Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stopping the Destruction of the Gun Registry's Data

News from the Coalition for Gun Control
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!
Please ask your provincial government to "Save the Data"

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:
When you call, please mention these key facts:
  • 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.
Thank you!
The Coalition for Gun Control

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