TORONTO -The Tories are about to move a step closer to fulfilling
their promise to kill the long-gun registry with a final vote in the
House of Commons.
gun registry has been a controversial â€“ and costly â€“ political issue
since it was first debated 15 years ago. Global News takes a look at the
evolution of the federal government's long-gun registry.
The Senate approves the Firearms Act, requiring all gun owners to
register and obtain a license. The cost of the registry is estimated at
$119 million: $2 million covered by taxpayers and the rest generated by
December 2001: The
Canadian Firearms Program says that the cost of the registry has risen
to $527 million, due in part to difficulties with the computer system
being used to implement the program.
The financial tab for the registry is now estimated at $629 million.
Processing of applications is reportedly being bogged down by
complicated registration forms.
Auditor General Sheila Fraser releases a report that estimates the
registry could end up costing more than $1 billion once it is complete,
with registration fees covering just $140 million. Fraser expresses
concern that the costs were kept secret by the government.
January 1, 2003:
The deadline for gun owners to register passes with about 5.8 million
firearms registered. This is about 75 per cent of all non-restricted
firearms requiring registration.
January 3, 2003: Ontarioâ€™s provincial government says the gun registry should be shelved until an audit can be completed.
January 6, 2003:
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia join Ontario
in calling for the gun registry to be suspended until an audit can be
completed and a more cost-efficient solution can be found.
March 24, 2003: Liberals approve another $59 million in funding for the gun registry.
January 7, 2004: Prime Minister Paul Martin launches a review of the registry.
May 20, 2004: The federal government eliminates the firearm registration fee.
June 2005: The Canada Firearms Centre estimates the actual cost of the registry was less than $100 million in 2004.
May 16, 2006:
Auditor General Fraser reports that the registry computer system has
taken three years longer than expected to implement, and costs $90
million, three times more than expected.
June 19, 2006:
The new Conservative government introduces a bill to eliminate the
registry. The legislation fails to pass after Parliament is prorogued in
November 16, 2007: The
government introduces a new bill proposing to eliminate the registration
of rifles and shotguns. The bill would also loosen rules involving
machine-guns by allowing people to transport them to public shooting
The bill is opposed by the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs, and is unpopular with Canadians. It fails to pass.
October 31, 2008: Police are now required to report all guns seized in criminal cases to the firearms registry.
April 1, 2009:
The government introduces a bill in the Senate to eliminate the
registry. The bill proposes to end the registration of rifles and
shotguns, and makes no changes to rules involving machine guns.
May 15, 2009:
The government announces another extension of the long gun amnesty,
giving gun owners another year to register their firearms. The
government also waives registration fees for another year.
November 4, 2009: MPs vote in the House of Commons to scrap the registry. The private memberâ€™s bill is sent to committee.
April 19, 2010: Liberal
leader Michael Ignatieff expresses support for the registry, but
proposes changes he says will make it easier for gun owners to register
their firearms. He proposes eliminating registration fees, and a making
first-time failure to register a non-criminal offence.
Ignatieff says he will require Liberal MPs to oppose abolishing the registry in the next House of Commons vote.
June 3, 2010:
The bill to eliminate the registry is stalled in committee, with
Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois members voting against proceeding.
committee decision constitutes a recommendation that must be put to a
vote in the House of Commons, where MPs can choose to ignore the
recommendation and pass the bill.
August 17, 2010:
RCMP Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak, director general of the Canadian
Firearms Program, is dismissed after nine months in his position. The
RCMP says his rank didn't "meet the classification for the position" but
critics say Cheliak was ousted because he is a vocal supporter of the
long-gun registry. Read the story here.
August 20, 2010:
RCMP Commissioner William Elliott denies reports suggesting the
director general of the national firearms program was removed due to
Conservative political pressure, calling such claims â€śfiction.â€ťÂť Read
the story here.
August 23, 2010: The
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police votes unanimously to endorse a
new national firearms policing strategy and repeats its support for the
national firearms registry. Read the story here.
September 7, 2010:
Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault announces that he will switch sides in the
gun registry debate, and will vote against a bill to scrap the federal
database. Read the story here.
September 14, 2010:
New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton says that enough of his MPs
from rural ridings will act to protect the long-gun registry in an
upcoming parliamentary vote. Read the story here.
September 20, 2010:
MPs return to the House of Commons for the fall session of Parliament.
The federal long-gun registry comes a step closer to being saved after
New Democrat MP Peter Stoffer becomes the sixth member of the party to
switch sides and say he will vote against a bill killing the database.
Read the story here.
September 21, 2010:
Both the Liberals and Conservatives made last-minute pleas to the NDP to
support their respective sides in the final debate on the long-gun
registry. Read the story here.
June 3, 2011: Throne speech promises to kill the gun registry. Read the story here.
Sept 22, 2010: In a close Commons vote, 153 MPs vote in favour of scrapping the registry, with 151 against.
October 5, 2010:
A poll conducted for Global News and Postmedia News finds that 66 per
cent of Canadians back the long-gun registry. Read the story here.
October 25, 2011: The Conservative government introduces a bill in the House of Commons to scrap the long gun registry. Read it here.
November 15, 2011: Scrapping the requirement to register rifles and shotguns could fuel illegal firearms trafficking across the Canadian border, warns an
internal federal memo.
November 22, 2011: The federal information watchdog says a government move to destroy gun-registry records sets a bad precedent.
December 13, 2011: Quebec announces that it is preparing for a legal fight with the federal government should the latter pass legislation to abolish the long-gun registry.
February 7, 2012:
The Conservative government is curtailing the House of Commons debate
on ending the long-gun registry. They've used their majority to push
through a time allocation motion to limit further debate to one day at
report stage and two days at third reading. The motion passed 150-132.
bill eliminates the requirement for gun owners to register their long
guns and other weapons that are not restricted or prohibited, and
provides for the destruction of records currently held in the Canadian
February 13, 2012: The bill to dismantle and destroy the long-gun registry is in the House of Commons at third reading.
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