Simms ponders vote on long-gun registry

Rob Antle
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Other Liberal MPs on side with party as Conservatives attack

Scott Simms is the only Liberal MP from this province still pondering his vote on a Conservative private member's motion that would abolish the long-gun registry.

Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff has indicated the vote will be whipped, with all Liberals expected to support the party.

Scott Simms

Ottawa -

Scott Simms is the only Liberal MP from this province still pondering his vote on a Conservative private member's motion that would abolish the long-gun registry.

Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff has indicated the vote will be whipped, with all Liberals expected to support the party.

The Liberals have vowed to vote against Bill C-391, tabled by Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner.

Simms, Labrador MP Todd Russell and Avalon MP Scott Andrews were among eight Liberals who voted in favour of the Conservative motion at an early stage.

Andrews said his concerns have since been assuaged by changes proposed by Ignatieff to axe fees, simplify the registration form and decriminalize offences. Russell echoed those arguments, according to a Canwest News Service report.

Only Simms has yet to indicate how he will vote.

"We'll see," the Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor MP said in a recent interview on Parliament Hill.

Simms stressed that the bill is still in the early stages, and has yet to even go to committee.

The Conservatives have twisted the knife over potential divisions in the Liberal camp, buying radio ads in ridings held by the eight Liberals who previously voted to scrap the registry.

But Simms is nonplussed.

"I don't need the Conservatives to tell me what the mood is in my riding," Simms said.

He said that mood may be shifting. For most of the past four years, his constituents wanted the registry scrapped. But over the past few months, he said he's received more feedback about keeping it.

Simms said he will shop changes proposed by Ignatieff around his riding.

"I'm going to take my time with this issue," he said.

Simms has exhibited a maverick streak in the past.

In 2004, he voted with the Conservatives on a motion that "deplored" the attitude of then-Liberal prime minister Paul Martin on Atlantic Accord talks with Newfoundland and Labrador.

Simms acknowledged he is concerned about what could happen if he ultimately decides to vote with the Tories this time.

"It always worries me," he said. "But there's also consequences to face in the riding, too, which is No. 1. Hey, look, I'm a team player, but Team No. 1 is Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor."

According to reports, Simms is one of only two Liberal MPs still considering whether they will toe the party line.

A vote on Bill C-391 is expected later this year.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Conservatives, Canwest News Service, Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor MP

Geographic location: Ottawa, Newfoundland and Labrador, Grand Falls

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Recent comments

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I doubt the gangs in Toronto will rush to register in any event.

    Funny how the Liberals can't seem to grasp that.

  • melvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I, personally have been using guns for longer than I can remember. The training for a Labrador child of my time was intense, when it came to safety. Going from the toy cap gun to BB gun was not a change in safety training either. Pointing the cap gun or an empty long gun at a person, or in most cases anywhere except up or down, was strictly forbidden in our training. To this day I am uncomfortable, while observing children at play, who are not taught safety rules and good ethics.... however... that being said.... Not one thing has become safer or more dangerous in my use of a long gun, since I've registered them . Registration has changed nothing to prevent crime in Canada. Next you'll be wanting screwdrivers and Knorks registered as well. They are potentially able to achieve the same end for the prospecting criminal.

  • Wince
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    This is your big chance to betray the province Mr. Simms! Put the party first; who cares about the people that put you there!

  • Nathan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Switzerland has the highest gun-ownership rate per capita...

    They also have the lowest crime-rate in the world.

  • Anon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    so whats a long gun? a rifle or a musket? If its the former, than it will make it easier for people to buy rifles to go hunting in the woods. If its the latter, than this isnt worth the news story since muskets are only used for collections and decoration nowadays anyway.

    Eitherway, gun registry or no gun registry illegal guns and knives etc. will constantly flow north from the United States anyway, laws never impede criminals but always impede ordinary citizens.

    Well its great to know that Steven Harper who can't answer a question about marijuana without babbling on about children and lollipops has no problem deregulating rifles or longguns even though gun violence in Canada is at a high and increasing particularly with youth.

