses too.

      • And dog licences. I am sooo tired of paying for sh*t.

  2. Stephen Harper is willing to put your family in danger of gun criminals so he can score cheap political points in rural Canada.

    • So a registered gun is going to stop this, I think not,

      • Registered guns don't kill people, unregistered guns kill people :P

    • I'm definitely going to put more people in danger now!

    • You got it wrong…

      The creation of the gun registry database is what is putting Canadian's at risk.

      Thanks to some not-so-smart politicians, criminals now have access to the 'ultimate' shopping list!!! They can have the name/address/telephone number of any/every firearm owners in the country!

  3. I wonder what the consequences will be for any Lib MP who votes in favour. A stern lecture from Ignatieff?

    • A free semi-automatic Ruger Model 44 from a friendly firearms association.

    • Perhaps we would see the wrath of Iggy. You won't like him when he's angry. Iggy SMASH!!!!!

    • Danny's 6…no punishment,
      the Pro Lifers….no punishment
      8 Rural MPs….the wrath of Iffy

  4. An interesting play. Ignatieff has talked for many months about a Gun Registry strategy – but never actually enunciated details before (I have been following this one closely being in a rural riding that went NDP in 2008 after 70+ years as a Liberal stronghold principally because of a protest vote by gun owners (and perhaps some sloppy work by a complacent riding association)).
    Actually, aside from finally being forced by the dissenters in his caucus into defining a good compromise – Ignatieff (or Donolo) has put Jack Layton in a cleft stick – because if Layton's renegades on this don't come into line – Hoeppner's bill will pass anyway which will leave the NDP with egg all over its face! Over to you Jack!

    • Jack deserves a lot of egg on his face.

  5. "Even if you move those 10 votes to the no side, the bill would pass by a count of 156-147."

    Perhaps but the NDP would be isolated and this could be used against them in Quebec. Nevermind the cuts to culture, the gun registry policy can do some serious damage to the CPC in Quebec if the Libs leverage it properly.

    • I think you could be right, but as it currently stands, your argument is contingent on a pretty big if.

      • Got that right. Iggy has already shown us what he's like on the campaign trail.

    • You mean the Libs should dig out that old " Guns in the Street " ad.
      I wonder if there is a French version of that winner.

    • The NDP only has one seat in Quebec (and a shot at winning Gatineau in the next election), so I would think that forcing MPs to vote against what rural constituents want would be more damaging to them. And it makes no sense for anyone to vote against an NDP candidate based on how other people in the caucus vote.

      • Katherine, the NDP may only have one seat but they are starting to eat into the Liberal support in Quebec.

    • Payback for all the times they've pulled support out from under the Liberals, and for Jack neglecting to let Canadians know just what kind of PM they were voting in – interesting article on Layton in The Walrus. I don't trust him.

  6. So the ball is in Jack Layton's court. Whether he decides to whip his caucus or stick to his "private members bills are open votes" line will determine whether or not the gun registry is killed or survived. While 8 Liberals voted for the bill at 2nd reading, so did 12 NDPers: Malcom Allen, Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Denis Bevington, Nathan Cullen, Claude Gravelle, Carol Hughes, Bruce Hyer, Jim Maloway, John Rafferty, Peter Stoffer, Glen Thibeault.

    I trust someone in the gallery is asking Jack his plans?

  7. Why not keep the registry, but not allow the police access to it, except by supreme court order?

    The focus on firearms safety must be multiple:

    Firstly, the licensing system must be made more stringent and difficult, and it must be tied to other public displays of irresponsibility, such as gross traffic violations, negligence, drug use, or drinking violations.

    Secondly, the police have no business knowing who owns what except by court order. This will protect citizens from overreaching authorities. Police already carry multiple weapons, including handguns, and as such, the "common citizen" must not be lorded over. Basically, they should not have this power, and something like a warrant must be created to access registration records.

    Thirdly, registration is dubious at best. Handguns have been registered since 1934. What should be law, however, are owner-mandated personal records: each owner must hold their own registry records. That way, stolen guns can be traced, but the responsibility can stay with the owners, who, because of stringent licensing and behavioral requirements, could reasonably be expected to do so.

    Gun safety is in everyone's interest, there is no doubt. I write this as a gun owner who's partial to unrestricted assault rifles and fine shotguns. I wrote the licensing test when I was 13, including handgun training. I believe that no one party has addressed this adequately, and instead polarize and issue that should not be for the benefit both of safety and unity. We need a "Made in Canada" approach to this issue, not some weird semi-colonial bureaucratic knockoff.

