OTTAWA, June 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Only days before Parliament's summer recess, the federal government tabled draft regulations to prevent gun businesses from being forced to collect point-of-sale data on long gun transactions as a condition under the Firearms Act - a requirement that exists in Canada since 1977.
Business sales records are essential to monitor commercial gun sales, and a simple and cost effective way to prevent sales to unauthorized buyers.
Following an unannounced appearance yesterday by Public Safety minister Vic Toews before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (the only testimony regarding these regulations before the House of Commons), a handful of witnesses were hastily summoned to testify before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, for no more than three hours of hearings that will take place today and tomorrow. No public health authority, suicide prevention organization or women's groups has been invited to testify.
"Vic Toews might as well be wearing a crown on his head. These regulations will have a profound impact on crime prevention, yet they are being rushed through Parliament with little or no debate, and for no other reason than to please the gun lobby," says Heidi Rathjen, a witness to the École Polytechnique tragedy and spokesperson for Polysesouvient.
"For over 35 years, these ledgers have never been the subject of any serious complaint and were not even used to create the long gun registry. The 'debate' regarding these records is a manufactured controversy that surfaced only after the adoption last April of Bill C-19 — because the gun lobby then decided that destroying the long gun registry wasn't enough."
See the complete news release with additional quotes and hyperlinks to the draft regulations, the Senate's schedule and witnesses' briefs at:
For further information:
- Heidi Rathjen, 514-816-7818 or [email protected]
- Priscilla de Villiers (phone interview only): 905-634-1819