[Canada] Quebec court to decide fate of long-gun registry data


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Ar180shooter
April 5, 2012, 01:12 PM
Please move if in wrong section.

So, the bill to end the registration of long guns in Canada has passed the third reading in the Senate and should achieve Royal Assent shortly. This will end the requirement to register long guns in Canada. Personally, I'm very excited about this; however, one of the provinces is suing the Federal government to keep the registry data so they can start their own.

Ministers from the Harper government are set to celebrate the official end of the oft-maligned long-gun registry this morning following the passage at third reading late Wednesday of C-19, the Conservatives' bill to not only end the registry, but destroy all the data it contains about registered gun owners across Canada.

But while Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government celebrates in Ottawa, the Quebec government is poised before a Montreal judge Thursday, armed with 68 pages of legal arguments filed Tuesday in an attempt to block the destruction of the records.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, his parliamentary secretary, Candice Hoeppner, and Quebec Minister of State Maxime Bernier are set to hold a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons at 9 a.m. ET.

Bill C-19, the Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, passed at third reading in the Senate just after 5:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, by a vote of 50-27. The legislation is expected to receive royal assent on Thursday, the final step in becoming law.

In anticipation of its passage, the Quebec government filed arguments in court, seeking an injunction if C-19 becomes law to protect the registry's data until such time as a judge can consider Quebec's position that the federal government's actions are unconstitutional.
Data destruction 'unconstitutional'

Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier said Tuesday that more than a million long guns would disappear from the radar screens of law enforcement agencies in Quebec if the data is destroyed.
Quebec justice minister Jean-Marc Fournier, seen here in at the National Assembly on Wednesday, argues the bill to scrap the long-gun registry and destroy its data is unconstitutional. The Quebec government is in court in Montreal Thursday seeking an injunction to block the destruction of the gun registry's records. Quebec justice minister Jean-Marc Fournier, seen here in at the National Assembly on Wednesday, argues the bill to scrap the long-gun registry and destroy its data is unconstitutional. The Quebec government is in court in Montreal Thursday seeking an injunction to block the destruction of the gun registry's records. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

"In 2010, we [seized] 2,500 guns from people who owned those guns, because they were dangerous [to] themselves or other people," Fournier said.

The province believes that it has a right to the data because it helped collect it and claims that its destruction is unconstitutional.

Quebec has long demanded relevant registry information be transferred to the province, so it can create its own list. It says starting a new registry from scratch would be prohibitively expensive.

"What we want is to have all the information that is pertinent, for our own registry," Fournier told reporters on Tuesday.

Quebec's opposition parties support the preservation of the gun registry, but Parti Québécois justice critic Bernard Drainville accused the Charest government of waiting too long to make its move.

The injunction, filed in Quebec Superior Court, asks for the registry to be preserved until a judge renders an ultimate decision.
Feds believe data must be purged

C-19 seeks to eliminate the requirement for gun owners to register their long guns and other weapons that are not restricted or prohibited. It also provides for the destruction of records that are currently held in the Canadian Firearms Registry, a measure that caught many off-guard when the bill was introduced in October.
Longtime gun registry opponent Candice Hoeppner gives a thumbs-up as she votes alongside Eve Adams to pass bill C-19, which would scrap the long-gun registry, in the House of Commons on Feb.15. The Senate also passed C-19 late Wednesday, and royal assent is expected Thursday. Longtime gun registry opponent Candice Hoeppner gives a thumbs-up as she votes alongside Eve Adams to pass bill C-19, which would scrap the long-gun registry, in the House of Commons on Feb.15. The Senate also passed C-19 late Wednesday, and royal assent is expected Thursday. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Opposition MPs were angry that the government is destroying the data, saying the records should remain intact for police or the provinces to use in the event they want to establish their own registry once the federal one is gone.

The government wants to scrap the registry because it says it is a waste of money, ineffective at improving public safety and preventing crimes and it targets law-abiding gun owners instead of criminals. Getting rid of the registry means getting rid of the information in it, the government has said in defending the move to destroy the data.

About 7.1 million non-restricted firearms were registered in the database as of September.

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abq87120
April 5, 2012, 11:51 PM
This Canadian boondoggle was probably one of the top three anti-gun projects that I believe did not contribute to solving even one gun related crime. Billions of dollars for a feel-good law. I can't wait for Obama's second term. NOT!

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