How police use the gun registry

There are 3.4 million reasons against scrapping the gun registry

How police use the gun registryPrime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to try for a third time to scrap the gun registry has been cast by Conservatives as a cultural question, a matter of understanding rural Canada, in particular the way folks outside the big cities use their rifles and shotguns.

But there’s another gap of understanding that I would argue is more important in getting a handle on this debate: grasping how police use the gun registry. If there’s a case for keeping the registry, it must rest on how useful the database is to police, especially when a cop has to venture into a potentially dangerous situation.

So I asked the RCMP, who were made responsible for the Canadian Firearms Program back in 2006, and they provided up-to-date statistics. In 2008, police across Canada used their computer systems, often terminals right in their patrol cars, to pull information from the Canadian Firearms Registry On-line over 9,400 times a day.

That adds up to a staggering 3,438,729 queries from police officers last year. It’s hard to imagine a federal database more intensively mined.

I asked a veteran officer in an informal conversation to explain how the system is typically used. He said a cop called to domestic dispute will routinely conduct a quick computer check to see if there is a licensed gun owner at that address, and find out exactly what guns are registered there.

It’s not hard to imagine how discovering that a resident owns a single hunting rifle might suggest one thing to an officer; finding out the man causing the disturbance possesses several exotic weapons would indicate something else again.

Police also use the registry to conduct so-called reverse checks; in cases where they recover a gun, perhaps from a crime scene, they check on who is the registered owner. Those in favour of scrapping the so-called long gun registry make a point of stressing that, even without it, police would still be able to check out who has a licence to own guns. But that wouldn’t be any help when the cops are working to trace the ownership of a specific firearm that turns up in an investigation.

A few statistics help round out the picture of how the online data is used. Police most often plug a name into the system to find out if that person is a licenced gun owner and what registered guns the individual owns. They made that sort of query more than 2 million times last year, so often that this has obviously become very basic step in Canadian police work.

The next most common sort of data search involves checking to see if guns are associated with a certain address. Police made address queries more than 900,000 in 2008. They checked serial numbers on firearms 74,103 times. They also, less frequently, search for data by entering company names or telephone numbers of potential gun owners.

Is it possible that police have fallen into the habit of using this system so very often for no good reason? I don’t think so. Millions of data searches must turn up thousands of pieces of useful information. So, in considering the bill introduced yesterday in the Senate to eliminate the gun registry, you must balance the loss of information police evidently want to have, and make a point of obtaining millions of times a year, against the benefit of relieving honest gun owners of the minor inconvenience and expense of registering.

In his March 21 speech to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Harper spoke of this debate in terms of an urban-rural divide. “The leaders of the opposition parties continue to be against this,” he said. “But there are MPs in all these parties that know what we know, that law-abiding hunters and farmers are not part of the crime problem.”

The Prime Minister is tapping something deeply felt here. Where I grew up in Northwestern Ontario, most households had guns and I’m sure most hunters these days still resent having to register them. (They don’t like filling out their income tax returns, either, or affixing the little renewal sticker to the corner of their licence plates, but they’ve gotten used to it.)

For my sins, I’ve lived in cities for a long time now and drunk my share of low-fat lattes. My recollection of the general perspective of the hunters I’ve known, though, is that they tend to respect police, and I doubt they would really begrudge cops a tool that gives them a little extra information, maybe a bit of an edge, when they’re walking into, let’s say, a kitchen where a depressed drunk has been smashing up the cupboards.

You want to know if that guy has a gun.

The following tables show police access to the Canadian Firearms Registry On-line (CFRO), for 2008 (by quarter).

The table below shows CFRO access, by province/territory for 2008.

Query Count 2008 Q 1 2008 Q 2 2008 Q 3 2008 Q 4 Total
Ontario 379,279 430,465 444,901 428,171 1,682,816
British Columbia 182,170 210,880 224,330 208,153 825,533
Alberta 76,911 84,380 88,691 80,381 330,363
Quebec 31,438 38,004 37,132 42,345 148,919
New Brunswick 30,137 35,840 34,768 31,208 131,953
Manitoba 21,727 27,424 24,446 21,717 95,314
Nova Scotia 18,451 19,808 19,978 18,910 77,147
Newfoundland and Labrador 13,825 17,310 18,972 16,085 66,192
Saskatchewan 23,992 18,057 3,240 3,438 48,727
Northwest Territories 3,416 3,436 2,655 5,027 14,534
Yukon 2,391 2,748 2,704 1,273 9,116
Prince Edward Island 1,865 2,118 2,038 2,093 8,114
Nunavut - - 1 - 1
All Locations 785,602 890,470 903,856 858,801 3,438,729



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How police use the gun registry

  1. “Millions of data searches must turn up thousands of pieces of useful information”

    I am sure there is all kinds of ‘useful’ information the police would like to have about us but it doesn’t make it right. I am suspicious of how helpful the registry is because the police never provide statistics about how often they checked the registry, went to a home and were prepared for the gun-wielding maniac waiting for them. And aren’t law-abiding people generally the ones who would take the time to register their long guns while criminal types don’t bother.

    • I might well be a stable and law-abiding person when I register my guns, then become criminal or insane at some later date, mightn’t I?

      • Exactly..

        Which is why the current CEP (Continual Elgibility Program) that was brought in by the current government makes sense. It runs the name of EVERY lisenced gun owner in the data base once a day to check whether or not they have been implicated in a crime or other indication that they should no longer have their PAL.

        THAT MAKES SENSE!

        It is also a totally different argument from registration which is a total waste of time and other valuable resources that can actually be used to reduce crime and injury.

        It is also why the ANTI gun movement tend to try to combine registry and lisencing.

        Why do they have to lie to try and make their point?

  2. I don’t mean to sound snotty or elitist, but I was born and raised in a large city, and guns (long or otherwise) are totally foreign to me.

    I’ve never really understood what the issue here is… Does the registry really take so much effort that it is an undue burden on hunters? How many guns does one typically own? Are they re-registered every year? How much does it cost per gun?

    As you said, I find registering my car a pain, and I certainly don’t plan on using it to commit any crimes, but I do it every year. I can’t imagine registering a firearm is that much more difficult or expensive. Really, I don’t mean to be condescending, but can someone tell me what the problem is? The only thing I can think of is that the time and cost involved is absurdly high, and if that’s the case can’t some compromise be worked out rather than scrapping the whole thing?

    • The problem with gun registry lies in the fact that historically, it has always been used for confiscation purposes. It also has very little to do with actual crime. Police may use the database frequently in two provinces, but that doesn’t make the data useful. One could even go so far as to say having that data on hand is dangerous because it provides the police with to much information and predisposes them towards violent mistakes. In a nutshell, it gives the authorities too much power in the wrong direction. It’s unbalanced. Once a person has acquired a gun legally (and by the way, I am in favor of a licencing system far tougher then the one that exists), they have proven that they respect the law and they should be respected in turn. If a person was going to crunch the numbers, legal guns are far, far less a threat then getting diagnosed with cancer, struck by lightening, and then getting in a plane crash, on the same day.

      Vehicle registry is only to do with insurance purposes, and to a far lesser extent crime. The two don’t really compare, although on the surface they appear the same. Vehicle registration also does not have a history of confiscation and the confiscation fact is a very, very big deal.

      Bottom line: people are afraid of guns, because being on the wrong end is terrifying. Where policy should focus is on making sure that the wrong hands do not point the gun and if the wrong hand should point the gun, that it be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

      • When you say it has been historically used for confiscation purposes, what do you mean by that? Do you mean that first they make you register and then they come and take them away? Could you expand on that as I don’t really follow that. It seems to me just another “slippery slope” argument…

    • When the government seizes your car and melts it down, then puts you in federal prison for 3 years because you forget to renew your license. You will have a valid comparison.

  3. The Toronto Police Chief said this today:

    Police Chief Bill Blair said yesterday he doesn’t want the registry scraped. “I think we as a society have to do everything we can to limit the access that any criminal can have to a gun,” he said Wednesday. “I can tell you the information that is on the gun registry is useful and valuable to the police,” Blair added. “We check in Canada that registry thousands of times each and every day.” He said the registry allows police forces to check whether people they’re dealing with have access to firearms. He said the registry should be run efficiently but the record-keeping system “helps keep our police officers safe when they’re doing their job, it keeps our communities safe.”

    • I know a great way to limit criminals access to guns.

      KEEP THEM IN JAIL or DEPORT THEM!

      What he describes is a LISENCING system not a registry of guns.

      But this of course is not the first time he has lied about this subject.

    • A number of years ago (I’m thinking it was 2000), the Association of Chiefs of Police had a motion at its national convention (in Halifax) calling on the feds to scrap the firearms registry (or words to that effect). The proximate cause of the motion was a proposal (plan?) by the feds to start covering the costs of the registry by making police forces pay for it. Needless to say that move proved most unpopular with the chiefs, hence the motion. In the end, the motion never came to the floor after some backroom manoeuvring by Solicitor-General’s office which, I believe, included a promise of more funding for the association itself. Had the motion gone forward, it would have proved one more political difficulty for a government already reeling from reports of huge cost overruns with the program.

      Now I have no particular bone to pick with Chief Blair. I understand he has a difficult job and a real gun problem in his ‘burg (primarily unrelated to the issue of legally acquired firearms) but the question remains; if the registry is of such value, would he use funds from his police budget to pay for it? I’m guessing of course, but I think the answer would be NO.

      The main problem with Mr. Geddes reasoning above is that the data he cites measures activity, not utility. (And, of course, as a few others have noted, many of the database checks are automatic, performed as a matter of course every time an officer makes a radio inquiry about an address or a name). Every time an officer pulls over a car, (s)he checks vehicle tags and the driver’s licence of the driver. On occasion this leads to the arrest of a wanted man, the discovery of a stolen vehicle or some other beneficial outcome. But not that often. (I would think the most common discovery is someone driving without insurance, an unrelated issue). But it’s a matter of routine and since the information is available (collected, invariably, to raise revenue for the government) it seems a reasonable things for police officers to do. However, checking to see if a driver owns a registered firearm seems an odd thing to do as a matter of course, but things like that seem to be the main driver of information requests into the database. Looking at the information above though, the only matter that seems related to police work are the serial number checks, which imply that police have recovered a weapon, or are searching for one. Theses checks, however, account for only 2% of the database searches, which seems pretty low for a tool that the chief calls “useful and valuable”.

      The other bit of data that jumps out is the provincial data. As a New Brunswicker I find it curious that in 2008 police had occasion to make 132,000 database inquiries, or one for every five citizens. Now we certainly have our share of crime down here, but shootings are not so common that they don’t get reported in the papers. There just aren’t that many, likely fewer than ten a year (although in cases of suicide, they probably don’t get reported). By contrast, over in Nova Scotia, with a larger population, they have only half as many database checks. And on PEI, a fifth of the NB population produces 1/16th the number of database inquiries. (For you big province people, compare the Ontario and Quebec ratios, they are quite illustrative). Clearly police procedure has more to do with how often the firearms registry gets used than any other factor; once again, activity. Not utility.

      Unfortunately this seems to be the way the firearms debate always unfolds; supporters trundle out usage statistics, while opponents ask for evidence of crimes solved. And the same law abiding citizens have to go through the hassle of re-registering their rifles every few years, for no discernable purpose.

      • “A number of years ago (I’m thinking it was 2000), the Association of Chiefs of Police had a motion at its national convention (in Halifax) calling on the feds to scrap the firearms registry (or words to that effect). The proximate cause of the motion was a proposal (plan?) by the feds to start covering the costs of the registry by making police forces pay for it. Needless to say that move proved most unpopular with the chiefs, hence the motion. In the end, the motion never came to the floor after some backroom manoeuvring by Solicitor-General’s office which, I believe, included a promise of more funding for the association itself. Had the motion gone forward, it would have proved one more political difficulty for a government already reeling from reports of huge cost overruns with the program.”

        herringchoker, do you have any concrete proof of this? I believe this was the Canadian Police Association, not the Chiefs, as the Chiefs still support C-68.

  4. I don’t know how clear cut this is as a rural-urban divide. Certainly there must be people in rural Canada who recognize the utility of the registry, who aren’t gun-nuts (and who may or may not own guns), and who know people in their community who are gun-nuts, and think it’s probably a good idea for the police to know as much about that guy’s gun habits as they can (although, in fairness, it’s jsut that guy whose less likely to register in the first place).

    • “Certainly there must be people in rural Canada who recognize the utility of the registry, who aren’t gun-nuts (and who may or may not own guns), and who know people in their community who are gun-nuts, and think it’s probably a good idea for the police to know as much about that guy’s gun habits as they can”

      Me, for one.

    • When your type has nothing intelligent left to say, you all resort to name calling. At that point you lose any credibility that you might have brought to this or any subject.

