|Currently in Canada|
I periodically update the posts on this blog when something has changed or when material has updated, but there is more to say than will fit on the end of the original post. From my own primarily American perspective, the abolition of the long gun registry, Since 1995, Canadian shotgun and rifle owners have been required to be licensed and to register each firearm in the Canadian Firearms Program which is in Miramichi, New Brunswick. This database is known as "The Long Gun Registry". This meant that rural owners and hunters needed to register. The database also houses data on other guns which are restricted furthur in Canada and can only be held with a higher level Possession and Acquisition License (known as a PAL)
Bill C-19 proposes that records of non-restricted firearms, currently found in the registry, would be erased from the firearms information systems, meaning law enforcement, and the government, would have no permanent, central, traceable record of the number of non-restricted firearms an individual may own. Canadian gun laws would then revert to a time before 1977.
Most of us who own and safely use firearms for defense against dangerous or animals in rural settings, or who hunt, see this change as a positive thing. I won't even touch upon the idea that having firearms in every home would prevent an easy hypothetical Chinese or renegade Russian invasion of Canada someday. However, not everyone agrees with me. Some chiefs in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have expressed concerns that an estimated seven million rifles and shotguns would disappear from traceable records making their presently easy job of tracking rifles, much more difficult.
In Quebec officials plan to challenge the new law when it passes. If the federal registry ends, Quebec plans to create its own database. They wish to preserve the data they say they participated in gathering and in paying for. They also want the data from Ontario, which the federal government has committed to destroy. Once again, just as in the US, we have the attitudes of rural citizens who need long guns for reasonable practices squarely in opposition to urban dwellers in Montreal, for example, who simply believe there is no safe or rational reason for anyone to own a gun. The fight to abolish the long gun regsitry of Canada is not yet over.
UPDATE: Please see our updated post dated mid February in which we discuss the final demise of the Canadian Long Gun Registry.