(28 April 2010)
Federal Gun Registry
The federal gun registry is making headlines again. A private members bill has been introduced in Parliament that would abolish the controversial program.
Like many Saskatchewan residents, our government opposes the registry. When it was introduced in 1995, we took the position that it unfairly targets law abiding citizens and interferes with the way of life for many people living on the prairies. At that time, we promised Saskatchewan people that we would do everything in our power to fight the long-gun registry. Our members put forth petitions urging the federal government to abolish it.
In 2010, your Saskatchewan Party government has been given another opportunity to stand up for our residents and add our voice to those opposed to the registry. On April 26, Justice Minister Don Morgan released a letter in support of proposed federal legislation which would end the long-gun registry.
The long-gun registry does not reduce the incidence of violent gun crime. Criminals do not register their guns. The registry merely puts a piece of paper beside every legal firearm owned by our law abiding citizens. The vast majority of gun crime is still executed using illegal weapons. Years later, there is still no credible evidence that the registry has assisted in stopping gun crime, solving gun crimes, or saving lives.
The long-gun registry punishes law abiding citizens. In Saskatchewan, farmers use guns as a tool for hunting and controlling pests, not as a weapon. Hunting is a big part of Saskatchewan lifestyle and contributes significantly to our economy. Hunters, farmers, recreational sport shooters and law abiding firearm owners do not pose a threat to public safety.
The long-gun registry is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money. This is how many Saskatchewan people, and a majority of Canadians, have been describing the registry since its inception. When the long gun registry was introduced, Canadians were told the cost would be in the range of $1 million. So far, it has cost taxpayers over $2 billion and has not yet delivered the one service it was supposedly created to provide – an increase in public safety. Instead, that $2 billion has simply created a list of legal, law-abiding gun owners – a list that is not of significant use to the police or an effective deterrent to criminals. Why would we continue to spend more money on a program that doesn’t work? Even the federal Auditor General condemned the long-gun registry as being inefficient and wasteful and that it contains data that is unreliable. She also said there was no evidence that the registry helps reduce crime.
Our government believes that Saskatchewan people deserve better. In fact, all Canadians deserve better than a program that has done nothing but waste time and taxpayers’ money. Enforcing tough measures on farmers and other law-abiding citizens is not helping our residents and families feel safer and more secure. By supporting Bill C-391, our government is continuing to take action that moves Saskatchewan forward.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Don.
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