PM tries to enlist Ontario gun owners to help scrap federal gun registry

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper set his sights on the federal long gun registry Saturday, asking a meeting of recreational sportsmen to help him build enough support in Parliament to scrap the registry.
Harper urged members of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to contact opposition MPs and pressure them to support legislation that would target the six year old program.
"We are looking to unite a majority of MPs in repealing the long gun registry," Harper told the group in a speech.
"The leaders of the opposition parties continue to be against this. But there are MPs in all these parties that know what we know, that law-abiding hunters and farmers are not part of the crime problem."
"I challenge you to press these MPs to follow their consciences."
In its entire lifetime, Harper's minority government has never brought a bill to abolish the registry to a vote, fearing there would not be enough support in the House of Commons.
Instead, the Tories have reduced the registry's budget and brought in fee waivers and amnesty for gun owners who haven't registered.
After Harper's plea to gunowners to get more involved, an official with the Prime Minister's Office frantically contacted the media to point out there is no government legislation currently before the House of Commons.
Dimitri Soudas would not say if the bill from the Tories' first mandate that died on the order paper would ever be re-introduced.
"We urge opposition MPs to work with the government in order to put an end to a wasteful program that did nothing to prevent crime," Soudas said in an email.
"(The registry) really should be abolished. He (Harper) is absolutely correct," said Frank DiRocco, an avid hunter and angler from Woodbridge, Ont., who was attending the Federation's 81st annual general meeting where Harper spoke.
"Hunters are not the ones on the streets breaking the law - they're enjoying the sport and the country," he said, adding he wants to teach his 12-year-old son to understand nature and respect the nation's resources, but feels the registry makes this very difficult.
Jim Magee, a cattle farmer from Drumbo, Ont., near Woodstock, called the registry "aggravation."
He said wild animals, like coyotes, will sometimes kill his livestock.
"As soon as I get my gun out and get my ammunition that's locked away, the coyote is a mile away," Magee said, who is also a former police officer.
"But if I keep (my gun) out and it gets stolen, I'm in trouble."
The registry was brought in by the former Liberal administration and has been constantly derided by the Conservatives for being a source of cost overruns and unnecessary red tape.
Harper told those gathered the registry was a prime example of how the previous government's approach to criminal justice was flawed.
"Instead of action on crime, we got the federal long gun registry, which became a bloated bureaucratic nightmare to responsible hunters, farmers and rural Canadians," he said.
"It cost taxpayers some $2 billion and it hasn't done a thing to reduce gun crime."
Magee said he was upset when the long gun registry was put in place for that very reason.
"It was a useless exercise to appease an urban population," he said.
"I don't have a problem with reasonable precautions - safe storage, and having an acquisition license."
Harper made his comments as Vancouver has seen an recent upswing in gangland related firearm murders, although he never touched on the issue in his Saturday speech.
"(The registry cost is) huge money that could have been used in a lot of other areas instead of a falsehood - letting people believe it's going to solve crime," said Todd Orton, from Midland, Ont.
"That's not what the records are showing."

Organizations: House of Commons, Ontario Federation of Anglers, Conservatives

Geographic location: Ontario, Woodbridge, Drumbo Woodstock Vancouver Midland

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Recent comments

  • Norm
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    If I may be permitted to post here as a U.S. citizen, I would like to offer the following.

    It is written into the U.S. Constitution that the people have the right to bear arms . Canada, (and I love the country and it's people) has been taken for a ride British style on firearms.

    You are not given the inherent right of self defense by following Great Britain's example. You are supposed to just submit to the criminal, and sacrifice your money or life to them.

    Wake up Canadians! Demand your god given rights, and tell the liberals where to go. Give them directions if they need them.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    It's about time he got rid of that silly attempt at social engineering. It's not hunters with deer rifles that are shooting each other in Vancouver and Toronto.

  • yep
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    canada is a mess because of liberals who embrace ungodly actions. don't worry god will send you were you belong unless you change your ways. canada doesn't have a second amendment. america has been infiltrated by canadian liberals who have been trying to destroy the US constitution. look at granholm in michigan an abject failure. with her reading glasses she trys to look smart but you know there are bats in the bellfree. canadians who believe in protecting their own need to take to the streets and show your tru strength. otherwise i'll just have another cup of tea. you have a great prime minister much better then barac. barac is so busy trying to redistribute workers wealth to the non-worker that for now he's holding off on his plans to destroy the us constitution

  • Norm
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    If I may be permitted to post here as a U.S. citizen, I would like to offer the following.

    It is written into the U.S. Constitution that the people have the right to bear arms . Canada, (and I love the country and it's people) has been taken for a ride British style on firearms.

    You are not given the inherent right of self defense by following Great Britain's example. You are supposed to just submit to the criminal, and sacrifice your money or life to them.

    Wake up Canadians! Demand your god given rights, and tell the liberals where to go. Give them directions if they need them.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    It's about time he got rid of that silly attempt at social engineering. It's not hunters with deer rifles that are shooting each other in Vancouver and Toronto.

  • yep
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    canada is a mess because of liberals who embrace ungodly actions. don't worry god will send you were you belong unless you change your ways. canada doesn't have a second amendment. america has been infiltrated by canadian liberals who have been trying to destroy the US constitution. look at granholm in michigan an abject failure. with her reading glasses she trys to look smart but you know there are bats in the bellfree. canadians who believe in protecting their own need to take to the streets and show your tru strength. otherwise i'll just have another cup of tea. you have a great prime minister much better then barac. barac is so busy trying to redistribute workers wealth to the non-worker that for now he's holding off on his plans to destroy the us constitution