    • If you deny police access to the gun registry except by Supreme Court Order, you do two things:
      -Waste the time of Canada's highest court on routine matters of police procedure
      -Deny the police access to information that helps them evaluate a potentially dangerous situation before they waltz into it.

      • Points both taken.

        — Regarding courts: so keep it on a local level, like warrants; would you like a veto warrant sworn out on your home or business whenever a computer was accessed? That is a third-world feature, and good for no one, least of all police, because it undermines their moral authority and escalates public disrespect.

        — Regarding the Police waltz: it would be irresponsible for an officer to consider a situation otherwise. That's why they wear bulletproof vests and you and I generally don't, wouldn't you agree? They expect and are trained for violence.

        • Your second point I agree with, but I still contend that the more information an officer has, the better equipped he is to make an accurate threat assessment.

          The first point is more of an issue: involving the courts on all routine calls – traffic stops, domestic calls, disturbance calls, etc – would create a worse court backlog than we already have. Applying for warrants isn't as simple as they make it seem on TV, in Canadian courts; to ask police to seek warrants for each call they respond to just to make sure someone's gun is on the registry is infeasible. Having the police be able to run my name through a system to check if I have a registered firearm is no more invasive to me than running my name in an attempt to discover if I have any registered vehicles. Either coming back in the affirmative still does not give them the right to enter my home without my permission.

    • do you mean superior court? Because there's only 9 SCC judges and they have much better things to do.

      • He said "Supreme Court" , and not "Supreme Court of Canada".
        In several provinces, that's the correct name of the provincial court which Ontarians might equate with "Superior Court"

    • i agree with you 2nd point. It is amazing how many people will give up all their god-given rights out of fear- fear of crimials, fear of terrorism, etc to empower the government.

      Look to your history books to see what happens when "the people" entrust their government with over reaching powers, letting them invade their privacy, or even disarming them.

  8. Kiss your rural seats goodbye Liberals. Although I don't think there were many of them left anyway.

    • A grossly overstated assumption.
      Meanwhile, kiss your women voters goodbye, Jack Layton.

      • I disagree with the latter statement. My views on the gun registry aside, I'm in favour of more free votes in Parliament and will be happy if Jack lets NDP MPs vote according to their own views and the wishes of their constituents.

    • Might help that they're proposing ways to bring more doctors into rural Canada, and that they want to re-instate the rural post offices??

  9. Brilliant. So after all the money, time, and effort that was spent on it, the Conservatives just want to flush all that information, even though the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has come out strongly in favor of the registry.

    I suppose it's hard to say you need to be tougher on crime if you're already giving the police the resources they need and use. Time to take some away, I guess.

    • It is pretty tough to make an argument that the gun registry has had a significant impact on crime. As for Harper, he is obsessed with locking people up, which is unfortunately more expensive than the gun registry and about as effective. Nobody is making good policy in this area.

      • Is that the threshold for keeping something that police find very helpful, that it must have "a significant impact on crime" in order to justify some crime-fighting tool? Seems like cops have a lot of tools to fight crime, not all of them on their own can be demonstred to have "a significant impact on crime" and cost more than the gun registry, yet we wouldn't take these tools away.

        For $3 million a year (according to the Auditor General) for something cops themselves say is very useful and is frequently used, I don't see how this isn't good policy and, as the independent Auditor General concluded, good value for money in fighting gun crime.

        • Seems like cops have a lot of tools to fight crime, not all of them on their own can be demonstred to have "a significant impact on crime" and cost more than the gun registry, yet we wouldn't take these tools away.

          The logical conclusion to this is "then maybe we should" not "don't you dare ever touch this specific recently-established policy of questionable utility."

          • Yes, that is certainly the logical conclusion.

            Anything you cops can prove is a significant crime fighting tool has just got to go.

            Helpful? Very helpful? Not good enough; it's gone. Based on your decades of experience as a cop you think it is significant, but can't prove it? Too bad; cut cut cut.

            Thank goodness, most government policies and crime fighting policies do not adopt your approach AVR.

          • Based on your decades of experience as a cop you think it is significant, but can't prove it?


            More importantly, they're able to articulate a reasonable basis for their conclusion. I might be a little suspect if their support for something was based on a "gut instinct", but that's not the case here.

          • That is what I mean.

            The cop on the street knows what is useful in pursuing criminals. They know what they use everyday. They know that every bit of information they have in their hands helps. But they probably can't tell you how many crimes have been prevented or solved because some database records all of the aliases of a known criminal or all of his or her known associates or who owns what guns. They don't do the studies and there is no single direct link between a bit of helpful information and fewer crimes.

          • "They know that every bit of information they have in their hands helps."

            Exactly. Who cares about privacy rights? As long as it might help some cop on the street solve a crime we should tell the government absolutely everything about ourselves.

