The long gun registry: Very nearly at an end


The Harper government’s bill to end the long gun registry passed the House last night by a count of 159-130. Two NDP MPs—John Rafferty and Bruce Hyer—voted with the Conservatives, as they had on second reading. Mr. Hyer explains his vote.

The reasons that I have voted this way include: Jack Layton and the NDP knew my position over almost a decade and 4 elections, and allowed me to run on that promise to my constituents; The NDP has never had an official policy on the registry. Then Leader Audrey McLaughlin, and all but one NDP MP, voted against the registry when it was introduced by the Liberals; This bill will maintain the registration of restricted firearms; and The most effective part of the remaining legislation is the requirement that every legal firearm owner must be licensed, and that the police will continue to know who they are. Before anyone can be licensed they must take a safety course, pass a difficult test, have spousal approval, pass a Canada-wide police screening, and wait at least 28 days for approval.


The long gun registry: Very nearly at an end

  1. It’s sad that we are surprised by M.P.’s siding with their constituents over their party.

    • That’s a confusion of the American and Canadian system.

      US reps are supposed to vote the wishes of their district. In Canada we’re supposed to vote in qualified people who are able to use their own judgement, not just carry in polls.

      Both systems have their problems of course, but I prefer ours.

      • We vote based on ridings which are divided up via the provinces. We alot seats based on population and have (some would say archaic) rules to ensure all regions maintain some fair degree of representation where their representation would be quashed by a majority elsewhere (a major component of enticing the Maritime’s to Confederate). 

        Our system is supposed to be just as representative by our constituencies, the confusion problem you speak of is people often ignore who their M.P. is and instead vote for a party based on the personality of the party leader. 

        • It doesn’t matter how it’s divided up….we are supposed to be voting for qualified people who can use their own judgement.

          • Yes, voting in qualified people who happen to be elected by a constituency who can then throw them out if they fail to make the proper judgement.

            If regional representation has no purpose in federal politics, why bother having riding’s in the first place?

          • Our system comes from England where it works quite well.

            It’s unlikely an entire riding would suddenly decide to throw out an MP because of one judgement.

          • I’m well aware where our democratic system comes from, though its performance there has no indication as to its performance here. Though I must say, I really don’t understand the purpose of bringing in this point.

            I never said they’d throw out an M.P. based on “one” decision (to devolve into this sort of conversation is  to only speak in hypotheticals) more so that they exercised poor judgement who “can” throw them out if they fail to make the proper judgement (most likely as a result of a series of judgements or one juggernaut decision), perhaps with an addition that the M.P.’s decisions were not in line with those of their representatives. 

          • Hmm.  Not that I disagree with MPs using their own judgment, but shouldn’t the wishes of their constituents, if expressed or ascertained, form a part of that judgment?
            To put it another way: if an MP uses his/her judgment and that judgment conflicts, repeatedly and extensively, with the beliefs of enough constituents, that MP is at greater risk of being shown the door, no?
            And it’s interesting you mention that our system comes from the UK.  One of the (several) things I wish we had kept from the Mother Parliament is the concept of “[#] line whips”, which means that there are varrying degrees of enforced party discipline, as opposed to our once-in-a-while free votes.

          • If an MP consistently votes against the wishes of his constituents he loses the next election….however here that seems unlikely since he was voted in originally based on party policy. Less than 10% of his vote is based on himself…it’s on the party he’s running for.

            MPs just aren’t that important.

            In any case, unless you are continually polling in your riding, or constantly going door-to-door it’s difficult to know what people in your riding think.

            10 people may show up fuming, in your office over something….but they may be the only 10 people in the riding who think that way, so that’s not a good indication.

            When something really irritates Canadians, they make it known in large numbers….everywhere.

            As Vic Toews has discovered.

  2. We will
    REALLY celebrate the day all this garbage is REMOVED from the criminal code of Canada. There is NO REASON to make the simple possession of a legally obtained firearm a Criminal offense as sections 91 and 92 of the criminal code continue to do! A return to the previous FAC is what’s fair and needed, and the elimination of classifying firearms as Scary, or not Scary, based on appearance only as is done now!

    • Why yes…then we’d be the rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ US of A…..home of ‘going postal’ and school massacres, cold dead hands and both attempted and successful political assassinations.

      •  Yes… you are completely and utterly correct. You do realize all the registry did was make it so people had to register long guns. I can take my registered shotgun, shoot any person I wish and then how did the registry stop me shooting that person. Its a simple answer it didn’t. You also have to understand that police can’t say track a bullet to a specific gun and say oh hey this bullet came form gun #324234 lets go to his house and arrest him. It doesn’t work that way. The only thing the gun registry did was make responsible Canadians register their guns. Criminals don’t register their guns because criminals don’t follow the law.

        All the registry is good for is chewing threw our taxes, PERIOD.

        • I own guns, so I am well aware of the registry.
          Also car and dog registration….even though they don’t stop accidents or dogbites.

          They do allow tracing however.

          And a registry helps prevent a gun culture.

          PS….the tax money is already spent. All this means is that now you have nothing to show for the money.

      • Point 1:  We still have gun control, so no, we are not the “rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ US of A”.

        Point 2:


        According to Statistics Canada long gun violence (rifles/shotguns) was falling precipitously since the ’70’s, with no change in the rate since the LGR was enacted (see the second figure – light blue line).  So what’s all this gun violence you expect to happen?  Show me the numbers – how did the long gun registry prevent political assassinations, school massacres, or “going postal”?  I want numbers with a reputable source.  Because from this Statistics Canada report it looks like it didn’t.

        • The US has some gun control as well….but they have a gun culture, so it doesn’t work very well. We are trying to prevent a gun culture here.

          Crime in general has been dropping for years….but Harper wants to spend billions on empty prisons anyway.

          • Only some American states have gun control.  There is nothing approaching the PAL or the restricted registry in the US, which is too bad for them. 

            Canada has a gun culture – one that is tied into hunting, fishing, and recreation.  The American gun culture is about self-defence.  Removing the LGR reinforces the Canadian gun culture.  Having a restricted firearms registry and PALs suppress the American gun culture.

            Crime in general is dropping – and long gun crime is dropping faster. So why do we need a LGR, mandatory sentences, more prisons, or any of these other “tough on crime” measures?  They are all strictly ideological positions and not evidence based. 

          • No we don’t have a gun culture, and we never will.

            A gun registry didn’t stop anyone from hunting….and certainly not fishing.

            I dunno why we need mandatory sentences and prisons etc…..ask Harper

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