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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

I have received several unsolicited reports and press releases over the last few weeks on a C68 bill that was passed in Ottawa in late December. Most of the email I have received blast the bill on the basis that it overrides provincial rights and empowers the federal government to create a national gun registry.

Apparently several provinces have said they may not enforce the bill (Alberta and Nova Scotia). Although I have yet to get clear evidence of that.

What are your opinions on this bill and what is your understanding of it?

This question has also been posted in the Western Canada Forum.

[ This Message was edited by: moderator on 2003-01-09 13:04 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Bill C68 was actually passed quite some time ago - 1995 I believe but the final deadlines for it expired on 1 Jan 03.

I don't know everything about it - but in a nutshell it requires that 1) all firearm owners be licenced; initially there was a "grandfather clause" for those who already owned firearms but that expired as of 1 Jan 01. Now anyone wishing to apply for a firearms licence must pass a accredited safety course.
2) As of 1 Jan 03 all firearms in Canada must be registered (This is the point that is drawing more flak than anything)
3) There were rules pertaining to safe storage of firearms - basically lock them up.

As I mentioned earlier it is the registry that is drawing most flak and the biggest sore point. First is the simple requirement to register firearms...second and most recent it was recently revealed that the cost of establishing the registry will be over 1B, rather than the 2M estimate that was initially given.

With regards to enforcement - since this is a federal legislation it will primarily be the RCMP (roughly the equivalent of the US FBI) that will be tasked with enforcing it. So I don't see how a province can say that it will decide "not to enforce it" - they were never going to enforce it whether they supported it or not because it was federal jurisdiction. I suspect that is so much political grandstanding.

My personal views...I've drawn a lot of heat for them from other gun owners, but I'll get the fire extinguisher ready for the flame mail and give them here - since you asked. In general I support most C68. I support the fact that firearm owners should be licenced 100%. I took the safety course and can verify that if you fail it you have no business anywhere near a firearm in the first place.

As for the registry itself - my view is whatever the majority of rank and file, walking the beat police officers want and support is my view. The initial reason given for it was that it would better prepare cops responding to domestic disputes etc if they knew that there was a weapon in the house. If they're for it so am I. Whether they actually are or aren't is a matter of debate so I'll let that one pass.

What I don't like is the poor administration of the system, and the high cost to firearm owners. The CFC approved safety course costs $50 (at least in NS). A licence costs $60 Cdn, and as of 1 Jan it now costs $25 PER GUN to register wpns. (Up until 1 Jan it was free). As you can see, this will add up in a hurry. Most of all - the apparatus set up to handle registration and licencing was(and is) terribly inadequate for the task, creating monumental delays and waits to get anything done. In my case I applied for my firearm licence in Nov, and they haven't even begun to process my application yet because they are so far behind. I've heard much worse stories - particularly for people with handguns or assault rifles.

Thats my opinion. The Canadian Firearm Centre does has a website that explains all this at http://www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Saskie:
I'm really suprised to read your views on the topic. I wasn't expecting that, and believed everybody up there would be pretty torqued off about it. That'll teach me for being ethnocentric.

For some goofy reason, I got a graduate degree in political science a few years back, so I worry as much (perhaps more) about precedent as I do about the logic of a particular policy. Your explanation of the laws up there really gave me the heebie jeebies in that department. Nothing better illustrates that point than gun registration passed on the premise that it would be free, and then administratively tweaked to $25 per gun later on.

I got a kick out of legislators believing a gun license (licence?) exam would insure safe gun owners. That's like saying a driver's license test will put an end to drunk driving, traffic violations, and accidents.

But my first thought was ChesterGolf having to pay $775 to register his 31 guns. OUCH!! Then tack on the cost of building a steel-reinforced vault in his house in order to comply with storage requirements. That's a heck of a tax imposed on the law-abiding, not a dollar of which will reduce crime (assuming Chester's the decent guy he appears to be :smile:).

Also, seing a billion dollar cost for a simple registration program sure makes you wonder how much it'd cost for the ballistic fingerprinting program some folks want down here.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-01-09 18:28 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

I'll say again that I'm not necessarily for or against the registry. Initially it was stated that the police suggested this, although later there were allegations that the spokesperson who did this was "political puppet". I never did hear what actually became of that. My view on registering firearms is if the cops really want it - then we should do it. They have enough to deal with and need all the help they can get.

