Canada: Outrage at approval to destroy the long-gun registry

16 February 2012

This news from Canada reminds us of the essential and important work of IANSA women and members around the world, working on laws and policies at national level to help prevent and reduce gun violence. In a week where most focus is on the UN Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) it also reminds us that we need more than an ATT to help tackle the global gun crisis, and we need to stand together to support each other in our struggles.

On 15 February 2012, the Conservative government, with its majority, secured approval in the House of Commons to dismantle and destroy the long-gun registry. This decision shows how the government has completely ignored the recommendations of the majority of Canadians including victims of gun violence, women's groups, suicide prevention experts, police and labour organisations.

IANSA members, The Coalition for Gun Control, reiterated that the decision will go beyond simply ending the registration of shotguns and rifles. They said gun dealers will no longer have to record information on the guns they sell and to whom, “severely crippling the ability of the police to trace firearms recovered in crime” and individuals will be able to acquire unlimited numbers of long guns without having to prove they have valid firearms licences.

News of the approval drew condemnation in Quebec, where support for the registry is strong. The leader of the separatist Parti Quebecois began question period in the National Assembly by reading off the names of the 14 women gunned down at Ecole Polytechnique. “After creating an online countdown clock announcing the end of the registry, we hear Conservative MPs will celebrate their victory tonight like it was a hockey match,” said PQ Leader Pauline Marois. “It’s shameful, disgusting and revolting.”

Quebec is ready to go to court to block the Conservative plan to destroy the existing registry records once the legislation becomes law.

For more information please see the press release from the Coalition for Gun Control:

Coalition for Gun Control