In 2011, the Conservative government, with its majority, won a vote in the House of Commons to dismantle and destroy the long-gun registry but it has not yet moved to push the Bill through the final stages in the Senate. If they do, seven million long-gun firearm records will be destroyed. IANSA women in Canada continue to advocate to save the registry.

Women’s groups from across the country, including the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights, insist that the registry is an essential tool in combating violence against women.

Women have the most to lose if the long-gun registry is abandoned. During domestic violence calls, police use the registry to check if a long-gun is on site. Statistics from the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee found firearms to be present in 47% of domestic homicides in 2007. A woman is 12 times more likely to be murdered if a gun is involved in domestic violence, and the guns most commonly used in domestic violence are long guns, not handguns.

The article below highlights how, in 2010, authorities refused 570 firearms license applications revoked 2,231 licenses out of concerns for public safety including domestic violence. Police consult the registry every day – before, after and during crimes. Gun deaths have dropped by a third since the registry was implemented. Long-gun deaths, especially domestic homicides of women, have dropped much more sharply.

Canada: New report shows police rely on long-gun registry
25 January 2012 by Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa Bureau, The Star

A new report shows that Canadian police services are using the firearms registry more than ever, relying on it more than 14,000 times a day rather than viewing it as an obsolete and unreliable database as the Conservative government claims.

The RCMP quietly posted on Monday annual report on the controversial firearms program which shows in 2010, law enforcement agencies across the country logged in and queried the Canadian Firearms Registry Online an average of 14,357 times a day.

In fact, since the Conservative government took power in 2006 and immediately proceeded to lift penalties against long-gun owners who didn’t register their weapons, police in Canada have more than doubled their use of the database.

In 2006, there were a total of 2,397,639 online queries, and in 2010, that number soared to 5,240,414 queries.

The report appears to refute suggestions by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government that any cop who runs any kind of casual licence plate check through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database automatically triggers a query to the firearms registry and throws the stats out of whack.

If firearms-license holders are screened in CPIC, or if a gun is reported lost, stolen or recovered in CPIC, an automatic notice or “event” is sent to the Canadian Firearms Registry for review.

But it also shows that there is an entirely different subset of data that makes up the Canadian Firearms Registry Online “which law enforcement officers can query via CPIC, either automatically or manually.”

That data in the CFRO “helps police trace recovered firearms or anticipate the presence of firearms at a location prior to attendance,” it says. It explains if a firearms license is revoked and police are sent to an address to seize a weapon, they query the “CFRO to determine the number of firearms associated to the individual, their descriptions and their serial numbers.”

It’s in that context that the RCMP’s report on 2010 usage of the registry cites the figure of more than 14,000 daily queries by Canadian law enforcement agencies in 2010.

The report is the most recent one the RCMP has submitted to the public safety minister’s office, and is signed by former commissioner Bill Elliott.

It shows there were more than 7.6 million firearms registered in 2010. That’s up slightly from 7,459,504 the year before. Of that number, 6.9 million were non-restricted firearms - rifles and shotguns - up from 6,781,698 in 2009. It is these long-guns that will no longer be registered once the Conservatives’ Bill C-19 passes.

It will retain the legal requirement for gun owners to be screened and licensed.

In 2010, authorities refused 570 firearms license applications revoked 2,231 licenses out of concerns for public safety. The report cites various reasons, such as court orders, drug offences, mental health or domestic violence, unsafe storage or assessments that the license holder would be a potential risk to themselves or others. That’s also up slightly from 2009.

“Investing in firearms safety is time well spent,” the report concludes.

The Conservative government, with its majority, won a Commons vote in the late fall to kill the long-gun registry. But it has not yet moved to push the bill through the final stages in the Senate.

The original article is online: http://www.thestar.com/article/1120862--new-report-shows-police-rely-on-...