Bill C-19, the Conservative Government’s bill ending the registration of non-restricted long guns was passed by the Canadian Senate Wednesday by a vote of 50 to 27. Two Liberal Senators voted for Bill C-19, one Progressive Conservative Senator voted against it.
On Thursday April 5, 2012, Bill C-19 was signed by Governor General David Johnston and received Royal Assent. Now the bill is law and will need to be enacted. The Quebec government has filed an injunction to obtain the federal registration records to set up its own registration system. However, despite what Quebec does, Canada’s long experiment with universal firearms registration has ended.
Speaking from Prince George, NFA President Sheldon Clare pointed out, “When the Liberal’s gun control legislation Bill C-68 was first introduced in 1995, Canada’s National Firearms Association warned that government that it was making a serious mistake. It was clear that the legislation would be rejected and resisted by Canadians, that it could not be implemented for the ridiculously low cost estimates advertised by the Liberals, and that its firearms program – which included the licensing of all owners and the registration of all firearms – was destined to be a failure.
This failure was confirmed by the Auditor General of Canada’s report on the Canadian Firearms Program in 2002 which found that the Canadian Firearms Program was 500% over budget and still not fully implemented. Still, that government persisted with its doomed firearms program despite the national outrage and controversy over its assault on Canadian rights and our country’s cultural tradition of firearms ownership. Successive Liberal governments championed this failed anti-freedom program right until their defeat in 2006.
The Conservative Party of Canada made and campaigned on a policy of firearms law reform from its inception, and was elected in 2006, and re-elected in 2008 and 2011 based on this long standing policy and election promise. Conservative MPs Garry Breitkreuz and Candice Hoeppner deserve special recognition for their efforts to pursue firearms law reform over many years.
The ending of long gun registration lays good ground work and is a positive first step in much needed and long overdue firearms law reform in Canada, but the 1995 Liberal C68 Firearms Act remains largely intact and is still the law of Canada. Today, this majority Conservative Government has delivered the first step towards keeping its promise to repeal Bill C-68 as part of a comprehensive firearms law reform program.
As long as the Liberal Firearms Act remains law, the freedoms, rights, and property of all Canadians remains at risk. Fundamental firearms law reform will not have been achieved until the Government of Canada replaces the 1995 Liberal C68 Firearms Act with new legislation that respects the rights and property of ordinary Canadians. Firearms laws have often been sold under the guise of public safety when in fact these laws are merely a means to limit hard fought freedoms. Neither the firearm registration system nor the licensing program have ever truly been about saving any lives. These laws have really been about trying to change Canadian firearms culture.
Canada’s National Firearms Association and the firearms community of Canada celebrate this legislative affirmation of long time Conservative policy, and look forward to working with this government in the overhaul of all of Canada’s broken and failed firearms control system.
At over 50,000 members, Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users.
For more information contact:
Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682 [email]Blair@nfa.ca[/email]
Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841 [email]Sheldon@nfa.ca[/email]
Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393
NFA Website: www.nfa.ca