    So there ya go people. Harper dont to let you smoke a joint becuase your little johnny might catch a whiff but thats not as bad as him catchin a stray bullet from a drive-by.

  • Scott
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    What does assuage mean?

  • Marty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I can't stand Harper, but I agree with him on this. The gun registry is a complete waste of taxpayers dollars and should be abolished.

  • chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I have all my guns registered too, I would not have registered them but because of the ways the government dealt with this when it was first brought in to make criminals out of all the seasonal hunters who otherwise were law biding citizens who were just out to hunt for meat for their families is why I registered mine.

    Gun registry does not make the criminals register their guns as they can get theirs from down south in the states and I don't think they are buying 303, 0308 etc.
    These criminals are more interested in hand guns and machine guns. Hand guns by the way have always had to be registered. This registry is a pure waste of tax payers money which could be better utilized by the legal system front lines to fight these criminals.

    Scott do the right thing and vote to abolish this law which is wasting our money and direct money in the right place.

  • John Smith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Scott Andrews from Ottawa, ON I cooked some moose assuages on the BBQ yesterday.

  • Lloyd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    JayW, I'm not clear on how firearm registration helps make your point, or how your points justify the registration.
    If I'm not mistaken your car registration is intended, originally, to help maintain roads etc, and to assist in tax collections on sales and resales etc. I don't think the (car) registration makes anything safer, do you?
    House registration? never heard of it. If you mean for the ownership deed etc, well isn't that for tax purpose etc? Different matter.
    To register children, wive(s), or yourself I'm not so sure why exactly that is except for statistical purpose, citizenship and so on but it surely doesn't affect anyone's safety.
    As for something to hide? Don't be silly, most people don't have anything to hide including myself. Mine are registered and will continue to be registered and for my purpose (and question) was, and is, HOW does registration make it safer? Maybe you're confused with the Licensing requirement?
    If I'm not mistaken there were registered firearms used at Mayerthorpe (no time right not to re-check that story), and it doesn't appear that was a factor.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    The liberals we sent to Ottawa are no better than the conservatives we sent previously. They will all cowtow to the party line when push comes to shove.

    Sickening the whole lot of them.

  • Lloyd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I have chosen to comply with current laws and my firearms (I own several) are duly registered. If laws became more stringent, I'd probably comply. I have no problem whatsoever with the Licensing requirements and believe that they go only a little way to keeps firearms out of the hands of certain people. It doubt it keeps guns out of the hands of serious criminal and I believe the evidence it there to support that.
    However: I do not see, and no one as yet has satisfied my questions as to HOW, exactly, long gun registration prevents crime in any way, shape, or form.
    I am all in favour of preventing crime, and giving tools to police (within the application of good reason and justification), to do their job. I still cannot see how long gun registration does anything in this regard.
    I do not see this as a partisan political exercise, nor should it be that for the Leader of the Liberals or his MPs.
    Can anyone help me out in showing me, the ordinary voter and duly registered long gun user how a registration helps reduce crime, violent or otherwise (ok, yes non-registration IS illegal)
    And forget about trying to compare car registrations and firearms registrations, they have totally different purpose(s) and in any case that too, actually prevents very little (though I'm all for car registration)

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Another measure brought to you by the Soft on Crime Conservatives. The majority(not all) of gun owners are not as responsible as they advertise themselves to be. It is just the dynamics of a group.

  • JayW
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I register my car, my house, my children and myself. How someone can sit there and say one should not have to register a fire arm is beyond me. This is something used to murder people and long guns are frequently used to do such. The police officers killed in Mayerthorpe is one example. Not too mention the number of rural women who have met their end at the end of a long gun. The suicides are another. Stats show the registry HAS made a difference. Makes you wonder exactly what they are hiding or trying to hide? Cancelling the registry is purely ideological and makes zero sense. I'd even say those who want it gone are a threat to public safety.

