I wanted to have this handy for a post I plan on writing about the Conservatives’ elimination of the long gun registry. Can you guess my angle?
Another chapter in the ongoing evisceration of everything that makes Canada great, thanks to the Harper government.
A survivor of the Montreal Massacre has spoken out against the planned scrapping of the long gun registry. While the law is pretty much a fait accompli at this point, with the majority in government being Conservatives, it’s good to know people are protesting.
She reminded the committee the bill will abolish the requirement to register non-restricted weapons like the semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14 that Lepine used. She and Rathjen urged the government to realize the bill eliminates the legal obligation to verify the validity of a firearms licence when a long gun is sold or otherwise transferred.
Today’s the 23rd anniversary of the Montréal Massacre, which has of late been a focus in Canadian politics with Harper having successfully destroyed the long gun registry.
Except, as it turns out, in Quebec. The provincial government kept their copy, with the help of a sympathetic judge, and plans on implementing their own registry, according to Stephane Bergeron in statements made marking the anniversary of the deadly shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique.
Bergeron also mentioned the deadly shooting at Dawson College in 2006, as well as the fatal shooting that disrupted Premier Pauline Marois’ victory speech on Sept. 4.
“Quebec believes in a system of firearms registration, essential to the administration of justice, to police work and to the safety of the population,” he said.
Yesterday, a Quebec Superior Court judge granted a five-day injunction against the Harper government’s attempted early destruction of the long gun registry. You’ll remember that I reported back in December that they were totally going to go ahead and destroy it once the law passed even if the court case was ongoing. Well, the court case has at least another four days now, and the government is disallowed to jump the gun, so to speak.
The Quebec government sought the injunction in court in Montreal Thursday, in anticipation of royal assent for C-19, the Harper government’s legislation to fulfil a longtime campaign promise to scrap the registry.
The injunction granted Thursday applies to the data collected on residents of the province of Quebec, but also covers the accessibility, availability and integrity of the system holding the registry, as well as the equipment and tools that allow access to the Quebec data. That means the federal government can’t take further steps on ending the registry while the injunction is in place. And Quebec can keep adding data to the registry.
On December 6th, 1989, a virulent misogynist named Marc Lépine entered a school in Quebec and murdered fourteen women and wounded ten women and four men with a long gun — a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic .223 calibre rifle, which he obtained and owned legally. He hunted women explicitly, screaming “I hate feminists” as he mowed them down, separating men from women before shooting them en masse.
In 1991, in response to this massacre, a number of long guns became restricted weapons including semi-automatics and the class of gun called “sniper rifle”, generally any rifle built for accuracy over long range and/or fitted with scopes for precision firing. And in 1995, a federal long gun registry was established, so owners of any long gun would, like owners of handguns have had to do since the 1930s, register ownership of these longer guns. Any transfer of ownership would be recorded and kept in a database that law enforcement could use to trace the gun to its owner. In addition, to legally obtain the gun, a license proving your competence was required, and the gun registered on purchase.