CAW Urges Federal Government to Save Gun Registry Data

February 16, 2012, 2:45 PM EST

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The CAW is calling on the federal government to reconsider its plan to destroy all existing data collected through the national long gun registry that tracks rifles, shotguns and other non-restricted firearms.

"The Harper government is one step closer to killing off an important and symbolic piece of our country's gun control efforts," said CAW President Ken Lewenza after the federal parliamentarians passed its third and final reading of Bill C-19 in the House of Commons yesterday. "This is short-sighted and an example of divisive politics trumping common sense."

The national long gun registry was created in the wake of a Montreal school shooting rampage that took the lives of 14 women at École Polytechnique. Rifles and shotguns are the firearms most readily available and those most often used in spousal homicides and to kill police officers.

CAW Women's Program Director Julie White said in the midst of Bill C-19 passing into law, she is encouraged that politicians and organizations (including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police) continue to speak out and demand, at the very least, the long gun registry records are maintained.

"It's irresponsible for the federal government to throw away every last bit of information that attaches a potentially dangerous firearm to its rightful owner," White said. "These guns will be left totally unaccounted for. How does this make Canadians safer?"

In a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, the CAW called on the province to support a call to save the registry data. The province of Quebec has publicly stated that it will consider the establishment of a provincial long gun registry. Alberta Premier Alison Redford also stated recently that she doesn't oppose the transference of existing national data to provincial registries.

The Bill is scheduled to go before the Senate for a final vote before being passed into law.

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