After several attempts, while heading a minority government, Stephen Harper’s Majority government will introduce legislation today to scrap the controversial long gun registry. This will fulfill a long time promise by Harper’s Conservatives. The legislation was first passed by Jean Chretien’s Liberals. It has been touted the Billion Dollar boondogle. The legislation almost passed during the last session of Parliament and is expected to pass easily during this session.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is lobbying the Harper government not to stop halfway but to also get rid of the licensing scheme, which it considers wasteful and a tax burden. In a recent mailout the Federation urged its members to write to the Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews and urge him to scrap the licensing requirement.
“While the Harper government should be commended for committing to end the wasteful and intrusive long gun registry, the time is now to push for them to not stop halfway. The time is now to eliminate the licensing requirement as well,” the letter said.
The group wants the government to go back to the old firearms acquisition certificate, which was a one time requirement. There was no renewal since the certificate was only required to acquire a firearm.
Supporters of the gun registry say it is a useful tool, especially for police. Police said the tool is useful as it identifies weapons at crime scenes. While this may be true, many of the guns found at crime scenes are illegal. So the counter-argument is that criminals don’t register their guns. Some provinces have indicated that they want to establish their own registries, one of them being Quebec. The Federal government has indicated that they will not share the information presently in the registry.