Bill C-19 given Royal Assent, officially ending badly flawed system
PETERBOROUGH, ON, April 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Bill C-19, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, (Repeal of the Long Gun Registry) was passed by the Senate on a vote of 50 to 27 and will be given Royal Assent later today by the Governor General.
"This is the culmination of many years of work on the part of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, our colleagues in the firearms community across Canada, and the Harper government," said Angelo Lombardo, Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). "Since the introduction of Bill C-68 in the mid-1990's, the OFAH has worked tirelessly with other groups in the outdoors and firearms communities to bring an end to a badly flawed piece of legislation that targeted legal, law abiding firearms owners, and did nothing to enhance public safety and save lives. The Prime Minister and the Conservative government deserve our thanks for understanding that this costly, ineffective system was not the answer, and acting decisively to eliminate it."
A flawed paper trail that tracked trained, legal, licensed firearms owners never addressed the real problem, failed miserably as a tool to prevent random violent crime and ignored the fact that criminals don't register guns. From the start, there was a glaring absence of fact-based evidence to support the value of a long gun registry from the start. Suggestions that gun crime in Canada had declined since the introduction of the registry were patently false, given that gun crime involving long guns had been on the decline for twenty years prior to Bill C-68. Noted academics at the University of Toronto and University of Ottawa have stated that the decrease in gun crime cannot be attributed to the long gun registry. This has been further substantiated by a large body of evidence by Australian researchers, who have concluded that there is no publicly available evidence to indicate that firearms registration has prevented criminal acts. Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser noted that there was no fact-based evidence to demonstrate that the long gun registry was able to deliver on its promises.
Over the last few years, public confidence in the registry has eroded. Every major public opinion poll has indicated that a large majority of Canadians believe that the long gun registry should be scrapped. Massive cost overruns and unsubstantiated claims that the system prevented crime and enhanced public safety have clearly undermined any confidence that the system was working. Firearms ownership has been blamed for a variety of societal ills, which has diverted attention away from the real causes of violence.
"The symbolism of tough gun laws is all well and good, but symbolism has not translated into lives saved. Ineffective legislation can and should be changed, and we applaud the fact that the Prime Minister and his government have remained committed to their longstanding promise to abolish the registry. That commitment was a major plank in the Conservative platform during the last election, a platform that was supported by a majority of Canadians who will be pleased to see the government deliver on its election promise," said Lombardo.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.
For further information:
Manager of Government Affairs and Policy
705-748-6324 ext 236
Manager of Communications
705-748-6324 ext 270