Nightmare STAMP OF APPROVAL
To all involved in making this happen!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 9, 2009
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association applauds Bill to end the hated Long Gun Registry
OTTAWA – The CSSA is pleased to support Yorkton-Melville M.P, Garry Breitkreuz’s Private Members Bill to end the hated Long Gun Registry
“Mr Breitkreuz has always been a voice of reason in the House of Commons regarding firearms legislation. This Bill walks the delicate balance between individual rights and public safety perfectly,” stated Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action.
The Breitkreuz Bill contains provisions that will not only end the Long Gun Registry, but make necessary changes to the exorbitant costs associated with the Firearms Act by increasing the efficiency of government. “Ending the Long Gun Registry, merging Authorizations to Transport and merging parallel licensing databases can only result in massively decreased costs with no loss of public safety,” Bernardo added.
CSSA Executive Director Larry Whitmore states, “No Parliamentarian in Canada is more familiar with this file than Garry Breitkreuz. His Bill represents exhaustive study of the problem relating to the Firearms Act. The Breitkreuz Bill will help restore credibility to Canada’s firearms control measures and we strongly encourage all Canadians to support it.” He added, “The technology currently exists to modernize the Firearms Act. Mr Breitkreuz has shown courage and leadership by tackling this tough issue in a way that will appeal to all conscientious Parliamentarians.”
RationaleThis Bill accomplishes many things designed to lower the excessive costs and unnecessary complexities of the Firearms Act while having no negative impact to public safety.
The Long Gun Registry: The Long Gun Registry is an iconic symbol of wasted taxpayer dollars, poor management and negligible impact on the safety of Canadians. This Bill finally ends the hated Long Gun Registry while retaining the Licensing portion of the Firearms Program. Individuals will still require a license to purchase and possess all firearms. It does not affect background checks, user screening, police information access, nor does it create a safety risk to Canadians.. Police will still have access to the information contained in the Canadian Firearms Registry Online and will still be able to retrieve relevant data. While the Canada Firearms Centre reports the police accessed this data 9,413 times per day in 2008, only 19 inquiries involved a registration certificate. There is no breakdown as to whether these were long guns, restricted, prohibited or business inquiries. Clearly, the vast majority of information required by police will still be available. The elimination of the Long Gun Registry will save millions of dollars per year that can be put into effective crime fighting programs, saving lives.
Merges Authorizations to Transport for Licensed Individuals: The Authorization to Transport is an obsolete document pre-dating the Firearms License and is currently issued by the Chief Firearms Officer for each province. Its term is normally as long as three years and allows the transport of registered restricted and prohibited firearms to be taken to shooting ranges, gunsmiths, etc. It is normally a 24/7 document and every one is unique, requiring enormous man-hours of work every year. Since 1999 over half a million of these documents have been issued to trustworthy Canadians. They are virtually never refused, since anyone applying for this document is a current license holder and meets all the safety standards required by law anyway. This Bill does not change the reasons for lawful transport of these firearms but re-established the reasons formerly written in the Act. It does not change safe transport requirements or safe storage requirements; it merely eliminates a useless piece of paperwork from the system and reallocates taxpayer dollars and wasted manpower to more productive crime fighting programs.
Combining the POL and PAL: Currently, there are three kinds of individual Firearms Licenses, the Possession and Acquisition License (PAL), the Possession Only License (POL) and the Minor’s License. This Bill seeks to combine the POL and the PAL in order to simplify the system. In 2001, Possession Only Licenses were originally given to firearms owners that possessed firearms but did not wish to acquire more. They were exempted from the Canada Firearms Safety Course at that time. Eight years later, the accident rate with firearm is recognized as statistically no different for POL holders than PAL holders. This Bill recognizes that these individuals have empirically proven their safe and responsible usage of firearms and seeks to combine these two license types together, again to permit reallocation of valuable funds and manpower to more productive crime fighting programs. In addition to cost savings, it will reduce confusion regarding these different license types within the general public, by establishing one type of license for adult firearms owners. Once again, this measure has no impact on public safety whatsoever.
10 Year Licensing: With the establishment of the RCMP’s enormously successful Continuous Eligibility System, the need for 5-year license renewals has been eliminated. The Continuous Eligibility System cross-references the individual license holder’s name with every police computer in Canada. This virtually amounts to an individual’s license being renewed daily. Such a modern, high tech data management solution eliminates the costly paperwork system developed in 1995 and will save significant costs spent in unnecessary renewals. Additionally, a two-year license suspension period has been added to allow owners to renew without inadvertently falling into criminality. Once again, a benefit with no impact on public safety.
12 (6) Grandfathering Dates: In May 2003, Bill C-10A was passed into law. The Bill was intended by Parliament to change the grandfathering date for Section 12(6) firearms in order to grant grandfathering to lawful owners who purchased their firearms between February 14, 1995 and December 1, 1998. Because of unforeseen delays in the Coming into Force of this legislation, the will of Parliament was never realized, leaving these lawful owners in a legal limbo. Since then, thousands of Canadians (and the Government of Canada) have spent considerable money on court actions in an attempt to rectify this problem. This provision of the Bill seeks to restore fairness to the Firearms Program by reinstating the will of Parliament to grandfather these owners. As many of these owners still have their firearms in their possession, there is no compromise in public safety, and all Canadians will benefit without the vast sums of taxpayer dollars currently being spent in unnecessary court actions.
Auditor General Cost/Benefit Analysis: When Sheila Fraser delivered her report on the Firearms Registry in 2002, she spoke to the vast sums of money spent without accountability and the negligible impact the Firearms Program had on the safety of Canadians. This Bill reiterates the concerns Canadians have for cost effective programs and government accountability. As per many recommendations, this Bill calls for the Auditor General to conduct a cost/benefit analysis on all aspects of the Firearms Program every five years to ensure Canadians receive the best quality programs possible.
“The program became excessively regulatory” – A-G’s Report 2002
“10.67 In February 2001, the Department told the Government it had wanted to focus on the minority of firearms owners that posed a high risk while minimizing the impact on the overwhelming majority of law-abiding owners. However, the Department concluded that this did not happen. Rather, it stated that the Program’s focus had changed from high-risk firearms owners to excessive regulation and enforcement of controls over all owners and their firearms. The Department concluded that, as a result, the Program had become overly complex and very costly to deliver, and that it had become difficult for owners to comply with the Program.
10.68 The Department said the excessive regulation had occurred because some of its Program partners believed that
· the use of firearms is in itself a “questionable activity” that required strong controls, and
· there should be a zero-tolerance attitude toward non-compliance with the Firearms Act.”
The Gun Registry has been a main pillar of the Conservative platform since implementation. Immediately following Question Period today, MP Gary Breitkreuz for Yorkton-Melville will present a Private Members Bill to get rid of the infamous Gun Registry.
This baby has a name!