Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

April 5th, 2012 – Fighting for over a decade and a half, finally a win.

Scrapped the Registry

April 5th, 2012. Registration of non-restricted firearms has ended.

It was 16.5 years ago, specifically December 5th, 1995, that Bill C-68 had received royal assent by the Liberal Government of the time and under the watch of the Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. C-68 was the beginning of the most recent level of totalitarian “gun control” in Canada. Firearms classifications had been enacted back in the late 1960’s which first started the whole notion of restricted and prohibited classes of firearms as well as the government’s ability to classify firearms with an Order-In-Council. Here TPF gives a basic rundown of “Gun Control” in Canadian history.

1934: The first version of modern registration of all Handguns occurred in Canada. Registration was done by the local constabulary.

1939-1944: During the wartime shotguns and rifles were required to be registered as well as handguns. This was used to confiscate arms from Canadians during the wartime period such as those who were placed into Japanese Internment Camps and suspected Axis sympathizers. After the war the act of registering shotguns and rifles was discontinued, yet handguns were still to be registered.

1951: Registration of handguns was centralized and under the auspices of the RCMP. Automatic firearms are required to be registered alongside of handguns.

1977, August 5th: Bill C-51 receives royal assent and introduces the Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) and many firearms are classed as prohibited due to fully automatic capabilities. People could no long carry restricted firearms for defence of property.

1991, December 5th: Bill C-17 receives Royal Assent which enhances scrutiny of FAC system with more rigorous identification and background checks, but at this time the FAC is still only required to acquire a firearm. A firearms safety competency requirement was attached to the FAC process.

1995, December 5th: Bill C-68 receives Royal Assent. A new licensing system is introduced to replace the FAC system as well as a complete rewrite to the criminal code and the introduction of the Firearms Act. Firearms themselves are now illegal to possess unless you have a valid license. ALL firearms are now required to be registered.

C-68 was a huge piece of legislation which was fraught with many many gaping errors and obvious poor judgement, at least apparent to anyone who used firearms for legal purposes. There were numerous sections of the bill which had the firearms community, the top firearms experts, and many in government opposed to its passing. The sheer scope, convoluted wording and sledgehammer like repercussions were well voiced to those who wrote the bill. The bill was so massive and unwieldy that it was to come into force nearly 3 years later, December 1st, 1998. In September of 1998, where over 30,000 individuals had joined together on parliament hill in the “Fed-Up II” rally against Bill C-68, then Justice Minister Anne McLellan ignored the gathered firearms owners and instead addressed solely the media. She stated “The debate is settled. The debate is over.” For years following there would be delays and small changes and updates ad nauseam to Bill C-68. It was not until January 1st, 2003 that the entirety of C-68 officially came into force. It took over seven (7) years to implement the bill and have enough people “enroll” into the new control regime and have it officially launch.

Now in general, the government of the time was either lying to Canadians or at best feeding them incorrect information as by the time the Bill C-68 fully came into force, the proponents claimed that the 2 million Licenses and 8 or so million firearms represented 97% of the firearms owners and firearms themselves in Canada. These numbers have since been proven to be not only incorrect but an order of magnitude out of scale.

In 1945 the total number of Registered Firearms was nearly 2 million in number. Fast forward to 2001 and when you include known import and export records (not illegally smuggled guns) and include a small percentage for destroyed/damaged/broken/disposed firearms you are at nearly 16.5 million guns. By 2003, only 100,000 handgun owners had acquired a license, down slightly from the 400,000 who had FAC’s. The sheer volume of people who did not comply with C-68 should have been a wake up call to the government of the time. Sadly it wasn’t.

Then in 2006, change happened. The Liberal government was ousted from it’s position as official government of Canada. A political entity which did not irrationally detest firearms ownership assumed the mantle of government. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada took office and tried numerous times though a variety of introduced bills to remove at least the registration of non-restricted firearms. Some bills additionally covered far more onerous aspects of the firearms act, and on occasion the bill introduced was worse than what was before. However, on October 25th, 2011; Bill C-19 was introduced into the House of Commons. It’s target? To eliminate the entire process of registering Non-Restricted firearms and to destroy all accumulated data records of such firearms.
On April 5, 2012, Bill C-19, Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act, came into effect with the following effects (from officially released documents)

  • Removal of the requirement to register non-restricted firearms
  • Destruction of the existing non-restricted firearms registration records
  • Allowing the transferor of a non-restricted firearm to obtain confirmation of a transferee’s firearms acquisition licence prior to the transfer being finalized
  • Until further notice, due to a Court Order issued by the Quebec Superior Court, residents of Quebec are still required to register non-restricted firearms with the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program.
  • It is important to note that the new law does not change the requirement for all individuals to hold a licence in order to possess a firearm. The licensing, safety training and safe storage requirements for anyone who uses or owns a firearm continue to be in force.
  • The legislation also does not impact registration requirements for restricted or prohibited firearms.

