Why oppose registering guns but support licencing their owners? - Macleans.ca

Why oppose registering guns but support licencing their owners?


I’ve just been listening to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews responding to opposition MPs in Question Period on the gun registry. Toews repeatedly stressed that even though Conservatives want to scrap the long-gun registry, they continue to support licencing gun owners and registering restricted weapons, such as handguns. Why is registering rifles and shotguns unacceptable, but those other aspects of the firearms regulatory system are just fine? Toews objects to the long-gun registry on grounds that “criminals don’t register their guns.” But the bad guys don’t apply for licences or register handguns either. So why the inconsistent approach?

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Why oppose registering guns but support licencing their owners?

  1. Its not inconsistent.

    Gun licensing is based around having completed safety training. These courses are taught by fellow community members.

    So one issue is about not accidentally shooting yourself or others.

    The other issue is about treating rural Canadians as criminals.

    Cats away!

    • But then you should oppose a handgun registry should you not?

      • There is no logic in what you say. Hanguns were required to be registered in 1934 because they were easily concealed and were the weapon of choice of criminals.

        Rifles and shotguns are the common tool used by law-abiding hunters.

        People with common sense can distinguish the two.

        • Wopmen are murdered with long guns more often than they are murdered with handguns.

          • I`m not familiar with the Wopmen.

    • Cat's, your blowing smoke.

      Safety training is only part of the licensing process. A rather exhaustive application must be filled out and is follwed by a criminal background check.

      • That`s one of the reasons why the licensing process is good—–why is the registration of individual shotguns and rifles any good ?

        • It's good for maintaining a chain of custody of the weapons themselves.
          So if a law abiding licensed owner's house is burgled, there's an inventory of the weapons stolen.
          Licensing owners is only one part of the puzzle. Registering the weapons is another other piece.
          Put them together and you have useful info for law enforcement.

          • Or you could just check the insurance adjuster`s report to see the list of guns stolen in the .00000001 % of homes where there is a theft of legal guns rather then register 100 % of all shotguns and rifles.

            No, I`m still waiting for a good argument to keep this useless registry.

    • So is the City of Calgary treating me like a criminal because they require me to register my cat?

  2. Great unanswered questions John. But really now, are you surprised the government of Say Anything Steve would try to hold two mutually exclusive positions at the same time? If you are, you have not been following federal Canadian politics for the last 5 years.

  3. So why the inconsistent approach?

    So why has it taken you this long to grasp the concept?

    • Seconded.

  4. OMG!!! Where you been John.
    Who uses rifles and shotguns? Mostly farmers, hunters and aboriginals. It's who it targets that is part of the problem.
    There are not much uses for handguns beyond sports shooting.

    • Really? How many murders were committed using rifles or shotguns these last five years v handguns?

      • And a registry would prevent how many? Handgun registry has prevented how many?

        • So you oppose the handgun registry then?

    • First: longguns are used in murder or robberies about as much as handguns I believe. At the very least they are often used. So you are wrong on your first point.

      Second: Handguns are also used in crimes and in self-defence. So you are wrong in saying they are not much used beyond sports shooting.

      Third: What you have done is highlight the inconsistent approach of Harper, not explain it, let alone justify it. All you say here and below could be said just as much about the hand gun registry as the long gun registry. So Harper attacking one but not the other is inconsistent.

      Not that consistently applying principles has been given any space in this PMO.

  5. Because it's Con pretzel logic, that's why.

    Anything that gets people riled up, and brings in votes, whether it makes sense or not.

    • Votes, schmotes. Does it bring the CASH?

  6. You get a driver's license.
    The car is registered at sale.
    If the car is used in a crime a year later, the police can locate its last known owner to find out how it ended up being used in a crime. If the registered owner sold it and didn't change the registration, they're in a heap o' trouble, but also might provide a lead to the new owner. If they say it was stolen and didn't report it, it will raise suspicions of obvious investigative value.

    Replace "car" with "long gun" above to see why tracking the chain of custody of firearms is just as important as licensing owners.

    The RCMP report was very clear about this. There are three pillars to the firearms program:
    1. restricted weapons (handguns, assault weapons, etc.)
    2. firearms licensing (involving applications, background checks AND safety training)
    3. registration of long-guns (important for chain of custody, from the new purchase on to subsequent owners)

    Toews, as per usual, if full of horsepucky.

    • The car is registered at sale.

      NO! You can buy a car and never register it leave it in the back yard. You also need to Insure the car first before you register it.

      If the registered owner sold it and didn't change the registration, they're in a heap o' trouble,

      NO! The person selling the car signs the back of the registration slip over to the new owner. His obligations are then over.