  5. Some were suspicious of it from the first, namely that it was going to be the prelude to a massive gun seizure. Others worry that owning a gun will mean that people will cause harassment from various authorities, similar to the worry people have about reporting religion or nationality to authorities. Others don’t want to buy an expensive gun safe and secure ammo box just to store the family’s 50 year old .22 caliber rifle they use for shooting skunks.

    Since then, the gun registry couldn’t have been a more ludicrously expensive and badly implemented policy initiative. People who went through the trouble of registering their guns weren’t actually registered, some people who were known to police suddenly found themselves able to acquire guns again, the cost ballooned to 2 billion dollars, and I believe there hasn’t been any decrease in gun related deaths.

    So now people are attacking it for being a needless expense that doesn’t work, and largely feel it is just something that socialists in the city are using to harass people that are minding their own business.

    • Thanks for handing out the redneck talking points Terry.

      • Hey, people asked what the objections were among rural supporters.

        Oh, and FYI, when someone like John Geddes is trying to convince people that the gun registry could be useful and that you aren’t out to harass them for merely for cultural reasons, dismissing those opposing points of view as belonging to “rednecks” probably isn’t the best way to advance that agenda.

        • Geh, I hate not having an edit button. You guys know where the extra “for” is.

      • So says the liberal inclusive diversity multiculturalist…

        • Liberal inclusive diversity and multiculturalism is only about enjoying ethnic food, not about respecting opinions that differ from “progressives”.

          • Yeah, like “cat meat”…

      • Thanks for taking the typical anti gun approach and attacking the individual instead of the topic at hand.

        Of course when your kind try to address the topic they always seem to have to lie to make their point.

        Great job!

    • I think that sums up the argument against it pretty well. And for supporters of the idea it has become difficult to argue for it : opponents just point to the ridiculous ballooning of costs, say it doesn’t stop criminals from owning guns and say 2 billion could have been spent on the RCMP. Its too bad, but I think the gun registry has actually set back the cause of having a smart gun control policy in Canada by being so badly administered.

    • 1. If the police are seizing someone’s guns, they probably have a good reason to do it.

      2. Insisting on proper storage of firearms is, I would argue, a good thing (although not specifically registry related but you brought it up).

      3. The money spent on it is a sunk cost. According to the AG, it’s running a lot smoother now.

      4. There has a been a huge decrease in gun related deaths since the registry came in. Most agree that’s not neccesarily because of the registry, but get your facts straight.

      • 1. They never report when the legal gun owners get their guns back because of bad charges and years of legal battles costing thousands of dollars. It happens more than you might expect.

        2. Proper storage was brought in not to prevent theft but to prevent suicide. Proper storage will be different for each owner. No kids, not depressed? No reason to lock up the guns.

        3. No it isn’t. Still full of inaccuracies and costs 40 million a year. Still has never helped solve or prevent a crime. A voluntary database of stolen weapons makes sense. A Database of criminals NOT allowed to own guns would make sense.

        4. Only death by suicide. Violent crime involving guns (98% smuggled in to Canada) is on the rise.
        That and suicide rates are just as high, they just use different methods.
        Gun banners don’t care if you die from any other cause than a gun.

  6. If the registry has cost what it was originally budgeted, then the marginal benefit it provides might be worth it, but if you wanted to combat gun-related crime and had 2 billion dollars to do it, I doubt if you would dump it all on this.

    On the other hand, scrapping it now seems pointless, unless the ongoing costs are unacceptable.

    • Bill if the ongoing costs were a single dollar……….that is too much money.

      A system of registration of inanimate objects is simply doomed to failure.

      Why spend a single cent more on it?

  7. Thanks, John, for the valuable information. All the public ever hears about the registry is that it cost over $2 billion to implement.

    Speaking of which, does anyone have information about its cost on an ongoing basis? Whether we scrap it or not, we’ll never get that $2 billion back. So, it would be quite relevant to know what it costs each year.

    • I agree. We’ve already spent the money setting the system up. That’s non-recoverable. The real question now is, are the ongoing costs of running the registry offset by its value to the police?

      • It isn’t the only question. The other question is what are you going to do for the people that have refused to register their weapons thus far? If you answer is “prosecute them”, then that should give you an explanation of why people are pushing to have it scrapped.

        A lot of people have refused to register their guns not only because they are closet Americans, but aside from the issues I’ve already mentioned, they fear liability if their gun is stolen and used in a crime. So there are a lot of people who own one gun that they only use for hunting or shooting nuisance animals that have a firearms acquisition license who would have to have their homes searched and a court date.

        • I didn’t say it was the only question, and I was referring specifically to the question of cost. Legal questions around refusal to register are a different issue.

      • Upwards of 40 million a year IIRC.
        And it has yet to solve a single crime, lower any crime rates, make police any safer.

        • Does anyone know where that 40 million is all going?

        • this is conjecture.

          • No it isn’t.
            Do some research.

      • I know two people who were fighting C-68 and registration when this first came in in 1995. They were harrassed by police and authorities to the point where they committed suicide.

        They are not “recoverable” either.

        There is no good in the state knowing intimate details of what law abiding citizens own. That includes firearms.

  8. I grew up in a northwestern Ontario town too, and the double murder around the block (man killed his wife and her mother) was committed using a hunting rifle by a man who otherwise wasn’t engaged in criminal activitiy. Police there have attended quite a few “domestics” where a hunting rifle was being waved around, but not with such disastrous consequences. Suicides too. Victims of gun shots are rarely interested in whether the shooter had a hunting licence.

    • A lot of towns have domestic shootings. Mine had one two years ago where there was a murder suicide involving a rifle. I don’t want to say anything more because I’d like to remain somewhat anonymous, but I knew the guy as an acquaintance and had loaned him a book and there was no indication that he had a violent temper.

      But the only way the gun registry is going to reduce acts of violence among normally law abiding people is if you severely curtail gun ownership and seize existing guns from ordinary citizens. So when people start saying stuff like this, or when a shooting spree happens and people call for a gun registry to be expanded even though it would not have prevented the shooting, people largely assume that the goal of those who support the registry is to seize guns. So people who use guns to protect their animals from predators, hunt for sport or subsistence, or are collectors think that this is just the first stage for taking their property and even perhaps a tool that directly impacts their livelihood.

      Now the gun registry could have some benefits to public safety. The first would be to track the origin of stolen weapons that are seized by police to determine pipelines in the stolen weapons trade. This is largely blunted by the fact that most of the guns used for illegal activities come from the states rather than being stolen but it remains that it could useful. As John Geddes says, it could also be used for profiling people who collect a lot of guns. I might go even further and say some might be tempted by a “gun nut terrorist watch list” though of course that’s one of the reasons people mistrust the registry in the first place.

      I don’t agree with John Geddes that it is useful to police in determining if someone has a gun. I can always borrow a gun from a neighbour to threaten my wife, or have one in my basement that I’ve just never bothered to register. Heck, I could have a crossbow. So I think you have to do what they do now, and assume that someone is armed until proven otherwise. I don’t doubt that you wouldn’t check to see if there is any guns registered though, because all the information you can get is for the better. So if you want to convince people, you have to clean up and nuance that argument a little.

    • Ummm

      So??

      A registry does nothing what so ever to combate what you describe.

  9. Not one of the guns in that picture are part of the registry that Harper is proposing to cancel.

    • Yeah, that’s another reason people mistrust the registry. Usually the proponents show guns as a threat, rather than a tool and a potential threat.

      The PR problem is the biggest barrier to implementing the gun registry. There are ways the supporters could have gone about implementing it that weren’t so nakedly antagonistic.

  10. Sorry to disagree with the rep from the RCMP, but this is not entirely correct.

    By entering any name into the Police data base it automatically creates a hit. A traffic stop for speeding for example.

    Point of Fact, most detachments of the RCMP forbid their officers from using the Registry Database for the example purpose, as it could create a false sense of security.

    The supporting information for the above is freely available at many websites including members of Parliment.

    As far the comment that gun owners generally respect the cops, thats correct, we do respect the ‘Police’ as many of them are in fact us.

    The truth is, the money could have been better spent elsewhere, the registry was not created to ensure public safety, it had other motives.

    Incidentally I challenge the autor of this article to review the history of Gun Control and the registry, pay particular attention to Allan Rock’s comments and views.

    Lastely, if the long gun registry is such a boon to the police, why has it not stopped the gang violence in Canada’s largest cities? Further why must this issue be only supported my misleading and scewed statistics?

    • To address your final question: because saying that the registry cost $2B and leaving it at that doesn’t tell the whole story, either.

      If the registry is being used by police forces thousands of times a day – regardless of encouragement or caution from directives – then I’d argue it’s giving officers information that they didn’t already know for certain. And when an officer steps into a potentially dangerous situation, I want that officer to have all the information he/she can get his/her hands on.

      • Police are not using it.

        Police automated computer systems are using the system.

        Individual Police officers use it on average about 342 times a day. The question of course is what for?

        If it is a lisencing request that makes sense.

        If it is to check on the registry that is not only stupid it is DANGEROUS!

  11. Quote: “For my sins, I’ve lived in cities for a long time now and drunk my share of low-fat lattes. My recollection of the general perspective of the hunters I’ve known, though, is that they tend to respect police, and I doubt they would really begrudge cops a tool that gives them a little extra information, maybe a bit of an edge, when they’re walking into, let’s say, a kitchen where a depressed drunk has been smashing up the cupboards.

    You want to know if that guy has a gun.”

    Sure, as a police officer I would like to know if every single person I come into contact with is armed in some way, shape or form, but that will never happen. The registry doesn’t provide me with knowledge of the intent of a sinlge solitary individual so no matter what it shows in terms of firearms registered at a particular location I would rely on my training and force instruction which tells me to always be prepared. Why? Because real criminals do not register their weapons regardless of what form they take. We all know this as a matter of fact, not falacious registry suposition.

  12. I, too, think it’s really important to deny police the tools they value. That’s what makes me a left-wing pacifist nut. Well, on most issues it is…

    • Oh Mr. Wells, you’re just trying to stir people up.

      • Though I would have preferred you talk to the people who are trying to get the two sides to understand each other, and talk about how to resolve some of the issues that people have with the gun registry. I believe that’s the goal John Geddes was trying to move towards when he wrote the opinion piece.

        • And he’s told me about the emails he’s been getting all afternoon, which suggest it isn’t working out too well.

          • Well, I guess the culture wars have to be fought. I couldn’t resist a snide comment myself not two minutes ago.

  13. The gun legislation, as it was drafted, was a lie, is a complete failure, and is killing people.
    That police ‘use’ it 9,400 times a day .. over 3 million times a year . . is a false flag.
    Every time CPIC is keyed, that is traffic stops, an automatic gun check takes place.
    To what end ? to stop you ‘shooting’ through an intersection ? ?
    With gang warfare across Canada, there are concrete barriers on the next street where I live.
    ostensibly to prevent gang-bangers from shooting up other gang bangers . .

    There are more deaths WITH gun control IN Canada, than in Afghanistan where we are losing
    our fine young men.

    Not one law-abiding gun owner, ( you know, the ones who are NOT shooting anyone) who wants you to possess a firearm.
    He also doesn’t prevent or compel YOU from collecting stamps or beer coasters , , and would appreciate the same courtesy from you . .
    You say ‘no one needs a gun”?
    What would you say to Bob and Bonnie Dagenais, who died dialling 911, when they had no means
    of self protection . . ( if it saves one life?)
    If you can’t reach the phone, when YOUR life is on the line . . . who do you think should
    have a firearm . . the criminal . . or you?
    When seconds count . . the police are minutes . . hours away . .

    A veteran
    A retired police officer

    • I agree whole heartedly

      a farmer
      a registered gun owner
      a believer in self defence

  14. I got interested in firearms politics after reading about the Warsaw Ghetto. The Jewish citizens did not march off meekly to the ovens. Rather, with the help of Polish partisans, the Jews held off the Nazi occupiers until they ran out of ammuntion because the partisans were wiped out. I learned that the Nazis used Weimar gun registration lists to round up guns from everyone except Nazi party favourites. It’s entirely possible that the Holocaust, or maybe even the World War could have been prevented if anti-Nazi civilians had not handed in their guns.
    There have been several other examples of gun registration leading to confiscation leading to genocide: Turkey, The Soviet Union, Communist China, Nationalist China, Guatemala, Uganda, Cambodia, Rwanda.The first step is always registration. The next step is always confiscation.
    After noting this pattern, I decided that it wasn’t safe to live in a country in which only the government and the criminals have guns. BTW. Not mentioned is the fact that a legal gun owner must have a licence. This is true with or without registration. The police need only to check the licence database. Registration iinfo s not necessary.

  15. It would seem that the author did not learn that reference to the Registry is made “automatically” every time an inquiry is made to the Federal police data base, CPIC. The vast majority of them have nothing to do with confronting a potentially dangerous situation; and, many of them are made by employees doing clerical duties related to administration of the Registry. Given that import and manufacturing data strongly suggest that there are at least 21 million guns in Canada; that the 7 million in the Registry are incorectly registered, or ghost guns, any LEO who believes the info, for or against the presence of guns, would be making a dangerous error. The Chiefs love it because they are political bureaucrats and it boosts their empires. The street cops know better! The Registry’s real purpose is to extend state control over “citizens”, and is used by politicians to pretend that they are controlling “criminals”. It truly is an impressive booddoggle.