          • Actually in Canada, they use information to chase after real criminals and tend not to waste their time chasing Conservative straw men.

          • Tell that to Bruce Montague (a gunsmith in Ontario)… who had his house seized because he was in possession of an un-registered firearm…

            Or tell that to the 35 Canadians who legally bought and registered a Norinco T97 sporting rifle… who have just received confiscation notice from the RCMP and will be taken to court by our very own government!!!

            Or tell that to the few thousands Canadians waiting for the court to decide whether or not they are allowed to keep their revolver (or whether or not their firearm as a 105mm barrel, or a 107mm barrel)

          • So in the name of "privacy rights" you would argue against Harper's national security legislation? prevent cops from taking your DNA and fingerprints? prevent the state from requiring you to register your car?

            Of all the arguments in favour of liberalizing gun ownership and use, this is one of the most ridiculous.

          • So in the name of "privacy rights" you would argue against Harper's national security legislation? prevent cops from taking your DNA and fingerprints? prevent the state from requiring you to register your car?

            Of all the arguments in favour of liberalizing gun ownership and use, this is one of the most ridiculous.

          • "prevent cops from taking your DNA and fingerprints?"

            Actually, a national DNA database of everybody in the country would be very useful to police and as a supporter of solving crime at any cost I endorse it. I also support allowing the police to enter wherever they want whenever they want. The only people who would object would obviously be people with something to hide (i.e. criminals). We should also be forced to register every object we own as anything and everything could be used as a weapon.

            This may all sound unnecessary to some but if it solves just one crime (even maybe) than all the nuisance and billions wasted in administering the system will have been worth it.

          • You know sbt, there are countries in this world where police actually have that kind of power, and I don't think YOU would want to live in any of them.. YOU are part of the problem.. YOU can give all YOUR rights away, But when you try giving MINE away, YOUR a big problem to democracy and freedom and THAT'S called a LIBERAL!

          • Try re-reading my comments with the dripping sarcasm in which they were intended. I'm mocking so-called liberals who justify the gun registry on the basis that the police find it useful and might even use it to solve crimes. The police find lots of stuff useful that might be effective crime-fighting tools but would horrify even these so-called liberals. Of course, I suspect the only reason it would horrify them is because it could conceivably incovenience them, unlike the long-gun registry.

          • If the cop of the street knows what is useful in pursuing criminals, why are you reading the reports from the CACP, who are a quasi-political organization out of touch with actual front line officers?

            The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs (CACP) receives very large donations from both CGI, the company that both built and currently maintains the software and systems that power the firearms registry and several anti-gun organizations (including the Coalition for Gun Control). There is a very large potential conflict of interest as those donations would dry up if the registry was dismantled as C-391 threatens to do.

            Acting Det. Randy Kuntz of the Edmonton Police Service conducted a survey of nearly 2500 front-line officers from police forces across Canada on their support of the firearms registry. Of the 2489 responses he has recieved as of March 10, 2010, only 8.3% (208) of the officers indicated support for the firearms registry. The remaining 92% (2281) were in favour of dismantling the registry.

            Sorry Ted. While you are a great debater, you are building your arguments up from a mistaken basis (universal police support).

        • $3 millions a year… That must be the 'paperwork' bill!

          The office of the Quebec CFO (Chief Firearm Officer) has a budget of close to $10 millions…

          Heck, as far as the auditor's report is concerned… she was pretty ticked off that many government agencies failed (or refused) to tell her how much $ were diverted to the gun registry scheme…

      • What evidence would be sufficient for you?

        Universal support from law enforcement agencies? Check
        Increased conviction rate of gun criminals? Check
        The use of gun registry data in succesful prosecutions? Check.
        Decreased use of guns in the commission of crimes? Check

        Facts and Conservatives once again find themselves at odds.

        • You must live in a different reality then the rest of us…

          -Universal support from law enforcement agencies? Nope… beside the CACP, few police unions care for it.

          – Increased conviction rate of gun criminals? Nope… the justice system keeps on giving criminals yet another firearm ban…

          – The use of gun registry data in succesful prosecutions? Nope… The "registration status" of a firearm has yet to play a role in convicting a criminal

          – Decreased use of guns in the commission of crimes? Not really… while the number of gun-related offence 'reported' to the police might have gone down… Statistic Canada is reporting a raise in violent crime and assault in Canada. It's hardly something to brag about.

    • The information is bunk. There have been over 300+ breeches of the registry, and after 2 Billion dollars spent, they have less than HALF of the long-guns owned in the system. Not to mention that system is so flawed that the average gun-owner will have at least one error in the record keeping from the CFC. The Registry is a joke and waste of resources. Its time to do away with it, move on and focus on issues that matter to improving our country. Issues like Healthcare, Crime Prevention and the Economy!

