After almost two decades and a billion dollar price tag, Canada’s long gun registry has finally come to an end.
Passed in 1995, the long gun registration law put tighter restrictions on the transfer of long guns and required owners to register them with the government.
According to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, “It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life.” Toews added that the registry “criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.”
Opposition MPs and supporters of the registry are expected to say the government’s actions are a step backwards and make baseless claims that the registry has kept the country’s streets safe.
Quebec’s provincial government has plans to take legal action against the Harper government for withholding Quebec-specific data, which is essential to its plans to launch a provincial registry.
The federal law relax transfer and sales rules around long guns, but will leave handgun regulations unchanged and all data pertaining to non-restricted firearms will be deleted. Since only data for non-restricted guns will be removed, officials are still deciding how to carefully sift out what to delete. It is unknown exactly how long the deletion of all long-gun data would take.
Once the bill is finally passed into law, Quebec will seek an injunction from the courts to halt the destruction of the registry data. The need for the government to even have knowledge of who does and does not have a firearm is questionable, but the liberals in Quebec seem to believe it necessary.
What’s happening in Canada is a warning for American gun owners. Once a little is given to progressive, anti-constitutionalists, it is a daunting, expensive and difficult task to reverse. It is far better to toe the line now, protect the rights we have retained and begin the fight to regain those the anti-gunners have already taken.