  16. Millions of request and not one single crime solved…

    Millions of request and not one single crime prevented…

    Millions of request and a few dozen officers killed by thugs that weren’t in the system…

    Millions of request and the Chief of Police Association (lobby group) is asking for more money so they can do more request…

    Millions of request and just as many suicides…

    Millions of request and just as women getting beat up…

    Millions of request and just as many thugs walking free in our cities…

    I would hate the be the one breaking the news to all the bureaucrats out there, but mindless paperwork doesn’t make us safer. Maybe the cops need to spend less time doing pointless request and go after the bad guys!

    • It’s so simple, really.

    • Oh, of course! Go after the bad guys. Why didn’t they think of that?

  17. For a professional journalist, you’ve missed some obvious points of research in getting both sides of the tale.

    Let’s concentrate on the statement where you “asked a veteran officer in an informal conversation to explain how the system is typically used. He said a cop called to domestic dispute will routinely conduct a quick computer check to see if there is a licensed gun owner at that address, and find out exactly what guns are registered there.” Really?

    Ok. Lets run with that.

    While you were talking to the RCMP, you might have inquired about the 4 dead officers in Alberta that should otherwise still be alive. They checked the registry. Then they applied that information, catastrophically misgauging the threat level presented by James Roszko — a man under a court order dating back to 2000 prohibiting him from owning any firearms. This was one of the greatest law enforcement disasters in Alberta history. I’d have thought you’d know how it applies here? If not, let me help you.

    No legal guns registered at the residence does not cleanly translate to ‘no guns at residence’.

    Had you the time to next check with the SQ, you might have inquired about Sgt. Daniel Tessier in Quebec. He might still be alive after the Parasiris no-knock raid. Tessier and his partner checked the registry too. But although both are unquestionably both seasoned officers, they did not pull timely nor accuratre information from the registry. They apparently searched by name rather than by address, and the database provided a false negative. They did not expect any guns. This case set a controversial new precedent for home defense in Canada. I’d have thought you’d know how it applies here? If not, let me help you.

    Meaningless or unqualified data in does not equal meaningful or qualified data out.

    Perhaps this is the point where you retort indignantly ‘but A perfect registry would help.’ Yeah. And if my aunt had testicles she’d be my uncle.

    Over a Billion dollars have already been poured into this idiotic boondoggle, and yet the news stories otherwise roll on as usual. The registry IS checked daily, but with garbage rolling into and out of a $2 Billion dollar boondoggle, what law enforcement risks are you suggesting are being managed to good effect? Keeping docile duck hunters in line?

    We couldn’t get out of line if we tried.

    For the record John, we have so shockingly few accidents a year that we can obtain $5 million dollars accident insurance for as little as $15 a year. In fact, gun ownership does not ever show up on ANY insurance pre-qualification checklist you can name. Why? Because the very notion that the most heavily and regularly background checked civilian group in Canada is a risk is such complete and utter horse shit that not even greedy insurance companys buy into it. So no, we are not holding a grudge against this unreasonable registry…

    Fella, we are going to bring it down like a cheap tent.

  18. There seems to be a colum missing from that table.

    Where are the substantive RESULTS of these millions of uses of the sytstem?

    Certainly that would be the qualifier of success or failure. If the system is used millions of times and has ZERO effect then that is proof of failure.

    Of course this is why such results are never tabulated.

    I might also suggest that the writer find a new Police Officer to talk to for their opinion. The one quoted in the article appears to know little or nothing about the system. Case in point.

    ” conduct a quick computer check to see if there is a licensed gun owner at that address, and find out exactly what guns are registered there.”

    The first part of the above is a compnent of LICENSING not registration. The current proposals have nothing to do with getting rid of lisencing.

    The second part is absolutely WRONG. Non restricted firearms are not tied to an address what so ever. They can be stored ANYWHERE as long as they are kept safe. Checking the registry does nothing what so ever to show what legal guns might be there or not. Of course there is zero way to tell whether or not illegal ones are anywhere.

  19. So to sum up folks, objections to the registry:

    1) Gun owners are afraid this is a prelude to gun seizure or restriction of gun ownership among citizens.
    2) Gun owners object that being a long gun owner does not means that we are more likely to engage in criminal activity.
    3) There is a belief that the gun registry does not work properly and is wasting tax payer money. Other forms of policing are believed to be more effective for money spent.
    4) Gun owners fear being held responsible for crimes committed when their guns are stolen.
    5) Gun owners fear profiling and harassment from authorities for owning guns.
    6) Gun owners have had bad experiences with attempting to use the gun registry, and problems with the gun registry have made them feel less secure when dangerous individuals in the community somehow were able to gain access to guns again after the registry was implemented.

    So there you go. Find a respectful way to deal with each of those objections, and you may have your long gun registry yet. I have to say though, the most vocal proponent for scrapping the gun registry is one Gary Breitkreitz an old guard reformer who took the seat of Yorkton/Melville from Lorne Nystrom, who held the seat for the NDP from 1968 to 1993. It was such a safe seat for the NDP that Lorne was the youngest MP ever elected to the House of Commons (at the time), and the area was colloquially known as “Red Square”. The people there are largely the same people as they always have been, so maybe the left should stop being self-righteous dicks and actually listen to the concerns of constituents rather than spitting on votes that should be theirs. The NDP used to be powerful in rural Saskatchewan, and it took them decades to piddle away that rock solid support.

  20. Add “police forces know nothing about public safety and crime” to the list, which already has:
    Climatologists know nothing about climate change;
    Economists know nothing about carbon taxes;
    Elections Canada knows nothing about election laws;
    and so on.

    • Try talking to your local cop.

      Not the chief but the guy on the street.

      Ask him how much he trusts the registry when entering a house.

  21. Terry: You’ve been a good and respectful sport today so I’ll give ‘er a go:

    1) Gun owners are afraid this is a prelude to gun seizure or restriction of gun ownership among citizens. – if it is good policy, then their fear should not dictate. Lots of other policies raise fears of Big Brother and this is just one more of those. But what is the fear based upon other than fear? What massive seizures of any kind have ever occurred in Canada?

    2) Gun owners object that being a long gun owner does not means that we are more likely to engage in criminal activity. – Who says they are? This is such a weak invention that gets too often repeated.

    3) There is a belief that the gun registry does not work properly and is wasting tax payer money. Other forms of policing are believed to be more effective for money spent. – Well, John’s article addresses this point which is to say there are several uses and police do consider it valuable. It is valuable from an informational point of view: the more information they have the better. But the other example is just as powerful to me and always gets ignored: tracing the history of a found gun. Find a gun at a murder scene, do a search, find it was stolen a year ago in another province, hook up with the police doing the investigation on the break-in.

    But that’s not the end of the discussion because you are right, it still has to make sense and we still have to balance police needs and wants with the costs. But police wanting this information is pretty powerful. And I’m not aware of a lot of similar public micromanagement of police spending decisions.

    4) Gun owners fear being held responsible for crimes committed when their guns are stolen. – sorry, this is silly. If someone steals my car and robs a bank and the car is found later, I’m not going to be held responsible for the crime unless there is a whopping lot more evidence.

    5) Gun owners fear profiling and harassment from authorities for owning guns. – see above

    6) Gun owners have had bad experiences with attempting to use the gun registry, and problems with the gun registry have made them feel less secure when dangerous individuals in the community somehow were able to gain access to guns again after the registry was implemented. – not really sure what the comment is about here or how it really applies to the usefulness to police.

    • 1) “But what is the fear based upon other than fear? What massive seizures of any kind have ever occurred in Canada?” Canada has a whole class of weapons that are prohibited that weren’t always prohibited with new legislation in 1969 and 1977. Crossbows designed to be fired with one hand were are also declared illegal in the mid-90′s, with no grandfathering clause. The crossbow ban had bad optics, because it isn’t a particularly dangerous weapon (certainly less dangerous than a handgun) but it was banned because it was felt there wasn’t enough people to make a political fuss about it. So imagining that there is a political will to prohibit gun ownership and use isn’t hard to imagine.

      2) “Gun owners object that being a long gun owner does not means that we are more likely to engage in criminal activity.” Well the picture above for one. The picture above has guns that are prohibited in Canada, so talking about the gun registry with those optics looks like you are trying to demonize them as gun nuts. Notice as well that nobody is complaining about the handgun registry which has been around for a long time, policing guns that are specifically designed to kill men and are involved in the vast majority of gang related activity.

      3) All the more reason that the left should provide some good solid numbers to show how much money is being spent, show how the information is used, and what the results are to the public good for storing and collecting this private information on gun owners.

      4) That would be the logical parallel yes. However, people can get charged with negligence if their firearm is stolen and it used in a crime if the police warrant it.

      5) Sorry, but this one is in the article itself. Talking about how someone who owns a lot of guns “will tell about someone”. That’s profiling someone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime.

      6) The legislation introduced in 1977 worked really well, and it had clear public safety benefits. Requiring a firearms acquisition license and thus requiring you inform the police that you wanted to purchase a firearm caused a drastic reduction in shooting deaths. All the registration seems to have done is given people who shouldn’t have guns more bureaucratic levers to pull. People argue that the previous legislation still applies, and it does, but this new legislation seems to have muddied the waters.

      I’m also referring to the fact that not all the guns registered to the system are real, not everyone is registered on the system, and registering yourself in the system was frustrating due to all the bugs of implementing it. It left people annoyed with the whole thing, and more likely to view it as a waste of time.

      • Why does a seizure have to be “massive” for it to be unjust? Confiscation of ANY property by the State, without compensation, is wrong. But, just to placate you, when Bill C-68 was passed it prohibited, at the stroke of a pen, some 500,000 legally owned handguns. These guns will be confiscated, without compensation, as each owner dies. Eventual confiscation is still confiscation.

        Massive enough for you?

  22. I think its important to point out that a factor (not the only factor but a significant one) in the cost overruns and debacle that became the registry was that many gun owners and gun-owning associations actively sabotaged the registry. For example, people would send in fake registrations under fake names, they all sent their forms in at the last possible minute in order to overload the system. This was not just one or two of my neighbors, I remember magazines such as the Alberta Report and announcers on talk radio encouraging this as a way to stop the registry.
    Now, the administration of they system was such crap that I am sure that there would have still be problems. Still, I doubt that that any system could have functioned very well when it was so actively undermined.

    • All the more reason to have your ducks in a row when you are trying to legislate in change that’s a wedge issue.

    • While there may have been some “activism” on the part of gun owners to “sabotage” the registry, it was those actively involved in the creation of the registry – namely, the Coalition for Gun Control – who drove up costs exponentially. The following is from Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s report:

      http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/domino/reports.nsf/html/20021210ce.html

      December, 2002 Auditor General’s Report

      Department of Justice – Costs of Implementing the Canadian Firearms Program

      The program became excessively regulatory

      10.67 In February 2001, the Department told the Government it had wanted to focus on the minority of firearms owners that posed a high risk while minimizing the impact on the overwhelming majority of law-abiding owners. However, the Department concluded that this did not happen. Rather, it stated that the Program’s focus had changed from high risk firearms owners to excessive regulation and enforcement of controls over all owners and their firearms. The Department concluded that, as a result, the Program had become overly complex and very costly to deliver, and that it had become difficult for owners to comply with the Program.

      10.68 The Department said the excessive regulation had occurred because some of its Program partners believed that

      * the use of firearms is in itself a “questionable activity” that required strong controls, and
      * there should be a zero-tolerance attitude toward non-compliance with the Firearms Act.

      Blame Wendy, not us.

  23. The motion before the Senate has to do with the scrapping of the long gun registry, specifically shotguns and rifles used by hunters. There is no shotguns and rifles in the photo accompanying the story, only assault rifles and handguns that have had to be registered in Canada for decades and will continue to be so. It is irresponsible journalism to portray the story as you have.
    Your main argument for the long gun registry is that police say they check it 9000 times a day—-you might as well say they surf You Tube 9000 times a day. You don`t stay safe and fight crime with a keyboard and you don`t expect common sense coming out of the keyboards at MacLeans.

  24. The person who claimed they had to have a licence and registration for their car forgot one important point. No one tells you what kind of car you are allowed to have. Does buying a prius make you an environmentalist? Does buying a Ferrari mean you are out to crash into things at high speed as soon as possible? Gun control advocates always claim the tool is to blame.

    • Actually you do not have to have a lisence or register your car in Canada. That is yet another myth spread by those who want to ban guns or defend the useless registry.

      Cars need only be registered if they are used on the public streets. That is not to protect people but to collect taxes used to provide upkeep of the highways. It has ZERO to do with public safety.

      If you keep your car on your property it is all yours.