      Amateur Hour , as per usual, if full of horsepucky, and is aptly named!

      • Not so, I'm afraid. The VIN of a new vehicle is recorded at the port of entry and reported to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. The importer (Say, Honda) may then transfer title of that VIN to a selling dealer (XYZ Honda Dealership). The selling dealer transfers title to the buyer at sale and logs the VIN as sold to said owner. The original importer (in this case Honda) is required BY LAW to maintain a database of last known owners for purposes of issuing a recall. Individuals operating vehicles are required to register that vehicle in the province in which they are domiciled. Private importations are also subject to the RIV requirements.

        • Looks to me like Gary = Cats.

          • Looks to me like Holly = Emily.

    • PS: The point was that the chain of custody of firearms is every bit as important as licensing buyer/possessors. It's ludicrous of Toews to say one is okay but the other is an abomination.

  7. In fact, I submit that while neither is likely, repealing the long gun registry is MORE likely to lead to a repeal of the handgun registry than keeping the registry is likely to lead to a complete ban on all guns.

  8. see above, my boy.

    • —can`t follow you buddy—-now you`re confusing yourself.

      • 2 million licenced firearm owners, not one will stray down the wrong path? Continuous eligibility screening is conducted over the term of the licence to identify any public safety risks that may arise over time. A licence may also be revoked following a court order. The Registrar of Firearms is notified of all licence revocations, is responsible for revoking all associated registration certificates, and works to ensure proper disposal of the firearms.
        approx 11,000 firearm licences have been revoked since 2005.

        • Of those 11000 licences that have been revoked, how many were revoked because the law-abiding gun owner refused to register his rifle or shotgun.

          As for anyone who might stray down the wrong path, you can`t legislate against Crazy. The Liberals tried that in 1995 and just pi$$ed off millions of good citizens.

  9. Because licensing actually reduces gun crime and accidents and registration doesn't. I'm pretty sure it's in the reports.

    • Got a link to these reports you speak of?

  10. Agreed. Media is still bringing up that crazy frenchman from 1989.

    • The one with the legally obtained…at that time….weapon?

  11. Would you change your mind if the only penalty for not complying with the registry was a fine and your license was revoked?

    • No. Unless you can get real gangbangers to register.
      You understand that law abiding citizens are the ones who will register right? And when a normally law abiding aboriginal doesn't register his LG he get's harassed by police.

      • Then your above answer was not relevant and you should try to create a sensible one.

        • Yes it is relevant. Try to follow along.

          • Nope, sorry.

      • I would tell the ganbangers apart by the fact that they don't register their weapons.

        But that's just me…

    • Yeah Mike, don't you know, the only violent crime in Canada is perpetrated by "gangbangers"!

  12. Short answer, licensing long-guns is redundant as licensing owners provides all the tracking and enforcement necessary.

    As to the inconsistency, the hand-gun and owner licenses were grandfathered into the system. They were always there. Adding long-guns was new and therefore a change. I was a law abiding long-gun owner for nearly 30 years (before I sold them) and all of a sudden I had to register them. Seriously, why now? That's what most of us are asking. Why am I and what I own now a threat to society? Hand-gun owners are sitting there saying thank-you! that's what we've been saying all along! So why only the long-guns? It was a change to a system that reverberated with a lot of people.

  13. I think you missed the point.

  14. Because if you get you firearms license you should be able to buy hundreds of guns without the government knowing that you are buying hundreds of them. The registry prevents this by letting the government know every time you buy a gun and letting the "man" know how many you still have.
    I have a right to stockpile as many weapons and as much ammo as I want without the government sticking its nose in my business.

    • Was this a hypothetical situation, or are you actually stockpiling guns and ammo?

      If the latter, can I come to your place for New Year's Eve? We can get drunk and fire off a few rounds.

    • I have a right to stockpile as many weapons and as much ammo as I want without the government sticking its nose in my business.

      Do you realise that absurd comments like that are exactly the sort of thing that create support for further restrictions on your freedom? Guess not.

      If you are free to "stockpile" unlimited weapons and ammunition, then I presume you'll be fine with that swarthy neighbour of yours – or me for that matter – buying large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer and diesel fuel or perhaps concentrated industrial acetone. Don't worry, it's my "right" to do so without government interference, after all.

      By all means buy a gun, go hunting, have a great time. But don't try to tell me that your purchase of unlimited weapons is a "right" protected from government monitoring.

    • Is there a law against owning hundreds of guns? Is there some reason the police should take a special interest in people based on their legal purchases?

