The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

From CBC: Police gun registry queries jumped last year: report

Posted by cgccanada on November 6, 2009

By Chris Hall, CBC News

The number of police officers using the firearms registry jumped last year, according to a report prepared by the RCMP.

Figures contained in the Mounties’ annual performance report show that the number of queries to the Canadian Firearms Registry rose 24 per cent in 2008-09.

The report also says the government spent just $8.4 million on the registry last year — a third of what had been budgeted, in part because it needed 66 fewer full-time workers than the 131 anticipated.

The information became public just a day after Liberal and New Democrat MPs from rural ridings voted with the government to scrap the long-gun registry, which covers hunting rifles and shotguns.

That bill, put forth by Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner, must now go to committee for further study. However, opponents concede there is little chance of stopping it from becoming law.

The report released today blames confusion over the future of the registry for a sharp drop in the number of firearms owners who renewed their licences. The report says 100,000 gun owners failed to renew their five-year licences despite the government’s decision to waive the fees.

Owners of rifles and shotguns still need to be licenced, even if they are no longer required to register those firearms.

Some of the information included in the annual performance report comes from the commissioner of firearms’ 2008 report, which has yet to be tabled by Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan, despite Friday being the deadline.

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