      Just look at your local race track……….no registration. It is also why race cars are transported on trailers (plus the cost and road worthyness issues).

      You do not need a lisence to drive a car on your own property either. No age limit etc.

      So if you want to control guns like we do cars I would be ever so in favor of it.
      -

  25. Police officers must always be prepared for the possibility of guns or other weapons. They would never feel “safer” by not finding a registered firearm so their mode of operation will never change (they will never use fewer or more precautions regardless of what they do or do not find in the registry). The fact is that those who commit crime or murder with guns almost universally have a history of criminal behaviour. The criminal record of a person is many times more valuable than their legally, registered firearms.

    “finding out the man causing the disturbance possesses several exotic weapons would indicate something else again”

    What would this indicate, exactly? All legal guns in Canada adhere to the same length, action, and magazine restrictions. It is important to remember that no matter how “exotic” a gun may appear, it functions exactly the same as hundreds of equivalent wood-stocked hunting rifles. Many people like collecting, modifying, and restoring exotic or rare firearms–just like many others do with cars–and it has absolutely no bearing on their potential for any sort of dangerous criminal activity. Frankly, your implication is absurd. A criminal’s “exotic” firearms will not appear on any registration database.

    The fact is that firearms owned by regular, law-abiding citizens do not pose a safety risk to the general public. There are about 7.3 million registered firearms in Canada and the average homicide rate with these weapons between 1997 and 2005 was about 13 (7 of which were committed by their legal owner). To put this in perspective there were 187 total firearm homicides during the same time period. Also, these homicides committed with legally registered firearms accounted for only 2.27% of the total homicides for that period. Clearly, legal guns owner by law-abiding citizens are not a great threat to public safety.

    • I was just going to write the very same thing. Police do what they have ALWAYS done when they go on a call. They will ALWAYS treat a situation as dangerous until they know otherwise. What do people think the police did before they added the long guns to the firearm registry? Until police secure a location, they will treat it as unsecure and dangerous since you never know if a person has a gun. If anything a registry provides a false sense of security since anyone who checks it may goad themself into believing the location is ‘safe’ when there is no such thing.

      I live in Toronto and I don’t feel one bit safer knowing there is a registry of long guns. Gang bangers don’t walk down the streets with their hunting rifles, they walk down the streets with illegal handguns tucked into their jackets.

  26. Yes, I’m sure that the police chiefs would like to keep the long-gun registry.

    They would also like to be able to wiretap your phone, your cell phone, and your email accounts. They would also like to be able to search your home, your place of work, your business, and your person without needing a search warrant. They would also like to be able to arrest you for any whim that comes to them without need of an arrest warrant.

    Would all those people here who are advocating for the registry also advocate for all these other tools that the police could use to make their jobs easier?

    As far as confiscation is concerned. It is already happening. Shortly after registration started, some guns were reclassifed and banned. Now they had lists of every owner and began confiscating them.

    Everything they have told you inorder to sell the long-gun registry to the public has been a lie.

    Time to end this lie, and support Senate Bill S-5 to get rid of the registry, once and for all.

    • An honest question, Jim: apart from the expense, and just in terms of rights, how is the gun registry different from the car registry?

      • Well, for one thing, most people do not have an uninformed, illogical fear of automobiles. No one, (with the possible exception of a few enviro-loonies) want to ban the private ownership of cars.

        Myth: Guns should be registered and licensed like cars

        Fact: You do not need a license to buy a car. You can buy as many as you want and drive them all you like on your own property without a license.

        Fact: Cars are registered because they are (a) sources of tax revenue, (b) objects of fraud in some transactions, and (c) significant theft targets. Thus we ask the government to track them.

        Fact: There is no constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear automobiles, and thus they are subject to greater regulation than guns.

        Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

        Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.

        Fact: It did in Germany. The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition (before the Nazis came to power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came to power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.

        Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.

        Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.

        Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.

        Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

        I hope this helps to explain our opposition to firearms registration.

        • There is no constitutionally guaranteed right to bear firearms in Canada, not by a long shot (as it were).

          All your examples concern the banning of assault weapons and handguns. Those already require registration in Canada and they have not been banned outright.

          A car that never leaves your property is not a car in any meaningful sense.

          • +++ There is no constitutionally guaranteed right to bear firearms in Canada, not by a long shot (as it were).+++

            That one is open to argument. The Magna Carta still has weight in Canada. Just because it got left out of our written down rights, does not mean it does not exist. “Rights” exist because they are rights, not because some government decided to write it down.

            +++ All your examples concern the banning of assault weapons and handguns. Those already require registration in Canada and they have not been banned outright. +++

            My quote actually said “semi-automatic rifles and shotguns” not “assault weapons”. BIG difference! Assault rifles are FULLY automatic, and except for a very few collectors and the military, can not be owned legally in Canada.

            +++ A car that never leaves your property is not a car in any meaningful sense. +++

            Depends. If I own 500 acres of land and have a 4X4, I could have a lot of use for that unregistered vehicle.

          • Ah, that’s a good point about the weapons — sorry! On the car, I guess I see your point, but the vast majority of cars in Canada are for street / road use, and the government registers them so as to be able to tax them (at the point of sale, mainly). My only point there was that registration is not, in itself, sinister.

            Re: the threat of confiscation / repossession, I just can’t see it ever happening. I mean, there’s been a big enough backlash from rural Canada about the gun registry to begin with; can you imagine any party ever deciding to confiscate people’s hunting rifles? They would lose every seat outside downtown Vancouver and Toronto. I mean, it would be apocalyptic. I really don’t think that’s a serious possibility, ever.

            Re: rights, I quite agree that there are unwritten rights, but I don’t know if they include firearms. Otherwise, wouldn’t the courts have overturned the ban on automatic weapons? It seems to me the best legal defense of rifle ownership is that it allows people to hunt for food, which is a fairly inherent right.

          • Jack your words show just how little you know.

            Did you miss the Liberal call to ban handguns in Canada? Have you never heard so called mayor millers calls for a ban? There is currently nothing to stop them from doing it.

            Not to meantion the current laws prohibit over half of the handguns and most “so called” assault rifles. That is confiscation but done slowly. I cannot pass my prohibitted firearms on to my kids when I die. They can only be sold to other “grandfathered people” that my friend is confiscation. You see in the end there will be only one grandfathered pereson in Canada. When they die ALL prohibs will have been confiscated. So it really is confiscation.

            I shoudl also point out that you do not have a constitutional right to own ANYTHIING. Not your gun, not your car, not your house not your socks. We do not have property rights as that was specifically REMOVED by PET from the original constitution.

            So really we both should be upset about its removal.

          • I’m in agreement with Mitchell on this one. Registration can be misused, just as a gun can be misused. That doesn’t make registration (or guns) evil.

            In general we require people to register anything whose misuse leads to great harm. This allows us to hold people responsible. Examples include vehicles on public roads, children, new construction in populated areas, flight plans over populated areas, etc. It is not unreasonable to expect the same for firearms.

            That said, it is clear that the Liberals intended the registration partly to eradicate lawful gun ownership by making the process expensive and awkward. This was totalitarian (but unsurprising, coming from the Liberals). It is not unlikely that they intended to use it to gradually make all firearms illegal. Incremental encroachments tend to be overlooked by the public, leading to the battle being decided before the citizenry even realizes their rights have been taken away. The same is currently underway with free speech.

            A reasonable solution is this: as with cars, require people to register firearms in a cheap and efficient manner. As with cars, provide severe penalties for those who misuse the gun and significantly lesser penalties for those who fail to register. And finally, add constitutional guarantees for the right to possess and bear arms. No society can be easily subjugated while the citizens are well armed.

          • Read Section 26 of the so-called “Charter of Rights and Freedoms” and get back to us.

          • There is no mention in Magna Carta of weapons or arms. Most of the Charter concerns property rights, taxes and due process. The majority of the provisions are specific to the time in which they were written and have little relevance today (with the exception of due process).

            Magna Carta has never applied in Canada.

    • I agree Jim!

      This is really all about more government control. Fact is, criminals will find guns on the black market as, it seems they always do. Right now they are trying to take away the rights of law abiding American citizens to bear arms. This is in violation of their constitutional rights.

      I personally don’t like guns, but I know what the real issue here is. It is indeed just more control of the people. Government is becoming a monster and will ultimately become a tyrant if left to their devices unchallenged. If the gun registry succeeds, they will most certainly go for other things as well.

    • Indeed that is completely true from a first hand experience. The Police enter your home seize your weapons and unless you have deep pockets that is all she wrote. I will fight.

      Maybe a knife registry next as suggested already, it’s laughable and it was put forward already after the decapitating incident near Portage la Prairie.

      How about the costs?

      four thousand million dollars………..that is allot of money……and it will keep going up and you will not be safer……..just more scared……..like in the US……lock your doors……watch the media……..

      The handguns used in most crimes are smuggled from the US and are not our own. Maybe the smugglers will register their weapons.

      All I need to do is watch Dziekanski and his execution and the lies that followed by the RCMP all documented by the media. We trust these liars! The Crown knowing the RCMP officers lied in their statements perjured themselves on the stand will not lay charges. We want to give more power to these idiots. I shed no tears for them anymore as the few have tarnished the entire organization.

      I am ashamed to be Canadian.

  27. Those registry numbers are misleading!

    Every radio call with an address the police get has an automatic registry check for guns.
    The officers don’t do it – a computer does!

    Regardless of the check results (which is largely ignored, I’ll bet), police training is to treat every call as a potential gun call, because there is always one there – the cop’s.

    It’s not the lawful owners of guns that have to be suspected all the time; it’s the CRIMINAL’s guns, which AREN’T registered!

    The registry is meaningless, as much as a knife registry would be.
    Lose it.
    Police Chiefs are cops only in name. It would be fair to say they are politicians of a nature, and have to do bidding to keep their jobs (remember Fantino!).

  28. “Why are our usually obedient neighbors to the North so feisty?

    One reason is they have realized that gun registration really does lead to confiscation. Handguns have been registered in Canada since 1934, and for decades, the Canadian government only used the registration records for innocent purposes. But shortly after winning election in November 1993, the new Chrétien government imposed an administrative decree banning over half of all handguns. The current registered owners may retain the guns until they die, and then the guns must be surrendered to the government. No compensation will be paid for the confiscation.

    The gun-registration law, Bill C-68, gave the government the authority to confiscate any and all rifles and shotguns, whenever it wishes — a fact which Canada’s National Firearms Association has been busily publicizing. Registration this year is plainly a step towards confiscation a few years from now.

    Why is the Liberal Party pushing for registration so resolutely, even as the registration law drives so many Canadians — especially on the prairie — away from the Liberal Party?

    Public safety has nothing to do with it. The Justice Department worked diligently to suppress an independent research report — which had been commissioned by the Justice Department — that showed the 1977 gun-owner licensing law had been a failure.

    One motive for registration is simply a crass — although perhaps mistaken — political calculation that there are more urban female votes to be gained by attacking “masculine” culture than there are rural male votes to be lost. Indeed, polling research of Canadian gun-control supporters shows them to be almost perfectly ignorant of Canada’s already-strict gun-control laws; their main motive for wanting more gun control is not the expectation that people will be safer, but their desire to express their antipathy for “macho” values.

    Addressing the 11th Annual Community Legal Education Associations conference in January 1996, Senator Sharon Carstairs made a telling admission when she thought no one else was listening: The new Firearms Act was intended, from the outset, to be integral to her party’s plans to “socially re-engineer Canada.” Guns are favored by rural males, and are associated with self-reliance, and are therefore contrary to the Liberal Party’s desire for a feminized and dependent nation.

    In short, Canadian gun control is a sort of slow-motion hate crime, perpetrated by the government. The real purpose is to harm a minority whom the government dislikes. In the United States, one need only attend a few anti-gun rallies — especially rallies put on by the dishonestly named Million Mom March — to find plenty of anti-gun activists for whom hatred is obviously the guiding value.

    The Canadian nation has always prided itself on tolerance. The mean-spirited intolerance that animates Canada’s anti-gun-owner laws is helping many Canadians understand something that some of their British ancestors figured out back in 1215 with King John and the Magna Carta: There comes a time when a man who loves his country must tell his government, “Stop. Not one bit further.” ”

    - Dave Kopel, director, and Dr. Paul Gallant & Dr. Joanne Eisen, research associates, from the Independence Institute – 2000

  29. Bruce Montague is an ordinary Canadian who has been charged under the Firearms Act. On September 11, 2004 Bruce was arrested and jailed for 11 days for violation of the licensing and registration terms of the Firearms Act. Police officers then conducted a 36 hour search of the Montague home, seizing and confiscating Bruce’s firearms, ammunition and other property, including computers, binoculars, scopes and books.

    What started this? Bruce is a model citizen with no criminal record, and has an excellent community and business reputation. But as a hunter and gunsmith from northern Ontario, Bruce Montague has boldly and actively opposed the Liberal government’s illegitimate gun law by nonviolent public protest and peaceful non-compliance.