      • Whether the purchases are legal or not, I would sincerely hope that the police would take a special interest in anyone stockpiling hundreds of guns and ammunition. Especially if they live in my neighbourhood.

        • Why? What can an individual do with hundreds of guns that he can't do with dozens of guns? If it's to arm an organization, why would one individual buy all the guns? The tragedies that spurred the creation of the registry didn't involve organizations or individuals with significant stockpiles.

          • I actually think multiple purchases (and much less than hundreds) should be a flag, especially in a short period of time. It could indicate that guns are being transferred to unlicensed people. It might not be dangerous, but it's worth checking out.

          • I'm not convinced. Anything you buy or do *could* indicate you're doing something illegal. I'd want the police to have more than that to go on. We just came through the G20 protests where people were locked up for carrying sports and gaming equipment, since it *could* have been used in mob violence.

  15. Just like the long form census is coercive, but the short form census maintains the penalties, registering your long guns is coercive, but not the short ones.

  16. And let's not forget air pistols. By carefully seeking out the lightest available projectiles and retesting air pistols that have been classified as non-firearms for decades, the RCMP have managed to reclassify many of these toys as handguns. And they've done so without even advising the public! The result is that there are hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Canadians right now who think they own no firearms, when in fact they are in illegal possession of a restricted firearm or even (if the barrel happens to be shorter than 6 inches) a prohibited one.

    Without knowing it, the owner of such an air pistol is in contravention of the criminal code provisions concerning storage, loading, transport, and firing of a restricted weapon, in addition to the offense of not being licensed and not having the firearm registered.

    In short, there is no way for the average peace officer to check whether an unfamiliar "long gun" is restricted or not (or whether an unfamiliar air pistol is a "restricted or prohibited firearm), except by reference to the online registry. If all firearms are registered, the task is relatively simple. Look up the owner and compare the gun in hand with the list of those registered to him. But if only restricted firearms are registered, this won't work. Now the police officer has to either identify the firearm conclusively from a huge list of unrestricted firearms, or try to match it to quite a long list of restricted long guns. And I can tell you what will happen – if in doubt, he or she will seize the firearm.

    So – be careful what you wish for.

  17. WELL, kids, itslike this. The Conservatives and media coined the term, "long gun registry" and it stuck. This is a battle of ideals. with wiggle room. The CPC original promise was to scrap Bill C-68, which is LICENSING and REGISTRATION. a return to the previous "firearms Acquisition Certificate" was hinted at, minus the automatic citizen criminalization components of the gun laws. today, we have, in Canada, people locked in prison, for long term sentences, for failure to obtain a firearms license. Just like some godless third world dictatorship, these gun laws put all gun owners in a reverse onus position, GUILTY. period.Read the criminal code of Canada, oh smug armchair theorist, your "know it all" is broken. Political prisoners, in Canada, NO harmful deed or threat uttered. this is pure citizen disarmament. anybody swoop in and bust you, put you in jail, because your DL expired? NO, they DIDNT. so, shut up.

  18. PS, gun safety is basic, simple stuff. most act as if there were no restrictions on gun ownership pre-Bill C-68. Local gun clubs taught gun safety at local ranges. In MY LIFETIME, I could walk into any hardware store, buy rifle/shotgun of my choice, and ammunition, cash money, NO IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED, and walk right down mainstreet YOU TOWN, to my car, NO PROBLEM. how do you explain, this lack of ANARCHY back then? I assure you, Canadians are no more psychotic now as then. simply, gun control is the response to the problem that never existed. remember when cops use to only go after the bad guys? thosewere the days.

  19. Simple:

    1. Licensing provides background check and training

    2. Handguns have been registered since 1937 and it will be political suicide to unregistered them. They are also the prime tool used by criminals. Despite registering handguns for almost a century, the handgun registry did NOT solve a single crime (so much for ability to "trace").

    3. Why long guns is a big issue? Most people who support it are too ignorant to talk to a gun owners and ask exactly why (I didn't see a single media article that would show the issue from the perspective of a main stakeholder, the gun owner). However, RCMP reports that there are 2 million people who have guns, which will get you about 2 million households, that in turn will provide you with 6-7 million of voters who are pissed off about the registry.

    4. Is the registry an effective tool? Not really. No single crime solved. Ontario report showed that only 2% of guns recovered on the street was traceable to registered guns. The registry is full of errors, there has been a sample when it had a glue gun registered. Most information provided by registry supporters are simply lies.

