<%@ Page Language="C#" ContentType="text/html" ResponseEncoding="iso-8859-1" %> Garry Breitkreuz, MP



Week of June 3, 2013

One year later – loss of long-gun registry is a non-event

By Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.

Canada has now been without a national long-gun registry for more than a year – and the sky has not fallen.

Before the registry was officially scrapped by Parliament on April 5, 2012, most gun control groups predicted that firearms abuse would rise because the registry was important to public safety. Responsible gun owners and many other Canadians, however, understand that there is no correlation between a registry and safety.

For example, the City of Ottawa reports that firearm deaths are way down as of April, compared with the same period last year.  At the time of the report, there were two shootings in Ottawa, compared with 11 last year while the registry was still in effect. If the registry was actually a safety measure, surely the Canadian media would have been crammed with stories about firearms abuse during the past year. This hasn't been the case because registering a gun does nothing to protect anyone. That's why our government got rid of the registry database that served only to waste taxpayers' hard-earned money.

Long before the registry was scrapped, there was ample evidence that it was a massive failure. When the previous federal government cobbled together a series of feel-good, useless laws in the wake of the L'École Polytechnique tragedy in 1989, long after the long-gun registry was up and running, the legislation failed to prevent another school shooting at Dawson College in 2006 by an assailant who used registered long-guns.

Government support for a gun registry is the same as trying to legislate sanity, which simply cannot be achieved. Mentally ill people committed heinous crimes with guns before the registry, during the registry, and they will do so after the registry. Everyone hopes it won't happen again, but the gun control advocates are poised to blame the lack of a gun registry if it does. Don't believe them. Just as the presence of a registry doesn't prevent violence, the absence of a registry doesn't cause violence.

As a Member of Parliament, I made it a priority for nearly two decades to scrap the long-gun registry to bring Canada one step closer to fairer firearms laws for all. Now that the registry has been gone for more than a year, it proves what we have been saying all along – it had no effect on public safety.



The audio version of Garry's June 3, 2013 op-ed column can be heard by clicking here