The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

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NDP urges MPs to keep gun registry

Posted by cgccanada on June 29, 2010

Jun 17, 2010
Cottage Country Now

(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to federal MPs and forwarded to the Almaguin News with a request it be published.)

As the federal NDP candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka, I am writing to urge you to vote against Private Member’s Bill C-391, which would eliminate the registration of long guns and the records it currently holds.

The Firearms Act distinguishes Canada from our neighbour to the south. It reflects a disposition toward the public good. It is supported by millions of Canadians and dozens of organizations, including the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, as I’m sure you know.

As a former ER nurse, I can certainly attest to the suffering and death caused by firearms. And I can appreciate the assistance a registry provides to frontline staff dealing with mental illness and violence, domestic or otherwise. All of this is well documented.

Nevertheless, I cannot be unaware of the opposition in Northern Ontario to the long-gun registry. Owners of firearms complain that the process is cumbersome, that they feel targeted, even criminalized, by the requirements both to obtain a license and to register all guns in their possession. During the 2008 election, I spoke with self-described NDP supporters in Nipissing-Timiskaming who planned to vote Conservative based on the gun registry issue and no other.

But dismantling the gun registry is not the way to address their concerns. Nor is allowing the matter to be defined as urban vs. rural, as if all the violence is in the cities or caused by handguns. In fact, studies conclude that Northern Ontario communities have higher rates of long gun ownership and gun-related injuries than the provincial average (CAEP presentation, May 13, 2010).

The gun registry is a socially responsible, if imperfect, creation that has contributed to improved public safety by reducing gun-related suicides and homicides since its inception.

That seems to be the perception of the majority. Please don’t let a small but vocal minority government undo a fundamentally positive direction for Canada.

Dianna Allen
Federal NDP Candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka

http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/opinion/letters/article/835127

(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to federal MPs and forwarded to the Almaguin News with a
request it be published.)
As the federal NDP candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka, I am writing to urge you to vote against Private
Member’s Bill C-391, which would eliminate the registration of long guns and the records it currently
holds.
The Firearms Act distinguishes Canada from our neighbour to the south. It reflects a disposition toward
the public good. It is supported by millions of Canadians and dozens of organizations, including the
Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Association
of Emergency Physicians, as I’m sure you know.
As a former ER nurse, I can certainly attest to the suffering and death caused by firearms. And I can
appreciate the assistance a registry provides to frontline staff dealing with mental illness and violence,
domestic or otherwise. All of this is well documented.
Nevertheless, I cannot be unaware of the opposition in Northern Ontario to the long-gun registry. Owners
of firearms complain that the process is cumbersome, that they feel targeted, even criminalized, by the
requirements both to obtain a license and to register all guns in their possession. During the 2008
election, I spoke with self-described NDP supporters in Nipissing-Timiskaming who planned to vote
Conservative based on the gun registry issue and no other.
But dismantling the gun registry is not the way to address their concerns. Nor is allowing the matter to be
defined as urban vs. rural, as if all the violence is in the cities or caused by handguns. In fact, studies
conclude that Northern Ontario communities have higher rates of long gun ownership and gun-related
injuries than the provincial average (CAEP presentation, May 13, 2010).
The gun registry is a socially responsible, if imperfect, creation that has contributed to improved public
safety by reducing gun-related suicides and homicides since its inception.
That seems to be the perception of the majority. Please don’t let a small but vocal minority government
undo a fundamentally positive direction for Canada.
Dianna Allen
Federal NDP Candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to federal MPs and forwarded to the Almaguin News with arequest it be published.)

As the federal NDP candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka, I am writing to urge you to vote against Private

Member’s Bill C-391, which would eliminate the registration of long guns and the records it currently

holds.

The Firearms Act distinguishes Canada from our neighbour to the south. It reflects a disposition toward

the public good. It is supported by millions of Canadians and dozens of organizations, including the

Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Association

of Emergency Physicians, as I’m sure you know.

As a former ER nurse, I can certainly attest to the suffering and death caused by firearms. And I can

appreciate the assistance a registry provides to frontline staff dealing with mental illness and violence,

domestic or otherwise. All of this is well documented.