    5. Finally, gun registry supporters may have an education, but it does not mean they are smart. Often they are ignorant, biased, caught in emotions, but lack logic. Simple example, Canada had over decade of gun control that started as a result of mass shooting in Montreal (École Polytechnique). Gun control lobby pretty much got every law on the book they wanted, including gun registry. 10 years later another mass shooting in Montreal (Dawson). So, logical conclusion is that effectiveness of the current gun control is ZERO. However, add free ride to Ottawa, brain washing and lies and Dawson students are now supporters of the useless registry that did nothing to prevent the tragedy. Stupid!

  20. Thank you, Max, for injecting some common sense. Still, one must question the concept of continuous background checks on ONLY the law-abiding. Ask yourself, would YOU want Canada's largest, most unaccountable gang of "above the law" running non-stop checks on you for ANY reason? How about, on a family member, for no better reason then the fact they posess guns? Under-reported fact, the CPIC database has been hacked/breached over 1000 times. only 300 breaches have been "investigated" by police. No report on the results of those breaches. WHY? refer back to "Canadas largest gang of above the law unaccountables" this fact, of the hacks, is posted on Garry Breitkreuz's website,(Yorkton Melville M.P.)

  21. today, 12 years after the "deadline to obtain a Firearms License" the "Dog and Pony show", for all the reporting of "all stakeholders being present" not one informed dissenting view presented, or even the TRUTH about "WHY" there is STILL such powerful resistence to these laws, P.M. Steven Harper said it very well, "thiswill never be over, the regions will NEVER ACCEPT CRIMINALIZATION"

  22. The vote on the LIBERAL motion to KILL THE BILL (Candice Hoeppner's Bill C-391) to end the "long gun registry" Liberals Authored the current gun laws, so, theres your source of divisive politics. Taliban Jack knows this, but dont go expecting truth frm this used car salesman, he only wants to sell you the "goods" (by the way, HAPPY CANCER, JACK!)
    NOW, thersa true threat to "Public safety", Cancer kills eighty thousand Canadians a year. Dont tell Jack Layton though! he might divert funds to cancer research to find a cure, then we'll never be rid of him!!!

  23. Hey, MacLeans! why dont you guysstart taking this issue seriously? the recent eruption over this, on the hill, all the propaganda, isnt it time SOMEBODY reported theTRUTH, thewHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH? Manipulated RCMP stats on the hill? coverups of crazy cost overruns, graft, CBC propaganda,epic antigun smear campaigns, Cheifs of Police weighing in on the propaganda machine, kickbacks to RCMP from CGI, the company that works on the "registry" database, AKA "CGI SPONSORSHIP SCANDAL"…the PUBLIC SAFETY WITCH HUNT of the century, hey, lets punish duck hunters for "montreal Massacre", even though we ALL KNOW FARMERS AND DUCK HUNTERS DIDNT DO IT! and, WHO the HECK is "BRUCE MONTAGUE"??? WHY IS HE IN PRISON? WHY is the OPG confiscating his home? and, WHY is KATEY MONTAGUE martyring this gun issue on youtube??? she is 18 yearsold, shouldnt she be dating boys and buying shoes??

  24. It's not ONLY the registry that has to go! Licensing and the 'Gun Registry' Actually puts more guns on the street.. A full two thirds of the firearms in this country are not registered. Millions of firearm owners have also simply said no to licensing themselves in order to posses their own previously legally obtained property. Someone not having a firearms license, and/or owning an unregistered firearm that is stolen, will likely just suck up the loss and not incriminate him or herself by reporting the theft. As long as the simple possession of a otherwise legally obtained firearm, as well as not having it registered on some government shopping list, is a crime. Don't expect people to turn themselves in by reporting the theft. Why would they want to open themselves up to financially crippling court costs, job loss, and prison? Under these conditions, for most it's a no brainer. they would just shut up, suck up the loss, and go on with their life.. Under the old FAC system (that made no legal owner a criminal) which worked much better, stolen firearms would be reported immediately, be recorded in the CPIC system, and be in effect registered as stolen. The owner could then collect his insurance for the loss, and the police would know it was 'out there'. The current system promotes crime by criminalizing the theft victim. The only way to sort this whole mess out, is to repeal the current firearms act, and return to the FAC, It wasn't broke, and they should have left it alone. The FAC had ALL the same requirements that the current farce has. Guns were registered when purchased, and you could not acquire one without an FAC. The FAC was a 'certificate' generally referred to as a gun license, and it made NO ONE a criminal for the simple possession of a legally obtained firearm. You want COMPROMISE? Go back to what worked for years, and had the consent of the firearms owners. There is no reason for the mess we have now!