    Why would someone intentionally challenge the law? Bruce is a man of character, integrity and conviction. Rather than comply with an unjust law, he has chosen to challenge it in court at enormous personal cost.

    Why should you join Bruce Montague’s fight to strike down the Firearms Act? Because his fight is your fight:

    An estimated 90% of firearms owners in Canada are in violation of the Firearms Act regulations due to ignorance, negligence, or civil disobedience.
    If the police did a raid on your house today, you would likely be charged with one or more criminal offenses under the Firearms Act.
    An anonymous “firearms threat” tip from a personal opponent can lead to an unannounced police raid on your home.
    The goal of the Firearms Act is to gradually eliminate private ownership of guns. We either fight the gun law now, or one-by-one firearm owners will be hunted down by its complexity and harsh penalties.
    Because of the multitude of firearms charges, Bruce’s defense team will be able to challenge the constitutionality of all the major areas of the firearms act, potentially gutting it.
    Bruce is backed by legal experts who are prepared to make the first serious charter challenge of the Firearms Act to the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Bruce is putting his neck on the line to defend our freedoms. Now it’s our turn to put our money on the line to support Bruce. To fight this to the Supreme Court, Bruce is anticipating 3-5 years of personal stress and an expected legal bill over $300,000.

    Let’s do our part to raise funds in our clubs, associations and businesses. Ask for generous donations.

    Please send cheques payable to the: “Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund”
    RR#2, Site 211, Box 7, Dryden, Ontario, P8N 2Y5

  30. Let’s be clear about one thing right up front. Our opposition to the Firearms Act has nothing to do with guns. It’s not about hunting or target shooting, although we engage in both. It’s not about handguns or shotguns, or which one is a “good gun” and which one is not.

    It has to do with one thing and one thing only: Rights. Innate fundamental human rights. Rights paid for, in full, with the blood of the fallen men and women to whom we justly pay tribute every November 11th.

    Rights each and every human being is born with.

    These rights are NOT granted by government, any government. These rights predate government. Cave men and space men are all born with the same inalienable rights, namely the right to life, and the right to own the implements (private property) required to feed, clothe and defend that life.

    Government’s only legitimate role is in protecting those inalienable rights.

    The Firearms Act clearly violates the rights every Canadian is born with. Rights supposedly protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    • If by “cave men” you mean prehistoric humans (who were largely hunters and gatherers), then you’re wrong. While it’s true they were fiercely egalitarian, at the same the rights of the individual were a relatively foreign concept – the survival and prosperity of the group were what counted the most, symbolically and practically.

      Also, would you please cite the passage from the Charter that identifies “defence” as an individual right in Canada? I think you might be confusing our nation with the USA.

      While you’re at it, explain to me why folks like you never get so worked up about having to register your property, children, and vehicles? Honestly, you’d be easier to take seriously if you showed some consistency in that respect.

      Finally, tell me more about life in space! While I’m probably better versed in human history and modern political philosophy than yourself, you’ve got me at a disadvantage on the whole non-earth sociopolitical thing.

      • Defense of Person

        Self-Defence Against Unprovoked Assault
        … / Extent of justification.

        34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.

        (2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if

        (a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
        (b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm. [R.S. c.C-34, s.34.]

        Self-Defence In Case Of Aggression.

        35. Every one who has without justification assaulted another but did not commence the assault with intent to cause death or grievous bodily harm, or has without justification provoked an assault on himself by another, may justify the use of force subsequent to the assault if

        (a) he uses the force

        (i) under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence of the person whom he has assaulted or provoked, and
        (ii) in the belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary in order to preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm;

        (b) he did not, at any time before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose, endeavour to cause death or grievous bodily harm; and
        (c) he declined further conflict and quitted or retreated from it as far as it was feasible to do so before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose. [R.S. c.C-34, s.35.]

        Provocation.

        36. Provocation includes, for the purposes of sections 34 and 35, provocation by blows, words or gestures. [R.S. c.C-34, s.36.]

        Preventing Assault
        … / Extent of justification.

        37. (1) Every one is justified in using force to defend himself or any one under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.

        (2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to justify the wilfull infliction of any hurt or mischief that is excessive, having regard to the nature of the assault that the force used was intended to prevent. [R.S. c.C-34, s.37.]

        You’re welcome

        • That’s the criminal code, not the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which Pook claimed to include the right to defence. There is the right to *security*, but that’s not the same thing.

          Nice try, but no thanks from me!

          • +++ …”the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which Pook claimed to include the right to defence…” +++

            Wrong. I never claimed that it was in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Infact, I said that it was “not written down.”

            +++ “There is the right to *security*,..” +++

            Question: How do you have security if you do not have the tools to enforce it?

            Oh, please Mr. Badman, don’t hurt me. I have the right to security!

            … because Mr. 9mm here says I have the right to security! ;-)

          • Ah. Not in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

            THAT definitive document. And if its not in there, then the right must not exist then? Is that your educated stab at it?

            i think you could benefit from reading up on the recent verdict of Basil Parasiris Mr. Parasiris shot and killed an a Laval police detective who was executing a “no-knock” search warrant at his home — a warrant only later determined to be illegal.

            You can read up on that here:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Parasiris

            On Friday June 13th, 2008, the jury reached a not guilty verdict on the charge of first degree murder of a police officer. The jury suggested that there was reasonable ground to believe that Mr. Parasiris acted in self defense believing the police officers whom he thought were attackers were going to harm his wife and children while the Judge deemed that the search warrant which was used to enter Mr. Parasiris’s suburban home was illegal

            Isn’t it funny how the judge and the jury sure thought that their is a right to self-defense? Enough maybe even to set a new precedent?

      • +++While you’re at it, explain to me why folks like you never get so worked up about having to register your property, children, and vehicles? Honestly, you’d be easier to take seriously if you showed some consistency in that respect.

        Another read you need to have a look into, speaking of rights that should have been entrenched into the constitution, is property rights.

        I’m a big supporter of the APRI. http://www.apri.ca/

        So, yeah, us poor, dumb good ‘ol boys DO get irritated at other abuses of seizure of property without restitution.

        But mark my words sir. We ARE changing that in Canada.

      • But where on topic of guns, we try not to litter the ongoing dialogue with personal insults and advertisements about our educational histories.

        We might encourage you to observe the same courtesy.

      • Read Section 26 of the Charter of Rights.

        Fighting the Firearms Act is almost a full-time job. We’ll get around to those other things when we’re done with this.

    • How is forcing someone to register their weapons a violation of their rights?

      It’s not like the government is banning them from owning the guns. I don’t see how that’s any more a violation of rights than requiring paperwork/licenses/etc for any other piece of property.

      • Only a Liberal sycophant would make such a stupid statement. Have you not read the arguments above your posting?

        What it boils down to, is the fact that the state is depriving free citizens of the tools used for self defence.

        The government has banned guns. It now has a list of who owns them, and it has confiscated them. How much more info do you need to understand the cause and effect here?

        Toronto mayor Miller has long advocated total gun prohibition and confiscation. Allan Rock who gave us gun registry under a Liberal regime stated that only “police and military should be allowed guns”.

        Nice try, troll.

        • And here I was thinking that you might actually argue that a lot of the people who own guns own them for purposes other than self-defence, such as hunting or sport shooting.

          But tools used for self-defence? What is it, exactly, that you need to defend your person from? The threat of England invading?

          Is the solution to one gun-toting fellow who decides to shoot up a city street, another gun-toting fellow who decides to fire back? Since when does an escalation of violence solve the problem?

          • Luby’s Cafe

            On October 16, 1991, Hennard drove his 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck through the front window of a Luby’s Cafeteria at 1705 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, yelled “This is what Bell County has done to me!”, then opened fire on the restaurant’s patrons and staff with a Glock 17 pistol and later a Ruger P89. He stalked, shot, and killed 23 people and wounded another 20 before committing suicide. About 80 people were in the restaurant at the time. The first victim was Dr. Michael Griffith, a local veterinarian, who ran up to the driver’s side of the pickup truck after it came through the window to offer assistance. During the shooting, Hennard approached Suzanna Gratia Hupp and her parents. Hupp had actually brought a handgun to the Luby’s Cafeteria that day, but had left it in her vehicle due to the laws in force at the time, forbidding citizens from carrying firearms. According to her later testimony in favor of Missouri’s HB-1720 bill[1] and in general [2][3], after she realized that her firearm was not in her purse, but “a hundred feet away in [her] car”, her father charged at Hennard in an attempt to subdue him, only to be gunned down; a short time later, her mother was also shot and killed. (Hupp later expressed regret for abiding by the law in question by leaving her firearm in her car, rather than keeping it on her person[1].) One patron, Tommy Vaughn, threw himself through a plate-glass window to allow others to escape.[4] Hennard allowed a mother and her four-year-old child to leave. He reloaded several times and still had ammunition remaining when he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after being cornered and wounded by police.[5][6][7]

            So, yes, a citzen with a gun CAN stop these horrible shootings.

          • I’m sorry, but you’re citing that Luby’s Cafe incident as an argument in favour of guns??

          • Suzanna Gratia Hupp sure does. And Texans sure get it. And 2 Million Canadian firearms owners get it.

            Oh wait. Do you fit in that category of people who believe that armed citizens will simply add to the bloodshed?

            Cool. Lets examine that point of view in reference to a historical case where the students WERE armed; specifically, the Appalachian School of Law shootings where 43-year-old former student Peter Odighizuwa was stopped mid-spree by armed students.

            To no one’s surprise, this story didn’t make the same shocking story that Virginia Tech did. Maybe because their weren’t enough bodies? Maybe because gun owners of America could not be demonized in a sensational anti-gun story?

            It never does sell quite as many media ringside seats as a one-sided slaughter. You can read into it yourself here, because it is likely the first time you have ever even heard of it.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting

            Funny how few media outlets actually reported that.

            Perhaps you could explain for me why these mass-murder involving guns recurrently occur in gun-free zones?

      • The fact that you clearly have no clue WHAT the Canadian, Australian, and British governments have done in the pursuit of gun bans makes you a poor candidate for submitting your opinion here.

        Call us back after the government seizes $30,000 worth of your personal property without remuneration because it is arbitrarily deemed ‘the drunk driver’s special’, or ‘faster than any citizen needs to drive themselves from A to B.’

  31. FYI: All those guns in the picture you included in this post, would still require registration.

    What the government is proposing is that we stop registering (but continue licensing) unrestricted long-guns (shotguns and rifles) which are mainly used by hunters and farmers.

    - restricted/prohibited guns (handguns, assault rifles etc) would still be registered

    - if you wanted to possess a long-gun, you would not have to register it BUT you would have to have a license to own it; therefore, police will still be able to search to see if a person owned firearms

    • More than that! I wouldn’t be surprised that most of what’s on the table is prohibited althogether such as large capacity magazines; I see a short barrel and maybe a full auto.

      • Banned already they would be but the Police needs to scare you so you would lie down like a good dog.

  32. Statements made prominent Canadian politicians makes it painfully obvious that confiscation is the ultimate aim and the Firearms Act is the leading edge of the slippery slope.

    “I came to Ottawa…with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers.” – former Liberal Minister of Justice Allan Rock 1994

    “C-68 has little to do with gun control or crime control, but it is the first step necessary to begin the social re-engineering of Canada.” – Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs 1996

    “Canada will be one of the first unarmed countries in the World.” – former Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy 1998

    “This government does not believe that public safety is enhanced by carrying weapons. In fact, it has been a long-standing Canadian government practice to discourage the use of personal defense weapons.” – former Liberal Minister of Justice Anne McLellan 1999

    Given the content of the above statements, if there is a Canadian citizen that is not worried about the short and long term objectives of this federal Liberal government, they have their head strategically placed where there is no danger of seeing the sun.

    The track record of the federal Liberals as it relates to telling the Canadian public the truth is abysmal. We live in a country where we have had broken promises weekly from our politicians. Remember “Scrap the GST” in the 1994 Liberal policy ‘Red Book’ presented by Jean Chretien. What a joke! There are so many broken promises behind the back deceptions and outright lies from the Liberal government that it is impossible for the Canadian people to trust them. Would you trust the Liberals on their no confiscation promises given their track record? I think not.

    The Western part of Canada has experienced the Made in Ottawa Lies all to often. It dates back to Trudeau. Ask any politically-minded Westerner and you’ll hear that Trudeau is the most hated Canadian politician. He has also the only one to wave his middle finger at concerned Canadian citizens. Under Chretien came the ‘Lieberals’ as they are so commonly referenced in the Canadian media.

    First lie that couldn’t go so easily undetected was spotted by RCMP Commissioner Murray when he protested in 1997 that the 1993 RCMP figures were grossly exaggerated, did we say exaggerated, I think we meant FORGED. The RCMP commissioner demanded that something must be done to correct the data or remove it from circulation. The CFC was requested to meet over the concern of where the problem occurred, yet they were unwilling. Currently, there is a forgery investigation against Allan Rock, the Justice Minister at the time.

    http://www.lufa.ca/confiscation.asp

    • Um, the Liberals are not the governing party of Canada right now. Haven’t been for some time. Trudeau’s dead. Has been for some time. Personally, I blame Laurier for everything wrong with country. And don’t even get me started about that sonovabich Tupper.