Nevertheless, I cannot be unaware of the opposition in Northern Ontario to the long-gun registry. Owners

of firearms complain that the process is cumbersome, that they feel targeted, even criminalized, by the

requirements both to obtain a license and to register all guns in their possession. During the 2008

election, I spoke with self-described NDP supporters in Nipissing-Timiskaming who planned to vote

Conservative based on the gun registry issue and no other.

But dismantling the gun registry is not the way to address their concerns. Nor is allowing the matter to be

defined as urban vs. rural, as if all the violence is in the cities or caused by handguns. In fact, studies

conclude that Northern Ontario communities have higher rates of long gun ownership and gun-related

injuries than the provincial average (CAEP presentation, May 13, 2010).

The gun registry is a socially responsible, if imperfect, creation that has contributed to improved public

safety by reducing gun-related suicides and homicides since its inception.

That seems to be the perception of the majority. Please don’t let a small but vocal minority government

undo a fundamentally positive direction for Canada.

Dianna Allen

Federal NDP Candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka

Posted in Canadian Government, Gun Registry | Comments Off on NDP urges MPs to keep gun registry

Gun lobby sole representative of civil society on Canadian delegation at UN

Posted by cgccanada on June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010- The world’s governments are meeting at the UN in New York this week to discuss the implementation of a global strategy to combat the illegal gun trade. Small arms or firearms are used to kill more than 300,000 people each year worldwide and to injure many more. Many of the victims are civilians, including women and children. Violence fuelled by small arms fuels conflict and crime, undermines good governance, threatens human rights and impedes development. Virtually every illegal gun begins as a legal gun, and for more than a decade, governments around the world have been working on collaborative strategies to reduce the diversion of small arms to illegal markets. Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations are meeting at the United Nations in New York to review progress on international obligations at the Biennial Meeting of States on the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the lllicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All lts Aspects. In the past, Canada was viewed as a driving force behind global efforts to combat the illegal gun trade. Not only are illegal weapons a problem in conflict zones, but illegal guns fuel violence in Canada.

For the first time ever, the only representative of “civil society” on the Canadian delegation is representing the gun lobby. In the past, both anti-violence NGOs, such as Project Ploughshares and gun owners associations were represented on the Canadian delegation.

The participation of Steven Torino on the Canadian delegation was publicized on the gun lobby message board “Canadian Gun Nutz” yesterday by the Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. He wrote: “CILA’s Tony Bernardo and CSSA’s Steve Torino are currently in New York attending the UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons; Tony as part of the NGOs and Steve, as a member of the Canadian Government Delegation. In other words, we have our reps on the inside and outside of the process. They will be making a full report when they return next week.”1 Torino’s participation has been confirmed from sources at the UN.

All countries, including Canada, report to the summit on their progress in implementing the UN Programme of Action (PoA) which was agreed to in 2001. Under the PoA, our government has committed itself to keep its citizens safe from gunfire and ensure that Canada is not responsible for causing gun violence in other countries. Our PoA responsibilities include:

* Imposing strict regulation on arms brokers who are Canadian citizens, or are operating in Canadian territory
* Marking all Canadian produced guns at the point of manufacture, and marking all guns imported to or exported from Canada to enable tracing
* Managing arms stockpiles and ensuring safe disposal of surplus weapons
* Liaising with states in need of assistance in solving the gun violence epidemic.

In addition, some maintain that the existing licensing and registration system is key to fulfilling our obligations to combat the illegal gun trade. Canada is supposed to have a national commission on small arms to provide advice and support to the government in implementing its international obligations.

Wendy Cukier, President, Coalition for Gun Control said: “Canadians want action to prevent gun violence. Canadians want their government to take a strong stand on the fight against the illicit trade in small arms. The Canadian Government has already caved to pressure from the gun lobby and postponed once again the regulations on marking firearms, essential to fulfil our international obligations. Canada’s three major policing organizations – the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Association of Police Boards and the Canadian Police Association all called on the Conservative Government to pass these regulations because of the threat posed by the illegal gun trade. Canada has failed to ratify the OAS Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms which it signed on to in 1997. Bill C-391, currently before parliament, threatens to dismantle gun control in Canada undermining efforts to prevent gun violence and combat the illegal gun trade. Canada used to be leading the way on the international effort to combat the illicit trade in small arms, but its position is steadily slipping.”