  • WTF
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    From what I read there is no one can say the registry is working or not, because no one is collecting those stats. The AG of Canada pointed that out in her last audit of the registry.

  • Wild Rose
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    As a proud gun owner, I will never register my weapons. I will stand by my God given right to bear arms. The long gun registry is a socialistic hoax to have us law-abiding folks let the government know who has what weapons. What are they afraid of???

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I will support Mr. Simms in his decision because he has studied this matter well.
    His boss is looking for votes, Mr. Simms is taking into consideration the lives of Canadians as there are too many people walking around with guns. We don't need politicians putting our lives at risks
    just to gain popularity at the polls.
    The ones walking around with guns are crooks, they will never register their guns. The registry has to be kept confidential. Otherwise it too will be useless, the crooks will break into your property and steal your guns.

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Why not change the law to require those who sell or donate a gun to another person, register that transaction.

    Change the law so that, If the unregistered gun is used in a crime the person (company) who sold or gave the gun could become an accomplice to the crime.

    That should target the supplier of weapons (even gang members who do want to be responsible for their friends wrong doing) rather than traditional hunters.

  • jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Hey wildrose
    What are you afraid of??
    Register your leithel wepon, unless you have something to hide.
    Or just keep spewing the same Americanized crap like you are doing.

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I doubt the gangs in Toronto will rush to register in any event.

    Funny how the Liberals can't seem to grasp that.

  • melvin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I, personally have been using guns for longer than I can remember. The training for a Labrador child of my time was intense, when it came to safety. Going from the toy cap gun to BB gun was not a change in safety training either. Pointing the cap gun or an empty long gun at a person, or in most cases anywhere except up or down, was strictly forbidden in our training. To this day I am uncomfortable, while observing children at play, who are not taught safety rules and good ethics.... however... that being said.... Not one thing has become safer or more dangerous in my use of a long gun, since I've registered them . Registration has changed nothing to prevent crime in Canada. Next you'll be wanting screwdrivers and Knorks registered as well. They are potentially able to achieve the same end for the prospecting criminal.

  • Wince
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    This is your big chance to betray the province Mr. Simms! Put the party first; who cares about the people that put you there!

  • Nathan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Switzerland has the highest gun-ownership rate per capita...

    They also have the lowest crime-rate in the world.

  • Anon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    so whats a long gun? a rifle or a musket? If its the former, than it will make it easier for people to buy rifles to go hunting in the woods. If its the latter, than this isnt worth the news story since muskets are only used for collections and decoration nowadays anyway.

    Eitherway, gun registry or no gun registry illegal guns and knives etc. will constantly flow north from the United States anyway, laws never impede criminals but always impede ordinary citizens.

    Well its great to know that Steven Harper who can't answer a question about marijuana without babbling on about children and lollipops has no problem deregulating rifles or longguns even though gun violence in Canada is at a high and increasing particularly with youth.

    So there ya go people. Harper dont to let you smoke a joint becuase your little johnny might catch a whiff but thats not as bad as him catchin a stray bullet from a drive-by.

  • Scott
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    What does assuage mean?

  • Marty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    I can't stand Harper, but I agree with him on this. The gun registry is a complete waste of taxpayers dollars and should be abolished.

  • chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I have all my guns registered too, I would not have registered them but because of the ways the government dealt with this when it was first brought in to make criminals out of all the seasonal hunters who otherwise were law biding citizens who were just out to hunt for meat for their families is why I registered mine.

    Gun registry does not make the criminals register their guns as they can get theirs from down south in the states and I don't think they are buying 303, 0308 etc.
    These criminals are more interested in hand guns and machine guns. Hand guns by the way have always had to be registered. This registry is a pure waste of tax payers money which could be better utilized by the legal system front lines to fight these criminals.

    Scott do the right thing and vote to abolish this law which is wasting our money and direct money in the right place.

  • John Smith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Scott Andrews from Ottawa, ON I cooked some moose assuages on the BBQ yesterday.

