The Canadian national flag.
Canada's Conservative party are pushing to abolish the national long-gun registry. (Photo Credits: Flag - CC BY/Random Tree/Flickr; Rifles - CC BY/Random Tree/Flickr)

Gun rights advocates have their eyes fixed on Canada, reports BBC News. Canada’s Conservative government has presented legislation before Parliament that would demolish Canada’s gun registry. Specifically, the nation’s long-gun registry, which covers shotguns and rifles, would be abolished.

Down with the long-gun registry

Currently, Canada’s long-gun registry requires shotgun and rifle owners to register their weapons. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative party took power in 2006, however, one of Harper’s promises was that the long-gun registry law would be abolished. The argument is that the vast majority of violent crime actually involved handguns.

Now that Canada’s Conservative party holds a majority, the chances for a repeal of the gun registry law are much greater. Yet opposition from gun control groups will remain fierce, notes the Globe and Mail.

Standing up for rural farmers

Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner said at a press conference that Harper supports the rights of law-abiding rural Canadian farmers.

“The Harper government has stood on the side of law-abiding firearms owners, farmers, hunters and rural Canadians in every region of this country,” Hoeppner said.

A recent Statistics Canada report notes that maintaining the long-gun registry has cost taxpayers in excess of $2 billion. Considering that of the 253 firearms used in Canada to commit murder between 2005 and 2009, nearly 70 percent were unregistered, the predominant opinion is that the registry has been ineffective at preventing gun crime.

The same report said that only 24 percent of the homicides in 2009 were committed with either a rifle or shotgun, writes the Globe and Mail.

The threat of fragmentation

Abolishing Canada’s long-gun registry will destroy all records kept on rifle and shotgun owners. Criminal background checks and gun safety courses will still be required, however.

Canadian public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia told CTV that if Harper has his way and the Canadian gun registry is eliminated, individual provinces may splinter off and create their own gun registry laws. However, polls conducted by the Globe and Mail so far have indicated that no provincial government has interest in doing so.

Will Ron Swanson change his tune about Canada?

Sources

BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15455106

The Globe and Mail: http://bit.ly/vyjY1C

Statistics Canada: www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

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