Today, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a landmark decision in the “Long Gun Registry” matter. The Court affirmed the earlier decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal, dismissing Quebec’s demand to obtain the records of the now defunct long gun registry. The nine judges of the Supreme Court split five against four in favour of the constitutionality of s. 29 of the “Ending the Long Gun Registry Act” providing for the destruction of the Long Gun Registry records, but all nine judges were unanimous in denying Quebec an entitlement to obtain the records of the Long Gun Registry.
The NFA is delighted with today’s decision. We are confident that this decision will mark the end of the Long Gun Registry throughout Canada. Up until yesterday, the Government of Quebec had been adamant that it would not create its own long gun registry, unless it could obtain the data from the federal long gun registry, which has been denied by the Supreme Court. Yesterday, in a surprise announcement, it changed its position and said that it would proceed with the creation of such a registry, win or lose.
Speaking from Prince George, NFA President Sheldon Clare pointed out: “The NFA is extremely proud of its contributions in freeing all Canadian law abiding gun owners of this cumbersome, expensive, inefficient and invasive registry. Not only did the NFA successfully campaign and lobby for the legislative elimination of the registry, but it also fought the efforts of the Quebec Government to preserve and resurrect the long gun registry at the provincial level.
Finally, Quebec gun owners stand on an equal footing with their counterparts from the rest of Canada. Most importantly, the Supreme Court has not been blinded by the charades and fear mongering arguments from the gun-control lobby.”
As proud and happy as we are of today’s victory, we must acknowledge that many battles remain to be fought. We may have another one looming in Quebec, in view of yesterday’s announcement, although we are skeptical of Quebec’s ability and resolve to move in that direction. The elimination of the long gun registry is a blessing, but only a small step in the fight to affirm the rights of law abiding gun owners. By and large, Canadian firearms legislation treats law abiding gun owners as would be criminals and denies their fundamental rights.
At the NFA, we are proud of having been a part of the process that led to this landmark decision.
Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest and most effective advocacy organization representing the interests of firearms owners and users.
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