MONTREAL, Sept. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Following today's ruling by Quebec Superior Court Judge Marc-André Blanchard that granted Quebec the rights to its registry data, the Coalition for Gun Control reacted:
"The decision of the court reaffirms the fact that the data on guns is useful, that the province which contributed to collecting it is entitled to keep it and that it is in the interests of public safety to maintain it. All parties in the Quebec National Assembly have been united in supporting this court action, stepping up to protect their citizens where the federal government is failing. There is still much to be done. In Ontario, we hope that the Charter challenge filed by the Schlifer Clinic that serves abused women, and its associated bid for an injunction to stop the deletion of the registry data will produce similar results. We are pleased that the City of Toronto, Canada's largest urban centre has offered its support and hope others will follow suit. Canadians need to understand what is really at risk if the federal government is successful in implementing this law," said Wendy Cukier, President. While the government of Ontario has refused to take action, Ontario public safety experts and victims of gun violence, along with the cities of Toronto and Mississauga and the Region of Waterloo called for the data to be saved in the interest of public safety.
Last spring, the federal government swiftly passed legislation ending the registration of rifles and shotguns — allowing a licensed individual to buy as many guns as they want, without any record being kept. The law applies to all non-restricted rifles and shotguns, including powerful semi-automatics such as the Ruger Mini-14 used in the Montreal Massacre. In spite of pleas by police, the law also requires that all existing records on the ownership of 7.1 million rifles and shotguns be destroyed. This eliminates the possibility that stolen guns or guns recovered in crime be traced back to their owners and undermines Canada's ability to combat the illegal gun trade.
The government further weakened controls by quietly passing regulations in July forbidding provinces from requiring gun dealers to maintain records of their sales of rifles and shotguns, undoing a measure in place since 1977. Canada is no longer in compliance with international agreements targeting the illegal trade in firearms. These measures have no rationale other than responding to a gun lobby which advocates for a US-style "right" to own guns (and keep it a secret), with few controls or responsibilities. The gun lobby has made it clear that these changes are only a first step.
The Coalition for Gun Control, founded in the wake of the Montreal Massacre, is an alliance of more than 300 organizations including the Fédération des policiers et policières municipaux du Québec, Montreal Police Brotherhood, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Quebec Public Health Association, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, Fédération des femmes du Québec, YWCA of Canada, 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
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