As for the costs - it (as far as I know) was free to register firearms up until 1 Jan 03. At first I believe that there was a 1 time fee (same price whether 1 gun or 50) - but that was waived and refunds are being issued to anyone who paid it. (Although as you may be able to tell, you might be awhile getting your money with the way things are moving at CFC these days). Right from the get-go, it was to cost $25/gun after 1 Jan 03.

Most gun owners ARE torqued about this bill. I'm torqued about the price but 100% support the requirement for licencing firearm owners. This may be a case of legislating common sense (which was 99.9% of the safety course curriculum) but lets face it, not everyone is as responsible as you and I. I'm sure we both know people we won't hunt with for that reason.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

It was the $25 transfer fee that made me get all those guns before the deadline. Any from now on will cost extra and that could add up in a hurry. I'm not against licensing but am not clear on the reason it is needed, but for the government to try and tell me that reg. firearms will reduce crime is a load of crap. They can't tell me that Joe Bankrobber isn't going to rob a bank because the gun his uses is reg. if fact the criminals will never reg. their weapons. How many gang members have a permit to carry handguns in the USA and Canada??? I doubt very many. $0.02

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

The cost is absurd - especially in light of the massive budget overruns. I'll be very interested to know what happened to all that money considering how much was paid in during the licencing process.

I readily agree that simply licencing firearm owners will do little to solve criminal use of firearms. I also concede to expatriate that mandatory licencing does not ensure that all gun owners will be safe and responsible. It does provide some measure of control and means of preventing people who are careless from having access to a firearm.

As simple and common-sense as my safety exam was - it is frightening to realize that some people have actually failed it! Under the pre-1995 system even these boneheads could have legally bought and used firearms as long as they had a clean criminal record and were 18. That is frightening!

No it won't solve all firearms accidents and will have at best minimal impact on crime but it will reduce accidents.

In Canada (unlike the US) firearm ownership is not a constitutional right but a priviledge. And I strongly feel that it is our responsibility as shooters/hunters/owners to demonstrate that we will be safe with something with the potential to be as dangerous as a firearm.

[ This Message was edited by: saskie on 2003-01-10 14:12 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Thank you for the info Saskie, especially for the http://www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca link. The FAQ on the site helped in understanding C68, this also helps to round out my understanding of some regulations related to "non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited" firearms that ChesterGolf had mentioned a few months ago in another forum.

In researching C68 I was hitting a lot of road blocks on search engines, mostly coming up with opinions either blasting/supporting C68. While entertaining in their colorfullness, opinion pieces are not necessarily the best way to learn the facts about a particular piece of legislation.

Gun safety seems to break into two categories which are mostly mutually exclusive:

- Preventing Accidents (child plays with unsecured handgun shooting self and or friend)
- Preventing Gun Crimes (murder with firearm or something like the domestic abuse case mentioned above, where police officers would like to know if they will be arriving on the scene of a registered gun owner.)

C68 seems to try to do both aspects of gun safety. Attempting to prevent crime via registration of firearms and attempting to prevent accidents by reguiring firearm training certification. Whether it will do either or if it is worth the cost appears to be where the debate gets heated.

[ This Message was edited by: moderator on 2003-01-10 16:22 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

No problem. I predict that it will have reasonable results preventing accidents and almost no effect on crime.

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Personally, it's been my experience that Canadian beer in the hands of Americans is generally more dangerous than American guns in the hands of Canadians. Wink

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-01-10 22:35 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

Of course, things could be worse -- see what happens in a land with no guns and bad beer:

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2017383

I'm curious to see how they write legislation to ban replica guns and not have it apply to toys.

Maybe PETA is right -- animals ARE smarter than people. Any animal knows that if something you ate makes you sick, you shouldn't eat more of it.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-01-11 23:49 ]

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Fire Arms Registry Legislation Bill C68: What is it and wher

I'm kind of suprised that Canada has driven this type of legislation through on a national level. Usually a wave of crime committed with guns "rallies" politicians to draft and find support for this type of gun reform, for instance like the wave of high school shootings that occurred a few years back or the sniper attacks last year.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but isn't Canada's crime rate low anyway? Just trying to understand the need for such legislation even if you are coming from the perspective that a national register will reduce the crime rate.

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