      (Unless you’re talking about space society again. Which I’ve long suspected is a Liberal wasteland.)

      • No, the Liberals are not the government today. Thankfully! However, it is only a matter of time before the come into power again. That is the nature of politics. It swings back and forth.

        Given half a chance they would outlaw and confiscate every gun in the country.

        That is why we must kill the gun registry now. If we do, they won’t dare bring it back, but if not, they will not hesitate to expand its powers.

        Senate Bill S-5 is not perfect, but it is better than what we have now. I support it.

        • That is where our opinions must slightly diverge my friend.

          S-5 is worse than the current firearms legislation for either gun control advocates OR gun rights advocates. Neither want to see it happen. It is a lame duck piece of legislation that guts Garry B’s eloquent private member’s C-301.

          Unfortunately for him, the PMO might have a vested political interest in decentralizing control of registries to the individual provinces.

          Make NO mistake, S-5 does NOT abolish the long gun registry. Its provisions make it paperless, and controlled at the personal volition of the provincial CFO. For gun owners in Ontario and Quebec, this will be a travesty.

          Gun control advocates what will occur conversely in the more libertarian provinces.

          • Does C-301 either. What does C-301′s amendment to FA Sec 23 (Sec 10 of C -301) differ from S-5. In both cases, the transaction is reported to the Canada Firearms Program. My fear, is that a good deal of gun owners will still be “criminals,” by failing to properly report a transaction. The current system with an “active” registry at least reminds the seller the need to use the proper channels.

    • Forged is right if they used yearly statistics and excluded US firearms and all the suicides we wouldn’t have much gun crime in Canada.

  33. +++ I’m sorry, but you’re citing that Luby’s Cafe incident as an argument in favour of guns?? +++

    Yes, if they are not prevented by state laws forcing them to leave their guns locked in the car instead of being allowed to carry.

    Instead of shooting the gunman, she was forced to hide under a table while her mother died in her arms.

    • I meant to imply that fewer guns in a society might result in fewer murder sprees in the first place. We do seem to be ahead of our American friends in that regard.

      • Are we?

        It seems to me that we have more than our fair share of that social decay. Let me ask; do you think people engage in these shootings to indulge urges with guns, or for the 15 minutes of media fame?

        • On balance it seems the Dawson shooter was more interested in killing people than in publicising it.

          • Yet he picked the most public venue possible to go off the rails.

            Don’t get me wrong here….I don’t believe a sane person, short of a team of psychiatrists, could even guess at his real motives.

            But I don’t buy that he simply wanted to kill people.

            He had that deficit in his personality that drove him to attention gaining extremes such as his vampire-freaks.com web profile.

          • You’re right that it’s idle to speculate about his motives, but I think he attacked Dawson because he had it in for Dawson students. Not to say he wasn’t a major narcissist, but he certainly did have a gun fetish. IIRC that’s why he was kicked out of the Reserves.

          • Before posting further, let me first say thanks for your most civil and considered debate. This is healthy I think for Canadians.

      • Try reading Dr. John Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime”. In it, he finds that in US States that pass “Shall Issue” CCW laws the confrontational crime rate drops on an average of 24%.

        Most, if not all, shooting sprees take place in state-mandated “gun free zones”. This is why you don’t see many mass murders at NRA conventions, gun shows, or police stations.

    • I would like to add to the argument that more guns makes for a more complex problem. In the example you gave the students came out as heroes for using their weapons. It should be noted that the police could have mistaken them as the gunmen. It is not your job nor those students jobs to take matters into their own hands. There is laws against vigilantism. I cannot recall from memory what high school kid was killed when they brought a toy gun to school but I know it caused much outcry.

      Mr. Pook I understand that you want some level of self protection. Everyone has a right to defend themselves but that right does not mean using a gun. Perhaps you have no faith in police and the social contract but hand guns and other types prohibited by the law should be confiscated with or without the Gun Registry.

      • Sorry Bob, but that’s just plain, old fashioned fear mongering.

        http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14817480/detail.html
        Armed guard stopped shooter in church

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting
        armed students stopped shooter in school

        orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-loc-pharmacy-robber-killed-040109,0,550904.story
        This last week, news in Florida disclosed that an armed pharmacist stooped an armed robber in store

        I could go on and on with fact to match your fiction and conjecture. Its easier to do than you could possibly believe, because for EVERY state that has opened up concealed carry laws and repealed duty to retreat statutes, there has been a massive downturn in crime.

      • Just a question?

        When did you become so socially neutered that you surrendered your ability to defend yourself to strangers? Sorry. That notion is just somewhat funny to me -not in the comical sense, but in that repugnant, morally bankrupt sense reserved for cowardice feebly masked in morality.

        You really need to read “Excusing the men who ran away” on this site” He writes about the movie made about Ecole Polytechnique, and men who similarly felt no duty to respond. That’s right. They bravely walked out and left those women to die at the hands of Gamil Gharbi.

        Here’s a teaser for you Bob….

        +++Whenever I write about this issue, I get a lot of emails from guys scoffing, “Oh, right, Steyn. Like you’d be taking a bullet. You’d be pissing your little girlie panties,” etc. Well, maybe I would. But as the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle put it:

        “When we say ‘we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances,’ we make cowardice the default position.”

        I prefer the word passivity—a terrible, corrosive, enervating passivity. Even if I’m wetting my panties, it’s better to have the social norm of the Titanic and fail to live up to it than to have the social norm of the Polytechnique and sink with it. M Villeneuve dedicates his film not just to the 14 women who died that day but also to Sarto Blais, a young man at the Polytechnique who hanged himself eight months later. Consciously or not, the director understands what the heart of this story is: not the choice of one man, deformed and freakish, but the choice of all the others, the nice and normal ones. He shows us the men walking out twice—first, in real time, as it were; later, Rashômon-style, from the point of view of the women, in the final moments of their lives. —

  34. Sean Stokholm.. While your leading paragraph is debatable, the rest of your post is nonsense. I would point out section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. Security of the person is the right to defend yourself. A right which has been upheld in the SCC. It is also a right which is held at Common Law. We also have the right to keep arms in our defence as per the English Bill of Rights 1689. This right also survives into our Charter viz sec. 26. 26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada. When we confederated in 1867 we did not create a bill of Rights like our neighbours to the south because we did not need one, the long held Common law rights were still in force as they are today here and in England. Indeed The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Constitution did not repeal this right.

    As for the registering of property, there is no law compelling anyone to register their children or their car(s) nor any other personal belonging. The only time you need to register your car is if you intend to drive on public roads. You register your children if you intend for them to have any benefit of public programs. When was the last time you had to give personal and intimate details of your life to register a car. Do you need to take a course on parenting before having children? Do you need a licence to have them? You like so many other people see firearms as having a life of their own. With the ability to influence the human mind. They are inanimate objects, left on a table they will remain there time in memoriam until a human changes that state. I will assume you are familiar with the organization known as MADD. How is it that they have figured out that alcohol and cars are not responsible for the carnage on our highways? In fact they lobbied long and hard to have the human that consumed the alcohol and drove the car locked up.

    I find it astonishing that people that are ordinarily intelligent and logical lose their capacity to engage either when it comes to this topic. People who are fed garbage information from the media and various political parties, Who do not know nor understand the firearms laws are wound up about a bill that would eliminate a useless long gun registry and redundant and costly paper work. The truth of the matter is that an enquiry made to the registry will only show “registered” firearms at an address not the illegal ones. If the registry was that valuable then the police should be able to walk into a crack house or gang clubhouse and not need to worry because there are no guns registered there? please!.

    You claim an expertise in human history and modern political philosophy? Then I put it to you what happens after civilian disarmament? A genocide usually follows. If the registry is not about disarmament then why does the government need to know? What do you call the type a state where the police and military are the only ones with guns? A Police State! Just to cap this all off. There are 7 million law abiding firearms owners in Canada with 26 million firearms(UN figure) They didn’t shoot nor kill anyone today. So when you know as much about the firearms act and have had to deal with it then you can have in informed opinion about any bill to change it.

    • On the money here.

      Pay attention people.

  35. This article makes no sense. First of all, while the gun license will tell police which homes contain legal guns, they would still have to assume that all homes could contain guns. Secondly, I remember reading an article where the police extolled the virtues of the registry after a local bust. During a drug raid, they recovered several guns which had been stolen from a local resident and were quite proud to have identified the providence of the weapons. In the past, pre-registry, I would assume the guns would have been destroyed. What this piece failed to say was that these guns would now be returned to their rightful owner. My point is that expanding from requiring a license to a full registry has not accomplished anything in terms of public safety.

    • I think you mean “provenance of the weapons” Dave.

  36. “That adds up to a staggering 3,438,729 queries from police officers last year. It’s hard to imagine a federal database more intensively mined.”

    What on Earth are you on about, an automatic check of the system is done during routine police look-ups of CPIC! Do you seriously think that the police specifically check this database alone this many times a year?

    • Talk about a fishing expedition!

      People who check the medical records of celebrities get fired from their hospital jobs, but it’s OK for state law enforcement to check EVERYONE they talk with for legally owned firearms? How is this right?

      One other thing. Registry lists make great shopping lists for criminals. There have been a number of gun owners who have been targeted for specific guns they owned. How did people know? One guy had his collection hidden inside finished walls of his home – they found them!

      • Why on earth would he wall up his collection? Obviously he wasn’t keeping them on hand so he could defend himself in a home invasion…and I doubt if that was his interpretation of “secure storage”.

    • Auditor General Sheila Fraser stated before the Justice Committee that these numbers are an “indication of activity” not of efficiency or effectiveness. In other words, it’s not much more than bureaucratic busywork – meaningless mumbo-jumbo.

    • Did I forget the hairdryer that got registered as a weapon.

      First you assume the registry is accurate which it is not. The agents make mistakes and then those mistakes are used against the registrant as evidence.

      If I was a officer I would use it, an extra tool.

      The point is they do not use it for those reasons.

      I will paste the first comment.

      Yes, I’m sure that the police chiefs would like to keep the long-gun registry.

      They would also like to be able to wiretap your phone, your cell phone, and your email accounts. They would also like to be able to search your home, your place of work, your business, and your person without needing a search warrant. They would also like to be able to arrest you for any whim that comes to them without need of an arrest warrant.

      Would all those people here who are advocating for the registry also advocate for all these other tools that the police could use to make their jobs easier?

      As far as confiscation is concerned. It is already happening. Shortly after registration started, some guns were reclassifed and banned. Now they had lists of every owner and began confiscating them.

      Everything they have told you inorder to sell the long-gun registry to the public has been a lie.

      Time to end this lie, and support Senate Bill S-5 to get rid of the registry, once and for all.

  37. April 3 (Bloomberg) — A gunman opened fire at the offices of a refugee aid organization in Binghamton, New York, today, killing 13 people and taking dozens hostage, said media reports.

    He was armed with a rifle…..

    • Nice irrational post, John!

      A terrible story thrown into the mix to confuse, panic, and horrify. That’s the tactic used to get the registry born in the first place.

      Was it registered? And how would it have made any difference to the story?

      Mental issues?
      Stolen?

      You are using circular logic, if you think that a registry would have prevented this crime.

    • There were only 12 killed – #13 was the gunman.

      Too bad there wasn’t one citizen there with a gun who could have stopped him before he got to #2

      Sad day.

  38. In re: the gun registry.
    My Father was a policeman and he didn’t need a gun registry. He approached every dispute as if one party was armed.
    I await the knife registry which will also solve a problem caused by inept or lazy policing..
    The onus thus far on gun owners is “guilty until proven innocent”.
    When even registered owners are persecuted for mistakes by bureaucrats then I have no confidence in this tool.

  39. In a perfect world (one where a police officer could rely on the database being complete and accurate), a gun registry might serve a usefull purpose. Unfortuneatle this is NOT the case. If I were a police officer (and I wanted to stay alive) I would simply make the assumption that EVERY residence contains guns….full stop !

    • No, it wouldn’t, because it still wouldn’t contain a list of the guns in criminal hands…

  40. There are about 60000 police in Canada. So 10,000 checks per day is one check per officer every 6 days. Sounds reasonable.

    • +++ “There are about 60000 police in Canada. So 10,000 checks per day is one check per officer every 6 days. Sounds reasonable.” +++

      Only if all 60,000 were working the streets.

      How many of those 60K are working in administration, as pilots, undercover, Captains, etc.

      I would bet that the average street cop is doing CPIC checks which automatically hit the gun registry computers, about 50 times per day (12 hour shift. = 4 per hour).