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Missing the mark

Posted by cgccanada on June 15, 2010

By North Shore News, June 11, 2010

The federal government’s push to kill the long gun registry is irrational.

The private member’s bill to abolish the controversial database, widely supported by Conservatives and by a handful of opposition MPs, will achieve nothing beyond buying a few rural votes.

As its critics are quick to point out, the registry — basically an electronic list — cost taxpayers a mind-boggling $1 billion to create. True, this is as inexcusable as it is incomprehensible, but it is not by itself a reason to end the project. At this point, the registry costs just $3-4 million annually to maintain — peanuts by federal standards. Its death will save that relatively small sum, but it will not recoup the initial outlay. It will just mean that, rather than a billion-dollar database, that initial outlay will have bought us nothing.

Police in B.C. have made it clear they want the registry to stay. Officers here search it close to 3,000 times daily in the course of their work. Surely, as the frontline workers most likely to come face to face with a gun on the job, they are best positioned to judge the registry’s value — and in their estimation it’s worthwhile.

The only people who adamantly oppose the database are gun owners themselves or the ideologues who support them. Registering a gun is no more onerous or unfair than registering a vehicle — some people just don’t want to do it. The registry is being killed for no other reason than to appease this group. There is nothing in it for the rest of us except an erosion of public safety.

http://www.nsnews.com/news/Missing+mark/3141664/story.html

Posted in Canadian Government, Canadian gun control, Gun Registry | Comments Off on Missing the mark

Despite Risks to Public Safety, Harper Wants Majority so that Conservatives Can Dismantle Gun Registry

Posted by cgccanada on September 11, 2009

Toronto, ON, September 10, 2009: In a closed meeting, held last week in Sault Ste. Marie, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a group of Conservative supporters that he needs a majority mandate so the Conservatives can proceed with their plan to dismantle gun control. Police, women’s groups and public safety experts across the country support the control of all firearms in order to reduce the risk of dangerous people having access to guns. They have explicitly opposed Harper’s plans to dismantle the registration of rifles and shotguns because without information about who owns guns and the guns they own, there is no effective way to prevent dangerous people from getting firearms.

Statistics show that, in Canada, rifles and shotguns are the guns most often used in teen suicide, domestic homicide and murders of police. Legal guns are often misused by their owners or diverted to illegal markets. Although handguns figure prominently in urban crime, rifles and shotguns account for more than one third of guns recovered in large cities and outnumber handguns 2 to 1 in smaller communities like York Region in Ontario and Surrey, BC. With stronger controls on rifles and shotguns homicides, suicides and robberies have declined substantially. Although significant money was spent setting up the system to license gun owners and register firearms, RCMP estimate that dismantling the registry would save only $3 million a year… more

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From IANSA: Victims of gun violence pledge to continue to defend Canada’s gun control law

Posted by cgccanada on July 22, 2009

Toronto – “Some politicians seem to be preoccupied with the costs of gun control or appeasing the gun lobby but they are forgetting the huge costs many of us have paid for inadequate gun control.” Priscilla de Villiers, former president of CAVEAT and victims advocate said “Have they learned nothing from the deaths of our children? The inquest into the murder of my daughter called for licensing of gun owners and registration of all guns. I have been going to Ottawa to plead with politicians to do the right thing for more than a decade. I have attended dozens of press conferences. I have testified before more parliamentary committees than I knew existed. While it is too early to evaluate the impact of the 1995 law, which was not fully implemented until 2003, the Canadian Public Health Association and others have argued that the progressive tightening of gun laws in Canada has contributed to reducing gun death and injury. In 1991, when I began this journey, there were 1,444 gun deaths and in 2001 there were 842. Firearm robberies have declined dramatically over the decade by 64% since 1991, from 8,995 to 3,474. Domestic homicides with firearms have fallen according to the latest report on intimate partner homicide from Statistics Canada. The police are using the system 1,500 times each day and have reported case after case where the system allowed them to remove guns from people who were a risk.”

