When Canada’s long-gun registry was introduced in 1995, it was estimated that it would cost $119 million. By 2004, the actual cost was reported to be $2 billion — a 1680% underestimation.
On the September 9, 2010 episode of TVO’s The Agenda, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair made his unsurprising pitch for the registry.
You may remember him as the police chief who despicably misled his fellow citizens into believing they were required to produce identification within five metres of the security perimeter set up for the 2010 G20 summit, in violation of their Charter rights, with the justification that he “was trying to keep the criminals out.”
In his defence of the registry, he said there were an average of 12,000 checks of the registry per day, and he touted a recent resolution by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which came out in support of Canada’s system of gun controls.
However, as the other panelists had a chance to speak, the following rebuttals were made, which were never factually challenged by the police chief.
- The resolution was in support of Canada’s system of gun controls, not the long-gun registry, specifically.
- There has been a handgun registry since 1934, and despite that, most gun crimes in Toronto are committed using handguns.
- Most checks are computer-initiated.
- 9000 of the 12,000 average daily checks are name checks for licensing, not gun registration.
- Registered firearms can be legally stored at someone else’s residence, so police can mistakenly approach a residence where the registry says there are no firearms there.
- Police chiefs of other major metropolitan areas in Canada such as Calgary have called for a repeal of the registry, showing how it’s not simply an urban-rural split.
- The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have called for a repeal of the registry.
Despite all that, the usual suspects who excuse government waste and unjustified intrusion into the lives of the overwhelming majority of citizens who are law abiding, continue to get away with it.
That, however, may end this month, with a scheduled vote on a private member’s bill that would repeal the registration of most long-guns.