March 10, 2009
CONSERVATIVES TABLE BILL TO SCRAP THE USELESS GUN REGISTRY
Ottawa (10 February 2009) – “While it is frustrating that this wasteful and inefficient registry still exists, I am pleased that our Conservative Party refuses to give up,” states Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville-Wainwright. “My colleague Garry Breitkreuz has worked tirelessly towards the elimination of the registry on behalf of our party, and I was proud to stand with him yesterday as he introduced a Private Members’ Bill to scrap the decade-old long-gun registry.”
The long-gun registry was originally budgeted to cost Canadians $2 million, but the price tag spiralled out of control to an estimated $2 billion a decade later. Benoit has long agreed that it’s time to pull the plug on this useless money pit, because the registry has not saved one single life since it was introduced.
“Although some try to point to the registry as making Canadians more safe, they are wrong,” explains Benoit. “I have done a lot of polling on this in my riding and I know that the vast majority of constituents of Vegreville-Wainwright would rather see their tax dollars spent keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and gangs, rather than trying to ‘control’ citizens who are law-abiding!”
If Breitkreuz’s bill, C-301, receives support from a majority of M.P.s, it will also invite the Auditor General to conduct a public safety test on all gun control measures every five years. The Auditor General’s reports will reassure Canadians that all gun control laws are cost-effective at improving public safety, reducing violent crime and keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.
“As Mr. Breitkreuz stated yesterday, we need hard evidence to guide us in forming cost-effective crime control measures,” says Benoit. “I will certainly do all I can to help ensure this Bill is supported by Members of all federal parties. Having spoken with various MPs over the years, I know that there are Members throughout the House who believe hunters, farmers and sport shooters have been forced to comply with an onerous registration process that made no sense. Mr. Brietkreuz is absolutely right: ‘It’s high time to switch our focus to the bad guys’.”
Bill C-301 also introduces legislative steps to streamline the Firearms Act. The changes will improve efficiency and enhance Canada’s public safety objectives, while still providing our police with all the information they need for effective law enforcement.
Benoit is glad that this bill would finally make public safety the priority of our country’s gun control laws. “The long-gun registry wasn’t working because it targets the wrong people. It’s a waste of time and money to lay a piece of paper beside every gun in the country. And the last I checked, criminals were not hampered in the least by the registry. Those are the people we need to go after if we really want to control crime.”