Gun owners continue to protest Quebec’s Firearms Registry
Quebec’s Firearms Registry – Owners of ‘non-restricted’ firearms (long guns) in the province of Quebec have until January 29th 2019 to register their guns or they can face fines from as much as $500 up to $5,000. Bill 64, the Firearms Registration Act was adopted by the National Assembly in June of 2016 to replace Canada’s Federal Registry that was dropped in 2012 – but it has been strongly opposed from the start by a majority of members of the National Firearm Association (NFA). The NFA suggested its members hold out until the very last minute to register as a form of protest – and it appears most of them have welcomed the idea, with only 284,000 guns being registered as of December 21st 2018. According to the Quebec government, there are approximately 1.6 million long guns in the province.
“Sport shooters and hunters feel unfairly targeted by the regulations, as if they were potential criminals,” said NFA lawyer Guy Lavergne in a recent interview with CBC’s Quebec AM, “The new rules mean gun owners will have to carry proof of registration with them and present it to police or conservation officers if asked.” He also maintains that ‘the registration isn’t necessary because legal gun owners have already undergone licensing and background checks’.
Police officers maintain that a registry is helpful when responding to domestic violence calls, as it gives them access to new information about guns and who keeps them in their homes. And according to a recent Léger Marketing poll, the majority of people in Quebec approve of the long-gun registry and would like to see it enforced. Several mass shootings in the province over the years, including the École Polytechnique massacre in December of 1989, the Dawson College shooting in September of 2006 and the Quebec City Mosque shootings in January of 2017 – gave voice to a need for better gun control laws and the registry. For more information – or to register a gun