    • You are an idiot. A large contributor of funds to the Police Chiefs of Canada is the company who's software is used by the registry.

      • Actually, if you have proof of this, I'd like to see it, because I've never heard of it.

        Incidentally, that would make me ignorant, not an idiot.

        An idiot is someone who prefaces his argument with an ad hominem, thus encouraging intelligent people to discard the entire thing. Of course, I expect your intended audience isn't terribly intelligent.. how would you relate, after all?

        • http://thegallopingbeaver.blogspot.com/2009/04/nothing-to-see-here-move-along.html


          The technical adviser to the ethics committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has resigned over corporate sponsorship – including that of Taser International – of the group's annual conference.
          John Jones, an expert on police ethics who has advised the committee for three years, quit Thursday after the committee's efforts to stop the practice was rebuffed by the board of directors.

          "I said in that case, I can't remain a member," a saddened Dr. Jones, the author of Reputable Conduct: Ethical Issues in Policing and Corrections, told The Globe and Mail in a phone interview yesterday from his Ottawa home. "[Such sponsorship] doesn't pass the smell test."


        • Part 2

          Dr. Jones and the members of the ethics committee were in Montreal in August for two days of meetings around the CACP's annual conference when they learned about Taser's sponsorship and that of others, including a joint Bell Mobility-CGI-Group Techna donation of $115,000, which went toward the purchase of 1,000 tickets at $215 each to a Celine Dion concert on Aug. 25.

          Each registered CACP delegate received one ticket as part of his $595 registration package; if his spouse was also registered for the spouses' program, she or he received another. Virtually all meals were also sponsored.


          It certainly looks like the Liberal party hasn't learned from the 'sponsorship scandal'… I have a not-so-funny feeling this will come back to bite them

          • Okay. So they get sponsorships from companies for their annual conference. That has nothing to do with the gun registry, and more to do with what's promoted in the conference.

    • Maybe I have too high expectation for this government program…

      but 10,000 queries a day, for 10 years, $2 billion wasted…

      And not one single crime solved nor prevented… I cannot think of one single reason why we should still waste time and money on this white elephant.

      If we want to save lives and make Canada a safer place, we better start dealing with violent and aggresive individuals… and/or help potential victim get away from abusive relationship. (Something the futile gun registry can never hope to achieve)

  10. How about guns period!

    • You guys are right. You know better than the RCMP and every law enforcement agency in Canada.

      • CACP recieves annual kickbacks from the IT company that maintains the registry. Why would they want to stop the cashflow?

      • Absolutely, law enforcement and governments NEVER make mistakes, never commit mass genocide or other crimes- ever.

        It just never happens. Governments and their enforcement agencies are always correct and moral.

      • I don't know the stats but I'm guessing more people have been killed by cars than by guns since that idiot stormed the halls of polytech. The punitive restrictions on gun ownership of any kind seem to have been increasing regularly without any reasonable justification. Seems politics have long since replaced reason in this issue with the control lobbyists dictating the terms.

  11. Why is it a gun owner thinks he has more rights than a car owner?

    • As a gun owner, I don't think I should have any more rights than a car owner. However, I shouldn't have any less either.
      When a car owner lapses on his registration or license, he doesn't face a possible ten year jail sentence, as would a gun owner who lets his license lapse or doesn't register. I would be more than happy if guns and cars equated to the same rights for the owner. But they don't.

      • Interesting idea. So you're in favor of requiring guns to be registered, and making gun owners pay for liability insurance just in case their gun ends up causing harm.

        I have to say, that actually sounds pretty reasonable.

        • Most insurance companies offer liability to firearm owners at a very reasonable cost. Usually it's less than $10.00 a year. It is considered a very low risk at the insurance company level. Also, all firearms were always registered in one form or another. In the past it was at the point of sale and monitored by the RCMP. Now it's done at the federal level at a substantially increased cost to the taxpayer. What I object to is the rules of ownership between (for this discussion) automobiles and firearms. If your drivers license expires, all that means is you are not allowed to drive your car on public property. But if your firearms license expires, you can expext to get a knock on the door by the RCMP who will confiscate your firearms and any paraphenalia regarding them IE: computers, literature etc. You also might be charged with a criminal offense and liable to a jail sentence and restricted from ever owning another firearm.

          • Actually, if your driver's license expires, my understanding is that you're not allowed to drive it at all, whether the property is public or private. So correct me if I'm mistaken, but essentially, using the vehicle while unlicensed is the offense. So what constitutes "using" a firearm? Firearm advocates say one of the major uses of firearms is deterrence.. ie, it can be argued that the very act of having one is, in essence, using it. If you are not properly licensed to own one, should you benefit from the deterrence value?

