Canada passed its long gun registration scheme in 1995. The bureaucratic attempt to require state knowledge and tracking of all legal guns in Canada was a disaster from the beginning. It was plagued with non-compliance, sabotage, corruption, crony-ism and cost overruns. Advertised as costing only 110 million, the costs ballooned into billions, as the ruling party used the program to reward favorites, and paid consultants to lobby to increase registry funds.
The registry was discontinued on April 5, 2012. Quebec fought to keep the registry in courts, but was ruled against in the Canadian Supreme Court a year ago.
There never was any data showing that the registry had any effect on crime. It appears the RCMP, at the minimum, assured that no data was kept that would indicate if the registry was of any use as a crime fighting tool. No instances could be found where the registry was useful in solving crimes. New Zealand had eliminated its long gun registry in 1983. Police had determined that the registry was ineffective in reducing crime.
Background to the Introduction of Firearms User Licensing Instead of Rifle and Shotgun Registration Under the Arms Act 1983 (Wellington, New Zealand: n.p., 1983)Now, as the Quebec government fights to create its own, separate, long gun registry, a new, perhaps clearer and more honest reason for the registry has been put forward by a long retired police officer. From news1130.com:
But Brisebois believes the registry is more than just a tool for law enforcement — that it’s a symbol of how a society treats firearms and that it reinforces Canada’s cultural differences from those of the United States.Brisebois does not want symbols of liberty and rights. It does not matter that the registry is expensive and ineffective in fighting crime.
“Seeing what the registry did for me — spend the money,” Brisebois said.
“The important thing is to show people you are doing something (about guns),” he said. “The American way is that guns represent liberty and rights — do we want this? I don’t. So am I ready to spend that money? Yes.”
The Canadian Supreme Court even refused to hear a case put forward by leftist feminists, claiming that doing away with the registry violated their rights. The reason the court did this? Because there was no evidence that the registry had reduced crime one iota.
Interestingly, this is a very similar reason given for the great forced Australian gun "buy back". Prime Minister Howard said that he hated guns and did not want Australia to go "the American way".
The long gun registry was never popular in Canada. It was put forward as a way to punish cultural conservatives, to show rural and western Canadians who was in charge, and it was not them.
Canadians educated themselves. They lobbied. They voted. They rid themselves of the registry. Similar situations are occurring in many American states. The compliance with long gun registration schemes in New York, Connecticut, and California are at 4-10%. Whether that resistance will result in political changes is uncertain.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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