      • I bet that police procedures require them to check the registry each time they go to a house/ private residence, regardless of the reason. And I assume the checks against the hand gun registry is counted as well, so every search is counted as two. And the police should assume that a deadly weapon may be at each place they go and act accordingly.

        My biggest problem is that the government has assumed that gun owners are guilty or are criminals rather than property owners. A car is licensed so they can use the vehicle on public lands but a collector who hangs his property on the wall (without firing pins) is deemed as dangerous and must register his property. Perhaps more crimes would be stopped if all computers, cell phones and iPods had to be registered so the owner can be found.

      • That math implies there are only 200 street cops in Canada….10,000/50=200.

        Boy, those guys are sure busy!

  41. I see my comment got deleted…twice. Apparently Geddes is a little sensitive at having his intelligence called into question.

  42. I would like to know out of all of those ithousands of nquiries the police send to the registry ,,, how many of those guns that have been registered end up being used in a criminal act… my guess is few to none ,, you know why ….. criminals do not register their guns.

  43. So with approximately 3,500,000 CPIC / Registry enquiries per year, that would be about 14 million enquiries over the years 2004 to 2008. Those happen to be the years for which stats of police deaths are kept at http://www.odmp.org/canada/. During those four years 12 officers died by gun fire. Of these, a total of 7 occurred at a residential property. If one excludes the 4 officers killed at Mayerthorpe (a complex situation,) that leaves 3 over a four year period that died while attending at a residence – after 14 million registry checks!

    The gun registry did not prevent these deaths. Neither Is there any evidence presented in the article that the gun registry saved any police officers’ lives. After all, if one goes on the assumption that there could be a gun at a residence, a check is irrelevant! On the other hand, who would trust a negative result, knowing that there could be a firearm anyways? By the way all other deaths in the line of duty over the fours years are: accidental 8, illness (mainly heart attack) 5, vehicular assault 3, knife 1, assault 1.

    • You have to sympathize with a person doing their dangerous duty in order to protect us and wanting to use every available tool for the job. But to alienate a large section of the population and single them out like this is doltish. The Police are creating more work for themselves hurting the very people they are sworn to protect. To use these tools in the way they are being used is wrong and the Police forces know this.

      We are giving up are rights for nothing it starts here and where will it end.

  44. +++ “Magna Carta has never applied in Canada.” +++

    As you will note from the ‘reasons for judgment’ of the BC “Court” of Appeal, the highest alleged “court” of British Columbia is of the UN-learned opinion that our Liberties and Freedoms, as decreed in Magna Carta [by four Kings] as ever lasting, are amendable to simple legislation [Crown statutes].

    Is that really true? Doesn’t legislation get its “magical authority” from Legislatures who were in turn granted authority [license] by the EXACT same Crown that assented [four times no less] to Magna Carta as the ever lasting SUPREME LAW? See the problem yet?

    The Magna Carta is not just “a legally binding contract” between Freemen and the “Royal Sovereign”; rather it was/is ALSO an “Holy edict” or “Blood Covenant” between the English church, or congregation, as represented by the common law barons [as the trustee in trust of the "common" property of England] and the Monarch of England, and therefore has the highest authority in our Commonwealth. It is an actual constitution, as opposed to something written up by an alleged government, openly rejected by the people, and simply having the word “constitution” written at the top of the page.
    The Magna Carta was passed and assented to by Crown AND of course British Parliament (see Sir Edward Coke – 1628 [Lord Campbell's Lives, supra, vol. 2 p.13]) on more than one occasion, and adopted into the expanded Constitution of the United Kingdom. Canada’s BNA Act provided for “a Constitution similar in Principle to that of United Kingdom” and thereby adopted the same constitutional principles. Magna Carta is our ONLY real Constitution, as it is the only document directly agreed to by the people, and intended to “last forever” in “all places”. The 1297 [final version] of our Charter records an exchange of goods in sealing the consent of the parties to the terms of the contract.

    Clearly, our Magna Carta was and always will be an integral part of Canadian Constitutional Law, as further witnessed by section 26 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which was passed as “the Supreme Law” of Canada by an act of the Parliament of England, signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by the will and consent of the government of Canada. Section 26 recognizes the existence of those “other rights” [or pre-existent rights] which we inherited [by eternal preservation under treaty] via our “Mother of Constitutions” – as the Magna Carta is often referred to. It is your birthright! It is FOR EVER the ‘law of the land’! And we are commissioned, by Royal edict, to preserve protect and if necessary DEFEND it by force. This is, then, your expressed right and lawful authority to enforce the Supreme Law if there is evidence of its breach or infringement.

    Further to the substantiation of this fact, we have the BC Court of Appeal, in 1949, stating quite clearly [what history already bore witness to] that Magna Carta is indeed part of our common law and IS the Constitution AND SUPREME LAW of Canada:

    = = = = = = = = = = =

    “The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or by the hand of the divinity itself: and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” — Alexander Hamilton, 1775

  45. Those numbers are whacked. There seems to be a disproportionate number of checks in Ontario and BC. And it is not used much at all in Quebec compared to everywhere else. Also, Yukon and Nunavut have similar populations, but you’d never know by those numbers.

  46. The premise of the article is flawed. Almost the entire logic is based on the idea that if something is used a lot than it must be beneficial, desirable and essential. Then why do they chase after pot users (maybe billions of tokes a year) and copyright violators (billions of downloads a year) and so on???

  47. First question is whether these are only searches of the long gun registry or the handgun registry (which is 40 years old) as well?

    Why do the RCMP not access the registry in Nunavut? Could it be because almost every household has a long gun of some sort? Could it also be because only a fool would walk along the shore during the fall without a gun, because you are a meal. In may younger days, field surveyors and field geologists carried hand guns in a holster when in the bust, since your two hands were free. No longer, but some company guns are left leaning against a rock. But I also know of people who had polar bears tearing into their tents or have been mauled by a barren land grizzly.

    Of course the police access the data base, but the better question is whether it has helped. In Mayerthorpe the Mounties may have checked the data base and felt safe because they had all the registered guns, but criminals don’t usually worry about rules. If the police do not enter a dangerous area and assume that a knife or gun or baseball bat is present, those officers deserve better training.

    Many prairie kids shoot rodents or for food. But the registration of a .22 single shot may cost more than the gun and the serial number may have worn off years before. So the politicians in the three cities have made these kids into criminals. I thought our justice system presumed that everyone is law abiding until proven otherwise but the registry assumes that everyone with a gun is a criminal, guilty until proven innocent. Also, the law appears to give law enforcement the right to look for unregistered guns, even on the property of the owner but Section 8 of the Canadian Charter says everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. Canada continues to give away our rights and freedoms, Harper just wants to give one back.

  48. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Senate finds that the long gun registry is an invaluable tool in the hands of police, that it offers them an added layer of security especially in domestic disputes. Who would deny them that extra layer of security? Geddes raises some good points and even if it can be shown that the registry has the potential to save lives it will never give way to a cultural issue. I almost believe that this Bill is designed to fail or at least hoped against. If that is true then gun registry opponents are just being played for their votes. I hope there is something more than crap politics here.

    • How does the registry give an added layer of security? It may tell them that a long gun is there but will not tell them if an unregistered gun is in the building. The police will treat all visits the same way.

      BTW, more people get murdered each year in licensed motor vehicles than by people with guns. Most recent gun crimes are with unregistered hand guns. In Canada, the hand gun registry began in 1892 with full registry of hand guns in 1934 and automatic firearms in 1952.

      • Some of the most dangerous calls the police respond to are domestic disputes. I think most people are law abiding with no illegal weapons in their posession. Maybe someone with a legally registered firearm, for some reason or another finds his world starting to fall apart, a call is made and the police know that there is a weapon that has to be secured. This guy has never been in trouble in his life, but today he is unpredictable. Maybe they have to approach every case with the same caution but I think knowledge of a definite weapon is important.

  49. I’ve owned guns as long as I can remember. I have no qualms with the gun registery per say. No one has ever bothered me about ownership. As long as the registry is secure from criminal intent the police need this tool to safely conduct their investigations.

  50. The police use the gun registry as a tool in their work. It is a policy of most police forces to input into their computers and in contacting their dispatchers for any information on a given address. Every time a police officer attends a house call in the City of Thunder Bay Ontario, they retreave information from the registry. This is for every domistic call that they are called to, it is not on a whim, but policy for the police force.

    But any police officer worth their badge would not go just on the information from the registry, every police officer across this country (R.C.M.P. O.P.P., City Officers) assume that if they are going into a residence, that there are firearms present. No officer would assume that if the registry states that there are no guns registered then all is good and they don’t have to worry about it.

    The problem with gun crime in this country is, that the first thing lawyers do in a firearms related crime is to plea bargan away the firearms charge. If there was an automatic five year sentence for any firearms related crime in this country, then things might change. But since you can get more time for driving drunk than armed robbery, what is the deterent.

    Next, our Customs officers should have the hardware to look for illegal importing of firearms into this country and not just be glorified tax collectors. With the majority of hand guns from crime being imported from the states, there are technologies, that can detect the presence of firearm residue.

    Lastly, the Gun registry was formed more as a political jesture. At the time of it’s formation, New Bruswick was rumbling about seperation from the country as was Quebec. It is amazing how a few thousand jobs and over three billion dollars will quite that type of talk.

  51. When the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933, they immediately began massive search and seizures of firearms to further neutralize their political opponents. The Gestapo later established a system of central registration of persons obtaining firearms. Hitler’s gun control and disarming of the population almost completely guaranteed that firearms were in the possession of Nazi supporters and sympathizers and made any kind of armed resistance inside Germany next to impossible. Hitler said, “The most foolish mistake we would possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquers who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”

  52. The registry did not prevent a law abiding gun owner from a strip search near Barrie – even though his guns were registered, and he was legally shooting ground hogs with the permission of the land owner. Why was this travesty not prevented ?. If the police had checked the registry – which one would have assumed they did – why would it be possible for loaded police shotguns to be pointed at the mans wife and kids ?. Talk about police out of control. No point to the registry – it was not used- or was it ?

  53. “finding out the man causing the disturbance possesses several exotic weapons would indicate something else again.” Really? It sounds more like you think exotic gun owners or gun collectors are a different category of user, which I dont think is fair.

  54. This story and the photo is a gross misrepresentation of the facts and implies that the author is either misinformed or intentionally trying to deceive. Let’s deal with the misleading photo to start with. Not one weapon in that photo falls under the Long Gun Registry. They are all either Restricted or illegal firearms and have been since 1934 and will continue to be even after the proposed changes.

    The other misleading part of this article is that no changes are planned to the Canadian Firearms Registry as inferred in this article, only the Long Gun Registry portion of it. Another misleading part of this article is the domestic dispute analogy. A police officer under the proposed changes will still know if a person residing at a residence has been issued a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) which is the only way one can legally acquire a long gun. So the officer will know when answering a domestic dispute that there is a possibility that firearms may be in play which is exactly what the officer needs to know. What type of long gun it may be is really immaterial. Would the police officers react differently if it the rifle in question were a 1948 .303 Enfield than they would if it were a Remington 410? The answer is no.

    The last misleading part of this article is the omission of the fact that the Long Gun Registry launched by the Liberals was supposed to cost $88M (later increased to $119M) to set up and then be financially self sustaining. To date it has cost over $2B (Yes BILLION) and continues to bleed money at a rate $125M per year. This does not include the estimated $1B in additional costs to other agencies that resulted from it (from the AG Report). After this huge investment we have a registry that is hopelessly ineffective. It just does not work and never has. This fact alone puts the lives of police officers at risk everyday.

    As a former law enforcement officer I can tell you that we just don’t trust the system when we are dealing with long guns and always approach a situation assuming that there are weapons involved until we can ascertain that they are not. We do that because we know that the Long Gun Registry is a joke. We don’t need any statistics to tell us that because we just relate our own personnel experience to it. For instance, as a police officer I always want to comply with the law, even if I disagree with it. So I have been trying to register two long guns now since the registry opened in mid 1990s with no success. I keep getting letters from them asking me to re-new but they have weapons listed on them that are not mine and never were. I fill out the paperwork with the corrected info only to receive another letter months later asking for the same thing.