            Of course, there are a couple of major differences between firearms and automobiles. In Canadian society, there is generally no requirement to be able to shoot something. There generally is a requirement to having transportation.

            Also, it's difficult to conceal an automobile on your person when you go into public places. For these two reasons, I would suggest that the restrictions on unlicensed firearms be somewhat more strict. Now.. taking the assorted paraphenalia, even if that includes some machining tools etc, goes too far.. and computers and literature are of course way over the line. I also agree that simply owning the weapon unlicensed shouldn't be a criminal offense, but, again because of the differences noted, I feel the fines for such should be extremely steep.

          • Just a quick response to the deterrence value of a firearm. You should read the rules and regulations for the required safe storage of firearms and ammunition. These rules essentially eliminate any deterrence value whatsoever. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/storage-

    • Good question.

    • Neither gun ownership, nor car ownership, is a right in this country, so much as I agree with the sentiment of your question, it's not all that relevant.
      A gun owner and a car owner have the exact same rights, which are none in respect to the privilege of owning either.

      • You a mistaken both are in fact rights going back to the 12 century.

        One is the right to transportation or free movement and the other is the right to armes for defense. Please don't respond these are obsolete and do not apply in Canada. If you bothered to read and understand the Canadian consitution ALL the laws and rights we have while not explicitly stated are in fact covered by the preamble to the constitution and are in fact the LAW of the land not the liberal judiciary's biased and bigoted agenda to enforce the liberals plan to socially re-engineer Canadians

  12. It would be helpful if the post was more specific – the private member's bill would abolish the long-gun registry, not all gun registration.

  13. Let's see, 99.999 % of gun crime committed by criminals. Last time I asked a criminal I know if his gun was registered he laughed. Do you seriously believe the drug gangs and posses are paying attention? Do you think gang bangers who use their guns as penile props are worried about the paper work? I grew up with .22s and shotguns and would love to get back into shooting, but won't because of all the BS. I long to make clay targets quiver in fear again

    • This registry isn't aimed at preventing criminals from getting guns – we know they will still get them. This registry is aimed at make it so that police have some idea of the number of firearms in a residence before going in. For instance, if there is a call about a domestic dispute it is nice to know whether the household has a gun or not. Not all crime involves planning by the criminal.

      • It is used just as much if not more in solving crimes. It is a bit of information that can trace back to solving other crimes and tracing criminals.

        So three demonstrable uses: prevention of crimes, protecting of cops and solving crimes.

        Is a gun registry or more specifically a long gun registry absolutely critical to these? No, but it helps, it doesn't cost much to run, and it doesn't impose a terrible burden on citizens to comply. The last all the more so with Ignatieff's proposals.

        • To address your three uses:

          1. Prevention of crimes: How many crimes has the long gun registry prevented? How many has it created (think expired registrations and other paper crimes)? Can you point to any studies which demonstrate the prevention of crime by the Long Gun registry?

          2. Protecting of police: Front-line police don't use the registry information to make these kind of risk assessments. They have to assume *every time* that they will be dealing with people who are potentially armed, or have firearms in their possession. The registry can never guarantee that there are no firearms present in a situation, so it must be assumed that they may be present.

          3. Solving Crimes: Can you name even one crime that the information in the registry solved? I can't. Neither can the various gun control advocacy groups out there.

          The firearms registry was created to gain political capital for the Liberal party so they would be seen to be 'doing something' in the wake of the Ecole Polytechnique and similar shootings. Fast forward a dozen years, and we've thrown $2 billion down a hole, with no appreciable or measurable results, apart from pulling the wool over the public's eyes.

          75 years after the handgun registries were started in 1934, how well has that worked?

      • That's the theory, the practice is it is used as an excuse to escalate and send in the SWAT gang. I vividly recall my now deceased neighbor, whose wife had Alzheimers, trying to get help. A lifelong rancher in his 80s was charged under the firearms act because his guns, which he'd owned his whole life were unregistered. Oh, and he never did get help with his wife's issues…he donated the large settlement he eventually recieved in a civil action to his wife's nursing home.

        • Oh, is it story-time again, peter?

          You forgot the "Once upon a time" all good fairy-land stories have that.

    • Actually, I believe 100% of gun crime is committed by criminals.

      Of course, that's about as meaningful as saying "100% of laws are made by lawmakers" but if you're going to just make up meaningless statistics, at least make them internally consistent.