Nastaran Yadollahi of Toronto said, “My brother Soroush was shot and killed in Toronto earlier this year. We still don’t know the reason, who did it, or where the gun came from? All we know is that we lost a young man with a bright future and our lives are irreparably damaged. It is hard even to put into words the costs for me, his father, and his mother, who are also here today. However, there is no doubt in my mind that stronger controls on guns are important, not just in Canada but in the US, as guns know no borders. My family has committed to working with victims of gun violence and community groups to fight the scourge of guns. We ask all politicians to place a priority on public safety. They must support strong controls in Canada, help keep our borders strong and work internationally for better controls. Our family is committed to working to prevent others from suffering as we have.”…more

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Guns in the News: Manitoba sends $1.2M in guns to Saudi Arabia in mysterious sale

Posted by cgccanada on July 13, 2009

By Mary Agnes Welch, Winnipeg Free Press

July 2, 2009

WINNIPEG — Manitoba exported a cache of guns worth $1.2 million to Saudi Arabia last year, but the federal government won’t say who sold them, who bought them, or what they were used for.

According to international-trade data available on the Industry Canada website, Manitoba exported a total of $3.1 million in “arms and ammunition” to foreign countries last year. That could include anything from flame-throwers to shotgun cartridges to rocket-launchers, and it’s double what the province exported in 2004.

Except for Manitoba’s guns, Canada sold virtually no other weapons or ammunition to Saudi Arabia last year.

Ontario was the next biggest exporter of arms to Saudi Arabia, at only $61,000.

Saudi Arabia, the Middle Eastern theocracy frequently criticized for its oppression of women, religious minorities and political dissidents, made a surprise appearance on Manitoba’s 2008 export list. The country was the biggest buyer of Manitoba arms and ammunition.

More data provided by Statistics Canada suggest the goods included 110 rifles meant for sport hunting or target shooting.

The data baffled Manitoba peace groups and raised more questions than Ottawa was willing to answer… More

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Conservative MP’s bid to abolish gun registry fails

Posted by cgccanada on May 27, 2009

David Akin, Canwest News Service
National Post Published: Monday, May 25, 2009

OTTAWA — An attempt by a Saskatchewan Conservative MP to abolish the controversial long-gun registry quietly died Monday.

Garry Breitkreuz, who represents a riding in rural Saskatchewan, had introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons aimed at scrapping the controversial registry and the bill was to be debated in the House of Commons Monday morning. But Mr. Breitkreuz failed to show up for the debate and, according to rules of procedure in the House, that meant his private member’s bill now falls to the bottom of the priority list. MPs have introduced more than 190 private member’s bills and must count on a lottery system to have their bill advanced. The Coalition for Gun Control, a lobby group, had opposed Mr. Breitkreuz’s bill, saying it would effectively gut gun control in Canada. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police also opposed Breitkreuz’s bill.

While the move to abolish the long-gun registry is popular in many English-speaking rural areas in Canada — areas where the Conservatives are the dominant political party — it was less popular in urban areas and in Quebec — areas where the Conservatives need to grow support. Nathan Cullen, an NDP MP from British Columbia who supports the gun registry, said he believes Mr. Breitkreuz’s failure to attend the debate on his own bill was no accident but was a way for the Conservatives to back away from the issue.

“This is a huge step down for them,” Mr. Cullen said.

Mr. Breitkreuz was not available for comment but an aide said that he allowed his bill, C-301, to die in favour of a similar bill, C-391, put forward by Manitoba Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner. Ms. Hoeppner’s bill would require registration of guns that are either prohibited or restricted. Hunting rifles, generally speaking, are neither restricted nor prohibited. If her bill became law, individuals still would be required to have a valid firearms licence, and to go through a police background check and safety training to purchase or possess firearms and to purchase ammunition. Individuals would also continue to be required to register prohibited and restricted firearms, such as handguns.

