-- [The Toronto Sun - Thursday May
PUBLICATION The Toronto Sun
DATE Thursday May 31, 2001
BYLINE Peter Worthington
HEADLINE: TRIGGER HAPPY; FEDS HAVE LITERALLY JUMPED THE GUN ON
NATIONAL FIREARMS REGISTRY
Perhaps the biggest boondoggle Canada is inflicting on itself is gun registration and control.
Regardless of what public opinion is manipulated into believing, Bill C-68 - the law that requires every
firearm to be licensed and registered by Jan. 1, 2003 - will cost maybe 10 times its original estimate;
may actually increase rather than reduce crime and violence; will make criminals out of many
otherwise law-abiding citizens.
C-68 is smoke-and-mirrors legislation - with the federal government so committed it can't back
down and is forced to create or misinterpret statistics in order to save face.
For example, "officially" there are 2.46 million Canadians who own some seven million firearms -
down from the government's previous estimate of three million gun owners. The real figure is probably
double or triple that, with the total number of firearms closer to 20 million than seven million.
Seven provinces and the territories oppose C-68 as it applies to hunting rifles and shotguns (but have
no objections to registering handguns and assault weapons). The main warrior against the legislation
has been Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz.
He's been a champion for common sense. In an open letter, he recently took issue with the
Canadian Police Association (CPA), which seems to mindlessly support government policy and is at
odds with many rank and file cops across the country.
At a heated meeting a couple of years ago, the CPA backed off a motion to withdraw its support
for gun registration by favouring another motion that made its support "conditional" on several
questions being answered.
In his letter to the CPA, Breitkreuz notes that "not one of those conditions has been met, yet the
CPA executive voted to support the registry anyway."
Among the "conditions" the CPA demanded was a review by the auditor general of the firearms
registration system. This has not happened.
The CPA also wanted the accuracy of information in the firearms data base to be verified - again
something that hasn't happened, even though the registrar of firearms has indicated a possible 90%
error rate in applications. The RCMP has noted a 40%-50% inaccuracy rate.
"What has been verified," says Breitkreuz, "is registration inaccuracies - even dating back 67 years
to handgun registration."
The CPA wanted assurances registration could meet legislative time tables, yet more than a million
gun owners and some three million firearms have been left out, says Breitkreuz.