      Also, I note that 100% of murders are committed by murderers. Last time I asked a murderer why he killed someone when he knew it was illegal, he laughed. So, I say it's long passed time we removed homicide from the criminal code. By making it a crime to murder people, all we're doing is ensuring that only murderers have access to murder.

    • Based on the intelligence of your response it is probably a good thing that you won't bother to own a gun. It's just a registration? What is the big deal: Get a gun and register it!

    • So you know a criminal who has a gun and your only action as a civic-minded citizen is to post about it on MacLeans?

      You Tories really are tough on crime. And smart, too.

      • Posting about the criminal here isn't the only thing he did!

        He also asked the criminal if his gun is registered.

        Don't be too hard on the man though. Wherever he lives, it's apparently overrun with criminals, drug gangs, posses and gang bangers (though, I'm a bit unsure as to whether the "posses" are gangs using the term in an urban/ironic sense, or actual criminal-tracking posses, which would be way cool).

    • Why not turn your ciminal friend into the police?

  14. He did, but while some provinces name their superior courts supreme courts, superior court is the name you would use to refer to them generally.

  15. Does anyone know why the Chiefs of Police loudly supported the gun registry at their Ottawa conference? It is a big political football and one wonders if the forces of political correctness have influenced these worthies in their deliberations. There are many opinions about the utility of a gun registry and most of them come down to political correctness, that state of mind that has replaced smugness as the characteristc Canadian affliction.

    • It's my understanding (and this is observational, not scientific) that frontline officers are by and large neither here nor there about the maintenance of the long-gun registry. Nonetheless, they're not complaining that it's there, and they use it on a regular basis.

    • The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs (CACP) receives very large donations from both CGI, the company that both built and currently maintains the software and systems that power the firearms registry and several anti-gun organizations (including the Coalition for Gun Control). There is a very large potential conflict of interest as those donations would dry up if the registry was dismantled as C-391 threatens to do.

      On a related note, Acting Det. Randy Kuntz of the Edmonton Police Service conducted a survey of nearly 2500 front-line officers from police forces across Canada on their support of the firearms registry. Of the 2489 responses he has recieved as of March 10, 2010, only 8.3% (208) of the officers indicated support for the firearms registry. The remaining 92% (2281) were in favour of dismantling the registry.

      In short, the CACP has a large conflict of interest on this issue, and does not remotely represent the interests of the frontline officers they claim to represent.

  16. If you live in Vancouver Toronto,Winnipeg or Montreal you know how useless this long gun registry is and what a waste of taxpayers money as opposed to more police.What did we spend on this 2 billion to make honest people register hand guns?If you want an unregistered long gun go to any skid road of any of these cities and you can get one cheap.to keep this ineffective tool going is stupid.the cost of maintening this could be spent on more cops on the street

    • Indeed, because some people break the law is obviously reason to not have the law at all.

      Oh wait..

  17. News Flash : Iffy announces Organized Crime has infiltrated government.Small amount of cocaine found on Jaffer is absolute proof.This man is stupid. probably if he had the police search all his Liberal members of parliament they would find more than they found on Jaffer.Does he know how little people get from the judges in this country for small amounts of cocaine for their own use(not the Judges) a minor penalty Iffy you are trying too hard to define the government and you look like a fool Fire the whiz and hire Dion .even my Liberal friends are laughing at him!!

  18. People who think that the registration of guns is similar to the registration of cars really haven't put any thought into it. Let's take a look, shall we?

    Cars only need to be registered if they are driven on PUBLIC roads. Race cars, mining trucks, any other kind of vehicle doesn't have to be registered. So the only guns that would need to be registered would be those used on Crown land.

    There are no limits to ownership for cars, and no tests required to purchase one. A 10-year old may own a car or several dozen cars, without having passed a single test. Let's definitely apply that one to gun ownership.

    There are no licensing or registration restrictions on the type of car or how much power it has, within the vehicle class. Anyone could just as easily own a 90 hp 4-cyl. Civic as a 900 hp Viper if they so choose. Manual or automatic transmission, fuel injected or carbureted, 4 cylinders or 12, normally aspirated or supercharged, it makes no difference. Thus in the gun world, this would include everything from a single shot .22 rifle to a .357 Magnum revolver to a .50 cal machine gun. Again, without a test or restriction.

    Do you now see how stupid a comparison it is? Leave the straw man analogy behind and just debate the issue directly. But it seems that's too difficult for the gun controllers.

    • You are just splitting hairs. Show me a gun that's used for "recreational" purposes only, and can be kept for recreational purposes only.

      Unlike cars guns can move around. A race car is obviously a race car, and would be stopped on the highway. An unregistered car cannot be driven. A gun can be used anywhere.

      So – tell me another one.