  • Lloyd
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    JayW, I'm not clear on how firearm registration helps make your point, or how your points justify the registration.
    If I'm not mistaken your car registration is intended, originally, to help maintain roads etc, and to assist in tax collections on sales and resales etc. I don't think the (car) registration makes anything safer, do you?
    House registration? never heard of it. If you mean for the ownership deed etc, well isn't that for tax purpose etc? Different matter.
    To register children, wive(s), or yourself I'm not so sure why exactly that is except for statistical purpose, citizenship and so on but it surely doesn't affect anyone's safety.
    As for something to hide? Don't be silly, most people don't have anything to hide including myself. Mine are registered and will continue to be registered and for my purpose (and question) was, and is, HOW does registration make it safer? Maybe you're confused with the Licensing requirement?
    If I'm not mistaken there were registered firearms used at Mayerthorpe (no time right not to re-check that story), and it doesn't appear that was a factor.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    The liberals we sent to Ottawa are no better than the conservatives we sent previously. They will all cowtow to the party line when push comes to shove.

    Sickening the whole lot of them.

  • Lloyd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I have chosen to comply with current laws and my firearms (I own several) are duly registered. If laws became more stringent, I'd probably comply. I have no problem whatsoever with the Licensing requirements and believe that they go only a little way to keeps firearms out of the hands of certain people. It doubt it keeps guns out of the hands of serious criminal and I believe the evidence it there to support that.
    However: I do not see, and no one as yet has satisfied my questions as to HOW, exactly, long gun registration prevents crime in any way, shape, or form.
    I am all in favour of preventing crime, and giving tools to police (within the application of good reason and justification), to do their job. I still cannot see how long gun registration does anything in this regard.
    I do not see this as a partisan political exercise, nor should it be that for the Leader of the Liberals or his MPs.
    Can anyone help me out in showing me, the ordinary voter and duly registered long gun user how a registration helps reduce crime, violent or otherwise (ok, yes non-registration IS illegal)
    And forget about trying to compare car registrations and firearms registrations, they have totally different purpose(s) and in any case that too, actually prevents very little (though I'm all for car registration)

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Another measure brought to you by the Soft on Crime Conservatives. The majority(not all) of gun owners are not as responsible as they advertise themselves to be. It is just the dynamics of a group.

  • JayW
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I register my car, my house, my children and myself. How someone can sit there and say one should not have to register a fire arm is beyond me. This is something used to murder people and long guns are frequently used to do such. The police officers killed in Mayerthorpe is one example. Not too mention the number of rural women who have met their end at the end of a long gun. The suicides are another. Stats show the registry HAS made a difference. Makes you wonder exactly what they are hiding or trying to hide? Cancelling the registry is purely ideological and makes zero sense. I'd even say those who want it gone are a threat to public safety.

  • WTF
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    From what I read there is no one can say the registry is working or not, because no one is collecting those stats. The AG of Canada pointed that out in her last audit of the registry.

  • Wild Rose
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    As a proud gun owner, I will never register my weapons. I will stand by my God given right to bear arms. The long gun registry is a socialistic hoax to have us law-abiding folks let the government know who has what weapons. What are they afraid of???

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I will support Mr. Simms in his decision because he has studied this matter well.
    His boss is looking for votes, Mr. Simms is taking into consideration the lives of Canadians as there are too many people walking around with guns. We don't need politicians putting our lives at risks
    just to gain popularity at the polls.
    The ones walking around with guns are crooks, they will never register their guns. The registry has to be kept confidential. Otherwise it too will be useless, the crooks will break into your property and steal your guns.

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Why not change the law to require those who sell or donate a gun to another person, register that transaction.

    Change the law so that, If the unregistered gun is used in a crime the person (company) who sold or gave the gun could become an accomplice to the crime.

    That should target the supplier of weapons (even gang members who do want to be responsible for their friends wrong doing) rather than traditional hunters.

  • jim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Hey wildrose
    What are you afraid of??
    Register your leithel wepon, unless you have something to hide.
    Or just keep spewing the same Americanized crap like you are doing.