Now the province of Quebec has, at the time of this writing asked for and received a temporary injunction regarding the data and registration of firearms in Quebec, but this injunction is to allow for an evidentiary or preliminary hearing regarding the case. This hearing is to determine if the case can be brought before the courts (jurisdiction) and to determine if there is any chance of such a case succeeding from presented preliminary evidence.

All this means so far is that Quebec is presenting their “case” to a judge who is going to rule if the case can firstly, be brought to trial by the Superior Court of Quebec (Provincial jurisdiction) and secondly, that there is even enough evidence for any reasonable outcome prior to going to trial. For example. The injunction has forced Quebec to continue to register non-restricted firearms, and continue to update and maintain the registry data. It is up to this judge to determine if he even has the authority to allow this case to be brought forwards. Should that occur, the judge may rule that only the data pertaining to residents of Quebec can be asked for through the court as Registration is a Federal Mandate currently controlled by Federal Policy. Or any combination of the above…

For the rest of Canada however, this means that the registration of non-restricted firearms is finally rescinded. Many people are even calling April 5th,  Mini-14 Day, as a form of insult and snub towards the anti-gun fanatics who have deemed the Ruger Mini-14 as the foremost symbol of why “Gun Control” should exist in Canada.

 The snub is intentional as the zealous gun-grabbers refuse to admit that it the tool used to commit violent  criminal acts is just that. A tool, be it a gun, blade, vehicle, fist, club, or any other item used to inflict malicious harm is not the cause of the harm. It is the person who is committing the violent act. Period. But alas, such truth and unassailable logic falls upon the deaf ears of the fanatical anti-gun activist.

With the temporary injunction set to end at 5 PM (EST) today, Friday the 13th, many individuals are awaiting to see the final outcome of this hearing. Quebec will already get its day in court sometime in June, regarding  the transferring data of Quebecers contained in the non-restricted registry; but the current arguments before the court is to determine if the injunction will remain in effect until that case is settled. The current government has vowed to not allow the existing data to be used to creat a provincial registry. Either way it seems that it will be a long drawn out process to see the outcome of this case, and  of Canada’s firearms community hopes for the best possible outcome for their Quebec brethren. That best event? The final nail in the coffin that is registration of non-restricted firearms.

TPF Online thanks all those individuals whom have championed and fought through these last decades to make this event a reality. Lets help them out and continue to fight for sensible laws which target and punish the criminal element!

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2 responses

  1. Michael cassidy

    If Quebec courts are stupid enough to agree that honest long gun possessing citizens must STILL register their guns and that the federal government MUST hand over information on those individuals, give it to them. One DVD of about 4 gigabite capacity will do it. 512 bit encription of the data on the disc will keep the buggers busy for some time! Quite some time! Many, many years, in fact!

    April 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    • Thanks for your comment. Hopefully Quebec’s courts follow the rule of law. In that case it would mean that the firearms registry and corresponding data is truly under federal control and is not something that can be co-erced by the Quebec government. It is unfortunate that Quebec feels the need to continue to press for a registry which will quickly become unusable due to the laws which are in place federally. Quebec provincial regulation is not binding to dealers outside of the province who would no longer be required to register firearms to valid PAL holders.

      Example One. Store in Alberta recieves photocopy of Valid PAL from Quebec resident and sells firearm to the resident. The onus is upon the Quebec buyer to register the firearm with the Quebec governments registry.
      Example Two. Quebec resident borrows non-restricted firearms from an out of province source which is 100% legal according to federal law. Quebec Registry is ineffecive and useless.

      It proves that Quebec wants this data for purely political reasons as there is no way to make this even feasible to work.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:28 AM

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