      • My dear Margaret…

        As it ever occured to you that drunk drivers are killing on average 1,200 Canadians each year… and most of these drivers are using "registered" cars…

        Speeding kills another 2,000 Canadians each year, and these rogue drivers are using registered cars…

        On a 'average' day, 400 'registered' cars are stolen… many of them will be used by criminal organisation to smuggle drugs (that will kill and/or ruin the lives) of many Canadians…

        Should we ban cars? In this day and ages, nobody really needs a car… You can use public transportation or a taxi…

        Some basic statistic…
        From the RCMP, less then 0.0003% of violent crime involves a registered long gun…
        Again from the RCMP, 99.9% of accident on the road involves a registered car…

    • The minute an unlicensed vehicle makes it onto a public road it is recognizeable by the fact that it does not have a licence plate on it. The minute a gun leaves the hands or home of its original owner, what then? You're the one comparing apples to oranges.

      And there are limits to ownership on vehicles – insurance regimes, licensing regimes, etc. Do you honestly think that a large mining vehicle operating on private land isn't insured, or registered in a property registry? Get real.

      I grew up in a small town. I used to own a .22. But I can also say that the three worst crimes that I have ever been witness to or affected by in my life involved long guns – a hostage taking, a preventable suicide and a shooting in a gym locker room.

      If you think this is solely an urban issue, or a small gun issue, you're an idiot. If the state's registering of my .22 makes people in any part of this country even remotely safer (and it most certainly does), then I am all for it.

      • Mark, you should visit your local motor vehicule branch… or better yet, have a talk with your local police officer… You'll learn that

        – Car thieves are often using stolen license plate (on stolen vehicules)

        – You don't need a license to buy a car… only to drive it on public road.
        + But you need a license to buy a gun

        – You don't need to register your car… unless you want to drive it on public road.
        + But you need to register your gun, even if it will only be used on private land

        – If you have valid drivers license, you can drive/buy whatever kind of car you want…
        + Unless you had one of them prior to 1995, some guns are illegal for you to possess (no matter how much training you get)

        – You don't need a license to buy gasoline
        + But you do for ammunition

        If the government wants to give me as much freedom with my guns as I have with my cars, I'll be the first one in line to register one!

        • How is comparing the actions of car thieves with those of law-abiding gun owners in any way helpful to your argument? Presumably, gun thieves are using fake licences on stolen guns, too.

          You don't need to maintain registration on a car, but every single car, at one point or another, has to have been registered, unless you built it in parts from your garage. You may have an old vehicle that has a lapsed registration, that you only use on a dirt road at the cottage, or have up on blocks in the back yard, but that doesn't mean it wasn't registered at some point.

          Nope – My driver's licence is for a particular class of vehicle. I cannot drive a bus or a fire engine, or a truck above a certain length, there are restrictions on my use of any vehicle with more than a certain number of passengers.

          A driver's licence requires some degree of reading comprehension to pass the exam. Clearly, based on your reasoning above, one can possess multiple firearms with far less.

          • Mark,
            The motor vehicule act is pretty much 'rational' and make sense… the firearm's act doesn't make sense!

            As an example, if you want to drive a tractor trailer or a bus… you just need to take the course, pass the test, and you are good to go.

            Not so with firearms. Some type/model will never be available to you.


            Your 'regular' drivers license allows you to take you car where ever you want, no questions ask. The same goes with your motorcycle (as long as you have the necessary qualification)

            "restricted firearms" cannot be taken out of your house unless you have prior authorization from the RCMP… and even then, many legally bought and registered 'restricted' firearms have been reclassified as "prohibited" and cannot even be taken to pre-approved shooting range! Why, because the government said so.

          • The same applies to nuclear materials. I demand a constitutional right to horde such things in my basement.

          • Part 2


            If the government doesn't allow you to drive this or that car on the road, they will provide you with a detail report explain the why of it… and should you make the necessary modifications, you will be allowed to operate that vehicule on public roads.

            When it comes to firearm… the government just tells you that you can no longer use it… and no explanation has ever been provided.

            You don't need to have a security clearance to have a driver's license… a firearms acquisition permit cannot be had without an extensive back ground check.

            When someone is killed in a car accident, opportunistic politicians are not trying to ban the type of car used!

    • you are trying to make these people THINK? My god man, they run on pure emotion!

  19. Since 1934, handgun owners have been required to register them with the RCMP, or another police force at the discretion of provicial Attorney Generals. As we all can plainly see, it has been quite ineffective at preventing handguns from being used in crime in the last 75 years. Why do people think the Long Gun registry is or has been any more effective?

