Firearms Owners Association
Click here to view/download the pdf version of this letter - 2 pages (68 KB .PDF)
Minister of Public Safety
Jan 18 2012
Dear concerned citizen:
Thank you for your correspondence regarding Bill C-19, Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, which seeks to fulfill our Government's long-standing commitment to abolish the long-gun registry.
It was my pleasure to introduce Bill C-19 on October 25, 2011. Like previous Bills to repeal the long-gun registry that did not pass into law, this legislation will remove the requirement for individuals to register non-restricted firearms. It ensures that existing records in the long-gun registry are permanently destroyed to prevent their future use.
To be clear, our Government supports effective gun control and we are steadfast in our resolve to combat the criminal use of firearms. However, we have never supported the long-gun registry which the Government believes to be ineffective and wasteful.
Under Bill C-19 legislation, registration of restricted and prohibited firearms, including all handguns and automatic firearms, would continue to be maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Canadian Firearms Program. In addition, all firearms owners will continue to be required to undergo background check, pass a safety training course, and possess a valid firearms licence.
Our Government has also targeted resources to strengthen the screening of first-time firearms licence applicants. As a result, over 20,000 first-time firearms licence applicants will be interviewed annually, along with references for the applicant, to help prevent guns from getting into the hands of those who are legally ineligible.
The Public Safety Portfolio is also working in partnership with provinces and territories, as well as the United States, to combat the criminal use of firearms. For example, the RCMP-led National Weapons Enforcement Support Team, a joint forces operation, is working with local law enforcement to combat the illegal movement and use of firearms. As well, Canada continues to work with the United States through the Integrated Border Enforcement Team program to combat cross-border criminal activity, which includes smuggling of illicit firearms into Canada. Together, we are also pursuing new and innovative joint border law enforcement programs, such as Shiprider, to better respond to the evolving methods and tactics employed by transnational crime groups.
Our Government is proud to fulfill its long-standing commitment to repeal the long-gun registry and we look forward to focusing more of our efforts and resources towards measures that target the criminal use of firearms.
Thank you again for taking the time to write.
Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P.