Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Public Safety Minister Shoots At Illegal Back-Door Gun Registry

© By Othmar Vohringer

Since the long-gun registry has been abolished it has come to the attention of the Public Safety Minister Vic Toews that the chief firearm officers (CFO) across Canada have taken it upon themselves to get gun shop owners to collect personal information from buyers of hunting rifles to establish what is termed a “backdoor gun registry”. In a stern letter to the RCMP the minister has told the CFOs to stop their back-door registries and personal information collection.

Toews wrote in the letter to the RCMP: “If it comes to your attention that CFO’s are interpreting the Firearms Act as a basis for unauthorized data collection, please advise me immediately. I am prepared to consider all legislative and regulatory measures necessary to effect the will of Canadians.” The minister further says that any CFO who persists with attempting to collect such data is breaking the law. “The CFO’s are not to engage in the collection of information of that nature.” Toews said. “That runs contrary to C-19.”

According to Bill C-19 the chief firearm officers are still responsible for administering personal firearm holder licenses, or revoking them, and licensing firearm storeowners, but as the letter to the chief firearm officers clearly states; “the firearm act leaves no doubt that Parliament has sought to eliminate any form of a long-gun registry and personal information collection.” Furthermore: “The Minister of Public Safety reiterated that under no circumstances should any provision of the firearm act, or any related regulations, be interpreted or construed as permitting or requiring license conditions that could recreate some semblance of a long-gun registry.”

There is no need for the CFO to demand of gun storeowners to collect personal information from gun buyers. Anyone purchasing a firearm has to show a valid firearm holder licence card to the store owner or sales clerk. Without that verification the store is not permitted to sell firearms or ammunition to an individual.

In light of Quebec mounting a legal challenge to prevent the destruction of the federal long-gun records and the fact that the federal NDP and the Liberal Party of Canada threatened to bring back the gun registry if elected to form the next government, it becomes even more important to destroy all information. I applaud Public Safety Minister Vic Toews in taking a firm stance and seeing to it that the law will be obeyed by those that believe that harassing legal and law abiding firearm owners through the collection of personal information is more important than addressing the real issues of violent gun crime.

The government of British Columbia has announced that there are no plans to institute a provincial long-gun registry. However, that could change in the next provincial elections should the NDP, a strong supporter of the long-gun registry, be elected by the voters to form the next government.

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