It has been a long time coming for gun owners, but this week they learned there is an end in sight for the end of the long gun registry.
This week the government introduced Bill 19 to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act. The bill will repeal the requirement to register non-restricted firearms, such as hunting rifles and shotguns. The plan will also see the destruction of all records pertaining to the registration. The act will maintain control over restricted and prohibited weapons.
“Our government is committed to putting the safety of Canadians first with real action on crime that delivers enhanced protection for communities. That is why our government is investing in a number of effective measures such as putting more police on our streets, fighting organized crime, introducing mandatory minimum penalties for serious gun crime and combating gun smuggling,” said Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson. “Bill C-19 is consistent with our efforts to ensure firearms laws target real criminals and protect the safety of the public. Finally, we will ensure that the data on the existing registry is destroyed to prevent a future government from trying to resurrect another one.”
Local gun owner and hunter Stuart Pennycook has been a vocal opponent of the long gun registry since it was introduced in 1995.
“We live in a free country don’t we? Why should we have to register our guns?” he said.
His take on the registry is that it was a money grab from the get go and in fact he still would like to see a refund from when he first registered his guns.
Pennycook registered his guns and paid an $18 fee. This was before May 2004 when the government decided to waive the fee just before an election. He started his campaign right then.
He wrote MP Kevin Sorenson making his case that the money should be refunded. Sorenson forwarded it to the Prime Minister’s office, and eventually received a response from the then Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Anne McLellan.
She wrote back saying that the fee elimination only applies to applications made after May 20, 2004.
Now that the registry is to be completely eliminated, as well as the pertaining records, Pennycook says there is even more reason he should get his refund. Despite this, he applauds the government for its action.
“It took a while, but it’s government, it always takes a while,” he said.
While he would like a refund, he doesn’t mind spending his money when it is for something he believes in.
“Every hunter should buy a membership in the Conservative Party to show appreciation for scrapping the registry,” he said.