Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stockwell Day Secretly Limits Scope of Gun Registry

It's common knowledge that one of the key goals of the Conservative government is to scrap the Canadian Gun Registry. However, after many attempts, they have come to realize that Canadians want this country's guns to be registered. So while they continually rephrase and re-present bills, they have been conducting cloak and dagger operations designed to limit the scope of the registry.

From stacking the Firearms Advisory Committee, to extending amnesty for long-gun licensing, they have used every trick in the book, to allow gun fanatics an opportunity to build up their arsenal.
Cabinet ministers call proposal to extend reprieve for not registering firearms a 'step backward'
Mar 04, 2008
Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA–Two Ontario ministers lodged an official protest over a federal proposal made quietly on the weekend to extend for a third year an amnesty to gun owners who refuse to register their firearms.
The federal Conservative government gave notice on Saturday it plans to extend the amnesty, due to end this spring, until May 16, 2009.

In a meeting yesterday, Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley and Rick Bartolucci, minister of community safety and correctional services, personally appealed to federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson for tougher gun laws, including a ban on handguns.

Afterward, Bentley said the government should be looking for ways to strengthen the long-gun registry.

An amnesty "effectively undermines it" and is "a step backwards," Bentley said in an interview.

"Parliament has not sanctioned the elimination of the long-gun registry, so it should be supported," he said. "I'm with the police on this one."

However, the Ontario ministers met with little encouragement on the amnesty or on a handgun ban.

Day said in an interview that handguns are "already" banned because the only people allowed to have them are police, designated security officers, target shooters, collectors and "Olympic-type athletes. That ban is in place." (In other words, pretty much everybody)

"We want to aggressively go after the illegal use of handguns," said Day. "That's where our focus should be and that's where it will continue to be."

The long-gun amnesty applies to non-restricted weapons – rifles or shotguns. It waives the fees charged for renewing an existing ownership licence or registration certificate and proposes to ease requirements for those whose licence has already expired.

The federal Conservatives promised to scrap the long-gun registry, but have not pushed the legislation through the Commons with the same vigour as other crime bills.

In the meantime, the government says the amnesty will give people time and incentive to comply with the registration requirements that are still on the books.

The federal government, in its proposed regulations, concedes that confusion on the gun registry abounds and promises to launch yet another communications effort "aimed at clarifying any confusion among firearms owners regarding their legal obligations."

The notice in the Canada Gazette says that as of Jan. 31, 2008, there were 1.9 million individuals licensed under the Firearms Act who collectively have registered more than 6.8 million firearms.

The Conservatives say the expected lost revenue from waived licence renewal fees is about $15.7 million for the coming extra year of amnesty.

The government says the "overall licence renewal rate" is "reasonably high" at 85 per cent, but it notes that more than 150,000 expired-licence holders were still in possession
of their guns.
So why all the secrecy?

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