    • By the same logic, we've had police forces in this country for well over a century. Yet there's still crime. Police are obviously a waste of money then. Let's get rid of police, because after two hundred years of being around, police have been unable to put an end to crime.

      • Maybe it's a sign we are going about this wrong… Kind of like the alcohol prohibition fiasco!

        We have
        – More police officers then ever before
        – More CCTV camera then ever before
        – More rules and regulations then ever before

        Yet crime is still going up!?!

        Maybe it's time we start dealing with the root of the problem… like poverty… lack of role model… poor parenting…

    • The handgun registration has been ineffective at preventing crime, but very effective in prohibiting 50% or so of all handguns that were registered. That gun is too small! The calibre is wrong! The barrel is too short! Give that gun up to the police!

      registratoin = confiscation

  20. Make up your mind.. either they're a majority or they're not.

    • The majority of people outside of Toronto don't want a gun registry. The majority of Torontonians do want a gun registry. The fact that we have a minority parliament dictates that the tyranny of the Toronto majority is imposed on the rest of Canada. How is that hard to understand?

      • The majority of Torontonians, and for that matter Canadians, understand very little about the gun control and gun laws we already have. Do you know that you can get 5 years in prison for having a rifle that shoots 6 rounds instead of 5? Bet you didnt. Our current gun control is VERY strict. All these people who make comments on the gun registry and gun control that are uninformed, particuarily city dwellers that only get their "information" from the TV, should not be permited to vote, period (at least until they do their homework)
        ITs hard to have a democracy when people vote on subjects they know nothing about- these people simply vote the way the TV (government) tells them to.

  21. I am kind of surprised any body is still giving any kind of credibility to the Chief of Police association… Given that their ethic commissioner resigned a few years ago over the 'not so clean' financial contribution the association was receiving…

    – Like the few hundred thousands received from CGI (the software firm working on the registry)…

    – Or the $$$ received from Tazer International… the company producing the Tazer…

    In both case, the police chief association is/was a very vocal supporter of their 'product'

  22. “Finally, registration of each individual long gun was considered as well, and it appeared to be impractical as well as unduly expensive.” – Justice Minister Ron Basford(Liberal), May 1976

  23. A first time amnesty and incurring more cost doesn’t fundamentally change a thing about the registry, and Mr. Ignatieff knows it. The long gun registry will still be the useless, expensive vision of regulatory micromanagement mis-placed in Criminal Code that it was from the start. 50% of all legally-purchased firearms have yet to be registered and there is widespread non-participation by Provinical Governments. All of the reasons that put C-391 on the way becoming law remain valid.

    This is why Ignatieff still has to use the whip to overcome reasoned debate. This is why the Liberals stacked the witnesses 28-5 against. If Ignatieff’s changes were reasonable, he could put the whip down and allow for balanced representation of the issue. But instead, the Liberals continue to steam-roll.

    Ditch long gun registration and keep licensing of owners – that’s what does all the screening and training work anyhow. 94% of firearms crime is done by unlicensed people with unregistered handguns (Stats Can). Dropping the useless and hated long gun registry and its attendant threat of mass prohibition (the Liberals have attempted two mass confiscations in the past decade) will put peaceful Canadians at ease without any cost to public safety.

    This amendment to firearms law is a good thing. Smart gun control demands reasonable measures, not what we have now. Iggy is still being unreasonable. The long gun registry must go.

  24. Gun owners VS car owners. If a crazy person purposly starts killing people with his car, and this has happened, you dont see women in tears crying about their lost children and demanding that cars be taken way, that cars need to be removed from "the streets".
    Those demanding more gun control because of polytech etc are ignorant. If there was LESS gun control polytech couldnt happen- trained and screened law abiding citizens would defend themselves from such criminals and end the tragedy before it started. Blame your government for polytech not guns- those girls could have had a tazer or small handgun in their purse! If you doubt what I say look to America- gun crimes drop in areas where the law abiding are armed. Disarming the law abiding will only embolden criminals to break into your home, or rape you, or rob you. Registring guns wont register guns "on the street" and will ultimatly result in disarming everyone who ISNT a criminal, making things worse.

    • I don't know the stats but I'm guessing more people have been killed by cars than by guns since that idiot stormed the halls of polytech. The punitive restrictions on gun ownership of any kind seem to have been increasing regularly without any reasonable justification. Instead, however, of giving law abiding citizens the right to bear arms in the American model, how about giving the police the right to summary on site execution of ANYONE caught in a criminal act carrying a loaded weapon. Restricting driving rights more stringently wouldn't be a bad idea either. People who get drunk and drive over innocent pedestrians should be jailed and permanently prohitited from owning or using a vehicle. But then there's the politics, eh?