The Government of Canada Will Not Reintroduce Controversial Long Gun Registry

Keeping communities safe and reducing violent crime is a priority for the Government of Canada.

The existing Firearms Marking Regulations under the Firearms Act, scheduled to come into force on December 1, 2020, have been deferred until December 1, 2023. The Federal Government will use the deferral period to continue consulting with partners and develop an effective markings regime that is appropriate for Canada, while balancing the needs of law enforcement with the impact on firearms businesses and owners, while prioritizing public safety.

Firearms markings enables law enforcement to trace crime guns, and is most successful when paired with records of ownership and imports. In the absence of record-keeping requirements for non-restricted firearms, consultations with law enforcement and industry led to the conclusion that the existing Regulations, as conceived in 2004, are ineffective in facilitating successful tracing of crime guns.

The Government of Canada Will Not Reintroduce Controversial Long Gun Registry

Originally the program required the registration of all non-restricted firearms but this requirement was dropped on April 6, 2012 by the coming into force of Bill C-19. Bill C-19 also mandated the destruction of the non-restricted records of the registry as soon as feasible.

The province of Quebec immediately filed a request for an injunction to prevent the destruction of the data. A temporary injunction was granted by the Superior Court of Quebec on April 5, 2012 to prevent the data for Quebec residents from being destroyed until legal arguments could be heard.

On March 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Quebec (AG) v Canada (AG) that the destruction of long-gun registry records was within the constitutional power of Parliament to make criminal law, denying the Government of Quebec’s legal challenge and allowing for those records to be destroyed.

While the Regulations have been deferred, the Government remains committed to firearms markings regulations as part of its broader firearms strategy to protect public safety, including the prohibition of “assault-style” firearms announced this past spring. Wiki

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