Forwarded by Remember Our Sisters Everywhere
Take action to stop the destruction of the gun registry's data.
On December 13, 2011, the Government of Quebec announced it would not stand idly by and let the Harper government dismantle the firearms registry and destroy the data, saying that it will turn to the courts to fight the federal government's unjust law (Bill C-19).
With the exception of Quebec, provinces have done little to counter federal plans to dismantle the long-gun registry and destroy the data, even though provincial taxpayers helped build the system! But last weekAlberta's Progressive Conservative Premier made the announcement that she does not oppose the transfer of the gun registry data to the provinces. It's time for the other provinces to speak up!
- Now that the money has been spent, destroying the data on the 7.1 million long guns currently registered makes no sense whatsoever, and is simply punitive:
- The Information Commissioner has testified in front of the parliamentary committee that destroying all the records on long guns would contravene both the spirit and the letter of the Library and Archives Canada Act.
- The Privacy Commissioner has urged the government to use caution in destroying the data and testified that there is nothing in federal law preventing the federal government from sharing information with the provinces.
- This information can be useful as an investigative tool for police officers for firearm tracing purposes, and destroying this data will cripple the police's ability to trace any of these guns to their last legal owners if they end up being used in crimes. The President of the Quebec Municipal Police Federation Denis Côté said: "Why carry out the destruction of the data? After the physical evidence of the weapon, the data is often the starting point for an investigation."
- This information has provided a useful tool to help police bring criminals to justice, supporting the prosecution of gun-related crime and providing almost 18,000 affidavits between 2003 and 2008.
We expect that Bill C-19 will be sent to the Senate in February. With the latest series of appointments, the Conservatives hold a comfortable majority in the upper chamber (61 seats out of 105), making it even more challenging to stop the destruction of the data. The provinces must speak up now.
Bill C-19 goes far beyond simply ending the registration of non-restricted rifles and shotguns, including the powerful semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14 used in the Montreal Massacre. Bill C-19 ends the requirement to verify a license when firearms are sold or transferred, removing an essential safeguard. It also ends critical record-keeping measures that have been in place since 1977, tracking the sale or transfer of firearms, and will enable individuals to acquire an unlimited number of rifles or shotguns without the police being able to trace those weapons back to them or hold them accountable if they sell them on the black market. The Bill also entails the immediate destruction of all the existing data on over seven million registered long guns, severely undermining the police's ability to trace guns recovered in crime.
Please call your local MPP, MLA or MHA and your Premier's office today and ask them to do everything in their power to stop Bill C-19 and save the data on the 7.1 million long guns that are currently registered:
- Ontario MPPs and Hon. Dalton McGuinty
- British Columbia MLAs and Hon. Christy Clark
- Quebec MNAs and Premier Jean Charest
- New Brunswick MLAs and Hon. David Alward
- Nova Scotia MLAs and Hon. Darrell Dexter
- Newfoundland and Labrador MHAs and Hon. Kathy Dunderdale
- PEI MLAs and Hon. Robert Ghiz
- Alberta MLAs and Hon. Alison Redford
- Manitoba MLAs and Hon. Greg Selinger
- Saskatchewan MLAs and Hon. Brad Wall
- Yukon MLAs and the Hon. Darrell Pasloski
- Northwest Territories MLAs and Hon. Bob McLeod
- Nunavut MLAs and Hon. Eva Aaria
- Rifles and shotguns in the wrong hands are as deadly as handguns. We need controls on all guns.
- Safety experts and victims maintain that Canada's gun control law is useful and efficient and has had a concrete impact in reducing firearm death and injury.
- Destroying the data will cripple the police's ability to trace any non-restricted guns to their last legal owners if they end up being used in crimes.
- Experts have warned that destroying the data will create a terrible precedent and may be a further cost to taxpayers.
- The long-gun registry is an essential tool used 17,000 times a day by police to take preventive action and bring criminals to justice.
- While there are more guns in rural areas, there are also higher rates of firearm death and injury, often involving rifles and shotguns.
- Gun control works: the rate of death involving guns is the lowest it has been in over 40 years.
- The cost of maintaining the gun registry is less than $4 million per year. To dismantle this effective system now would be a waste.
- A well-financed opposition obscures the facts and reflects a small minority. The gun lobby doesn't speak for me.
The Coalition for Gun Control