TORONTO, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Documents obtained by the Coalition for
Gun Control (CGC) confirm that ending the long-gun registry which
allowed police to track rifles and shotguns will save only $2 million a
The documents, obtained through Access to Information (ATI), show that
there will be no savings to taxpayers at all. Any savings will be
reassigned to compensate for the weaknesses the loss of the registry
created. According to the RCMP, some of the areas this money would go
"Enhanced screening... for new and renewing licence clients in order to
reduce (mitigate) the risk due to lack of Program contact" during gun sales.
"Provide assistance to the enforcement community on firearms tracing
since NO records on non-restricted firearms will be retained in
"Provide support to the Chief Firearms Offices in facilitating business
inspections since no records will be maintained by the business
community for non-restricted firearms."
Not only will no money be saved, but Canadians taxpayers can expect the
immense costs of gun violence to increase.
Criminal justice system costs will go up. Recently, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair reported that last year
alone, gun seizures were down by nearly 40% in his force, in part
because information his officers relied on is no longer available. In
spite of pleas by police, records on the ownership of 5.6 million
rifles and shotguns (outside Quebec) were destroyed, making it
impossible for stolen guns or guns recovered in crime to be traced back
to their owners. The documents obtained by CGC show the RCMP foresaw "negative consequences to investigations." A Police Executive Research Forum's report comparing Toronto to five
other American cities estimated the full costs associated with one
murder incident at $5 million.
Illegal Trafficking will increase. An internal federal memo previously released through ATI warned the
government that abolishing the long-gun registry could fuel illegal
firearms trafficking across the Canadian border. The registry ensured
gun owners and dealers were accountable for their guns. Without records
of who owns rifles and shotguns or any records of long gun sales, the
potential for legal guns to be diverted to illegal markets increases.
Gun deaths may increase. The Institut national de santé publique du Québec has associated the
licensing of all gun owners and registration of all firearms with 250
fewer suicides and 50 fewer homicides annually in Canada. The 2006
Small Arms Survey singled out the Firearms Act for its significant
impact on reducing gun death and injury, estimating the decrease in gun
injuries and deaths since 1995 as saving up to $1.4 billion a year.
"The ATI documents confirm what we have said all along. Because guns are
registered one time only, most of the money had been spent and little
would be saved by abolishing the registry. Already we are seeing the
negative impact on policing and public safety. The two million dollars
they will "save" are trivial in comparison to the costs of gun violence
to Canadian communities and families," said Wendy Cukier, President.
The Coalition for Gun Control, founded in the wake of the 1989 Montreal
Massacre, is an alliance of more than 300 organizations including the
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Public Health
Association, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, the YWCA
of Canada, the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Canadian
Labour Congress, and numerous other organizations and community groups
across the country. The alumni and families of the victims of the
Montreal Massacre along with other victims of gun violence also played
a pivotal role.
SOURCE: COALITION FOR GUN CONTROL
For further information:
or to obtain copies of the documents:
Coalition for Gun Control: 416.604.0209, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.guncontrol.ca