    Here is what the AG and Senior Police Officers says about the registry:

    1. AG Report – Police only use it during major operations and then only 74% say it is effective;
    2. AG Report – The program does not collect data to analyze the effectiveness of the gun registry in meeting its stated goal of improving public safety. The Centre does not show how these activities help minimize risks to public safety with evidence-based outcomes such as reduced deaths, injuries and threats from firearms.
    3. OPP and former City of T.O Commissioner Julian Fantino is opposed to the gun registry, stating in a press release:
    “We have an ongoing gun crisis including firearms-related homicides lately in Toronto, and a law registering firearms has neither deterred these crimes nor helped us solve any of them. None of the guns we know to have been used were registered, although we believe that more than half of them were smuggled into Canada from the United States. The firearms registry is long on philosophy and short on practical results considering the money could be more effectively used for security against terrorism as well as a host of other public safety initiatives.”
    4. Edgar MacLeod, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police states that:
    “while the cost of the registry had become an embarrassment, the program works and provides a valuable service. In a typical domestic violence situation, he says, investigating police officers rely on the registry to determine if guns are present. Onboard computers in police cruisers, or a call to central dispatch, alerts officers to any firearms registered to occupants of the house.” (as I have already stated the elimination of the Long Gun Registry will still allow officers to access the info that they need).
    5. John Hicks, an Orillia-area computer consultant, and webmaster for the Canada Firearms Centre, has said that anyone with a home computer could have easily accessed names, addresses and detailed shopping lists (including make, model and serial number) of registered guns belonging to licensed firearms owners. Hicks told the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) that “During my tenure as the CFC webmaster I duly informed management that the website that interfaced to the firearms registry was flawed. It took some $15 million to develop and I broke inside into it within 30 minutes.” I can tell you that there is a large volume of evidence that shows that these hackers are highly organized and are using the info to steal guns from homes that are later used to commit crimes.
    The last problem with the Canadian Long Gun Registry is not in Canada, it is in the U.S. where the mess that our system is in is used by the NRA as an example of why a registry will not work there.

  55. It’s not hard to imagine how discovering that a resident owns a single hunting rifle might suggest one thing to an officer; finding out the man causing the disturbance possesses several exotic weapons would indicate something else again.

    And it is life-threateningly stupid to imagine that the ABSENCE of information in that quick query means something else again. The very fact that criminals will not be registering their guns means that any cop approaching a situation, reassured that the database clears that address, needs retraining pronto.

  56. The statistics in this Macleans article are nothing new. Neither are the comments in favour of maintaining the universal gun registry. The problem is the statistics and comments do not stand up to critical inquiry. When is the media going to give real investigative journalism on the issue instead of this pap?

    Face it. There is an automatic hit on the registry for any type of police inquiry no matter how mundane. Why do police at all levels and services condemn the long gun registry if it is so useful? This author does not claim it has solved any crimes. Nor can they. No thinking policeman would stake his life on a gun registry that is incomplete and fraught with errors. The Liberals never could explain the millions of missing firearms that were not registered.

    Criminals do not register firearms. The statistical chance of being shot with a registered firearm is probably less than 2% going by published crime stats and it shrinks to a fraction of 1% if we consider handguns? The obvious conclusion is the registry is expensive without demonstrable gains to public safety. What it does do though is put the burden on law abiding Canadians and limit their historic cultural rights for no good reason. Anti-gun rhetoric is soft on any real science and like this article is easily countered.. What Canadians don’t need is more of an expensive failed program. We also need more honesty in our media. The facts are readily available so it is all the more disturbing when we read an article that has an obvious political bias while at the same time telling half-truths. Shame on Macleans!

  57. Your arguments are all tired and bogus. No matter how you pathetically attempt to spin it, the vast majority of gun crimes are commited with unregistered weapons. Also, in order to own a firearm a person must have an ownership permit. Once again you city lefties who are afraid of your own shadow piously believe yours is the path to righteousness. If there were other people armed in the Birmingham New York situation there wouldn’t have been anywhere near the casualties. Therefore, that makes you and people like you complicite in those murders. No matter how you try you just aren’t gonna get the Pollyanna world you long for.

  58. Gun Lobbyist propaganda “Criminals don’t register their guns and isn’t that the group were trying to disarm?”

    Ya Right,
    According to the RCMP -Firearm program website: Firearm licences revoked by year.
    2005- 2,233- 2006- 2,093- 2007- 1701-2008 – 1800

    The majority of these people probably had their firearms registered and later had their firearm licence revoked because some of them were deemed to be a threat to public saftey. “NOTE: Reasons why firearms licences revoked include: a history of violence, mental illness, potential risk to himself/herself or others, unsafe firearm use and storage, drug offences, and providing false information.”

    These people who had their firearm licence revoked and owned firearms must now legally transfer their firearms. If the firearms are not registered how would the authorities know how many firearms these people need to legally transfer? If the firearms aren’t registered these people if they want can sell them to anybody and it would be extremly difficult to trace the firearm back to the original owner. A registration certificate identifies a firearm and links the firearm to its owner to provide a means of tracking the firearm.

    From the RCMP websit:
    Registration helps police trace firearms and combat the illegal movement of firearms
    To break up organized networks involved in the illegal movement of firearms, it is necessary to have a traceable commodity. Previously, police had to search manually through thousands of retail records to find the source of any non-restricted firearms recovered at crime scenes. The computerized, centralized CFIS makes it much easier for police to trace and locate the last known owner of these firearms. If firearms are identified as stolen, knowing the source of the firearm will give the police a valuable starting point for their investigation and identify possible patterns of theft from firearm shipments or dealers.

    Licensing and Registration
    The law assists police in taking preventive measures such as removing guns from domestic violence situations. The licensing system reduces the chances that those who are a threat to themselves or others will get access to firearms. The fully integrated databases ensure that when an incident occurs involving a licensed gun owner, authorities are alerted and may take action to remove the firearms and/or revoke the licence. Without a firearm registry, the police would have to take the word of the occupant whether firearms are present.

  59. In a free country, the police are given permission by their employer, the citizens, to have certain firearms, certain ammunition, and use them within specified guidelines which may be stricter than the ordinary laws on self-defense. The police would have to document where the weapons are stored, and so on. On the other hand, the citizens would be under NO restrictions, and would not be given ‘permission’ by police, or have to divulge to police, what firearms they own or carry, excepting if they were themselves under legitimate investigation regarding a particular crime. A situation where arbitrary ‘rules’ are set for gun ownership because of ‘potential’ criminal activity startes a chain of events where the end point is often total firearms prohibition, and a violent, unstable society. If the police and government would not POTENTIALLY abuse such a registration system, it would be perhaps tolerable, but the reality is that they almost always DO abuse it. In contrast, the citizens labeled as ‘potential’ criminals by such systems RARELY abuse their firearms rights, so the system is more dangerous than useful, in the long run.

    • Well put. Totalitarian states have historically started with ‘firearms registration’ that proved to be a prelude to confiscation. The same pattern is being followed in Canada by the Liberal Party of Canada. They promised that registration would not lead to confiscation. BUT immediately over 50% of handguns were listed as prohibited and the Liberals are on record as intending to ban not only the remaining legal handguns but legally registered semi-automatic firearms as well. I expect that prohibition will include pump action firearms as it has in other jurisdictions. So much for the honesty of the Liberal Party. It would seem private property rights run a poor second in the grab for urban votes. We will have taken another step on the road to a police state with NO demonstrable improvement in public safety.

    • Don't forget that the Liberals also want to brainwash you with the H1N1 vaccine and fluoride in the water.

  60. Media can approach a story in two ways. Firstly, information is collected, analyzed fairly and conclusions reached. The second method is to start with a conclusion in mind, collect selective data that supports the conclusion and then write the story. Our Macleans author seems to have chosen the second route. Typically, large scary statistics are quoted and used to justify the conclusion. Numerous readers have already questioned the quoted large figures and justifiable so. These gross figures have been quoted in past anti-gun articles and have been discredited for being misleading half-truths. Given the fact that the science is against them does not discourage the anti-gun lobby from repeating the lie. It is an historical fact that a lie told often enough takes on a false mantle of truth.

    The gun registry will never be reliable and only a fool would trust their life to it. The reasons for this statement are irrefutable. Millions of firearms are missing from the registry by the Liberal government’s own admission. There are many errors in the registry, also admitted. Criminal sourced firearms which are about 98% of all firearms involved in crime are not registered. So for two billion dollars we have a registry that has not solved one crime or made society safer. What the Liberals did do though was to attack private property and demonise legal firearms owners in the Liberals quest for urban votes. Shame on them and those that pimp their propaganda.

    Many Canadians now recognise, along with police at every level and service, that the universal gun registry has failed to deliver any of the promised results. Worse still the Liberal Party has chosen to represent only urban constituents on this issue. That two billion dollars could have been better spent in other areas especially in this time of fiscal crisis. How can we trust political parties that only promote more of failed programs as their offering for the future? We certainly don’t want to follow the U.K. and other failed programs. Look at the British situation for yourself and see how failed programs result in lies and deception. It happened there and we see a similar trend here with the Liberals and their approach to gun control.

    All of this could have been written about but it would not have served this articles conclusions.

  61. It seems that the major impact of the gun registry is that it makes guns harder to get and keep.

    Sounds effective to me. With fewer guns overall the harder and more expensive it is for the bad
    guys to get them – they still get ‘em for sure – but it’s less than it would be otherwise. The basic stats are simple – the higher the rate of gun ownership, the higher the gun death rate. USA has 35 % of households with guns and in 1999 about 10 gun deaths per year per 100K folks. At the same time Canada had 17% of households with guns, and about 2 gun deaths per yr per 100K folks. Other country’s stats bear this out. It’s a direct correlation – fewer guns = fewer gun deaths.

  62. I want to add my voice to the chorus complaining about your choice of picture to illustrate this article. Shame to your photo editor!

  63. I come from a family of gun owners and have alway supported the registry. This is why, and please explain if I am wrong. Conservatives tend to make the argument that bad guys won't register guns so you're punishing good guys. But if a cop arrests someone for minor assault, or busts a crack house and finds that these bad guys have unregistered guns couldn't they lay additional charges? I know the registry won't stop a bad guy from shooting someone, but I've always thought the value would be in being able to figure out who the bad guys are before they shoot someone.

  64. If the police are so interested in prosecuting criminals by keeping things like the gun registry up to date, why is the 'Canadian Police Information Centre' itself so out of date and backlogged that it can not provide up to date information to prosecutors when they proceed with criminal prosecutions? you should read the article in "Law Times" April 19,2010 page one to understand the consequences of this failure. In February 2009 at the trial of one Horne the police still had not entered 11 conviction and sentencing decisions relating to HORNE which in turn affected the procedure followed by the prosecutor.

  65. how many more billions of dollars are we the taxpayers to blindly give up to pay for a needless system. the majority of firearms that are used in crimes are illegal ( smuggled in from USA) restricted/prohibitted. typical photos of firearms in crime related news are not hunting rifles or shotguns. the registry as a gun control tool has failed. it isn't the registered firearms of the average person that is used in most crimes. if port authorities and border crossings guards did their jobs as well as the gov'ts would like you to beleive we wouldn't need to burn these billions of tax dollars on a method of gun crime control that has not worked. and yes the registry could be used against firearm owners to seize all known firearms in the event of some (RED DAWN) scenario. i beleive we should have the right to protect our self, family, property in the event of a possible unwelcome scenario. I also would welcome the NRA into canada as one national voice to speak for it's members and assist in protecting our privilages.

  66. As a parent and gun owner, I spent several years with each of my three boys bird hunting and deer hunting. All of the hunting was done while they were minors and hunting under my supervision. However, once they turned 18 years of age, I became a criminal for letting them use my guns to come and hunt with me. They also became criminals for not having a possession / acquisition permit. All three boys have their hunter safety, but due to college fees, and billons other priorities at this time in their life, they are not interested in taking a further firearms course, and dish out further expenses for permits. We are loosing a complete generation of sportsmen, or making a bunch of good citizens into criminals. Further, the long gun registry has cost billions of dollars that should rather be used to pursue real criminals, and provide protection to those who are living in danger of physical abuse,and violence. I'd like to hear just one story where the long gun registry actually prevented a criminal from carrying out his crime sprees.

  67. The last line of the article says it all…… " You want to know if that guy has a gun"……. the entire article is flawed.

    Law Enforcement needs to approach any "unknown" situation with extreme caution and be prepared for the worst.
    If they are looking to the registry to make an absolute determination whether someone is armed and actually alter their approach to a situation based on it, they are potentially putting their lives and the lives of others in jeopardy…..

    A database simply WILL NOT provide those answers or any added level of safety. Possession of firearms is dynamic and changes by the minute, by both criminals and law-abiding citizens alike. A database does nothing in determining if someone is armed.

    Let's not forget, the same drunken person can inflict serious injury and even death with a common kitchen knife if he/she is so inclined.

    Let's put the responsibility on the individuals and make the punishment fit the crime, not on society as a whole…..

  68. Mr. Geddes has missed the point.  There isn’t a reason in the world that the police need to be mining the private data of Canadians 3,438,729 times a year.  Clearly they are simply snooping in the vast majority of cases.  The notion that our law enforcement officers need to check to see if there is a gun in a house subject to a domestic dispute is spurious.  No constable, with a head on his/her shoulders would check the registry, find no gun was registered to the address and then proceed assuming there is no gun.  You would still have to assume the worst, that there may be a gun there registered or not, and proceed with appropriate caution.  Indeed the registry would be doing a disservice to a naive officer by telling him/her there is no gun, they proceed as if there is no gun, and there turns out that there is a non-registered firearm the contingency for which they may not have considered.  So the gun registry is more of a potential danger to officers than a help.  Happily it will soon be gone.

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