Private member’s bills, like the one from Mr. Breitkreuz and Ms. Hoeppner, rarely become law. Meanwhile, in April, the government introduced its own legislation to dismantle the long-gun registry but did so in the Senate. That bill, S-5, has essentially the same objective as Hoeppner’s private member’s bill. The Conservatives’ political opponents saw the move to introduce legislation in the Senate as a half-hearted attempt by the government to look as if it was trying to kill the registry without actually doing so. The Liberals, who back the gun registry, hold a majority of seats there and the Conservatives have provided no timetable for the legislation’s advance through the Senate.

When his bill was tabled in February, Mr. Breitkreuz called the gun registry “a useless money pit” and won the enthusiastic backing of many gun registry opponents. “I believe Canadians would rather see their tax dollars keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and gangs, instead of trying to control law-abiding citizens,” Mr. Breitkreuz said at the time.

As recently as March 21, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a speech to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, was urging supporters of Breitkreuz’s bill to pressure their MPs to get behind that bill. Mr. Harper’s appearance came days after Mr. Breitkreuz faced an uproar over plans to address a dinner where the organizers, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, gave away a Beretta semi-automatichandgun as a raffle prize.

At the Harper event, organizers gave away a hunting package, which included a rifle. Earlier this month, the Harper government again extended an amnesty for firearms owners to register unlicensed guns, giving owners until May 16, 2010 a chance to register their weapons. Conservatives argue the long-gun registry only penalizes law-abiding Canadians and does nothing to keep illegal guns from ending up in the hands of criminals.

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The Conservative Party’s Talking Points Leaked

Posted by cgccanada on May 21, 2009

From Wikileaks:

Canadian Conservative Party May stump speach and talking points for backbenchers. The document contains a number of current issues of interest to Canadians.

Our source states: “Just when you thought you elected a real politician, the central office of Stephen Harper comes in to tell your representative what to do. Just like was done when the Harper crew went after Mulroney, no questions are allowed.”

Check it out here

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Gun control victim in Harper legislation

Posted by cgccanada on May 20, 2009

WENDY CUKIER
April 07, 2009 1:00 a.m.
Metro Toronto

After a high-profile shooting, politicians flock to cameras to express outrage and sympathy for the
victims. But as elections loom they focus on the complex calculus around votes. Many Canadians are
aware of the influence of the powerful National Rifle Association in the U.S., but are astonished to
learn how the gun lobby drives the agenda in Canada. Speaking recently to the Ontario Federation of
Anglers and Hunters, Prime Minister Stephen Harper advocated dismantling essential parts of gun
control in Canada and then introduced legislation to the Senate. The proposed law will eliminate the
registration of rifles and shotguns, including the powerful semi-automatic rifle like the one used by
Marc Lépine at L’Ecole Polytechnique in  1989.
The gun lobby cries, “Punish criminals, not law-abiding gun owners.” But where do criminals get their
guns? While smuggled handguns fuel crime, so do Canadian guns diverted through theft and illegal
sales. And legal gun owners sometimes go off the rails. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
say any gun in the wrong hands is dangerous. All firearm owners need to be licensed and all firearms
need to be registered.
How exactly does filling in forms constitute “punishment.” We need licences to drive. In most cities we
need permits to own dogs and even cats. It’s not called “punishment.” It’s called being responsible and
accountable.Certainly, too much money was spent licensing two million gun owners and registering seven million
firearms — $100 million per year over 10 years according to the auditor general. But the money is
gone. It can’t be reinvested. The RCMP says ending the registration of long guns will save about $3
million per year.
Controlling firearms is not a panacea, but it does reduce the risk of gun violence. What sense does it
make to dismantle a system that is working? Suicides, particularly among youth and murders of
women with guns, have plummeted. Homicides with rifles and shotguns have declined precipitously —
thirty-two people were murdered with long guns in 2007 compared to 107 in 1991.
Priscilla deVilliers, whose daughter Nina was abducted and murdered, reminds us: “Six separate
inquests recommended licensing and registration of guns, including the inquest into my daughter’s
death.”

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