Needed permit to buy long gun for 20 years

A letter supporting the long gun registry is filled with wonderful statistics about how the registry has reduced gun crime in Canada.

To the editor:

RE: Scrapping Gun Registry ‘Really Reckless’, letter to the editor from Jon Peter Christoff, Nov. 10 Capital News.

Your letter, like most supporting the long gun registry, is filled with wonderful statistics about how the registry has reduced gun crime in Canada.  You also imply that the reason gun owners oppose the registry is the Big Brother Is Watching scenario.

Unfortunately, all of your quotes are misguided and must have been compiled by an uninformed member of Parliament who likes to continue to waste our money.

Please let me correct you and inform you on a few details. Firstly, in 1977 the federal government introduced legislation requiring anyone purchasing a firearm to apply for and have a Firearms Acquisition Permit (FAC).  It was a small measure at best because of the limited amount of information required to obtain a FAC.

The act was revised in 1991 (Bill C-17) which changed the form to a detailed eight-page application that required vigorous police checks into the applicant’s criminal and medical background.

Due to the fact that the FAC only covered the purchase of new guns the act was amended in 1995 to include a new firearms possession permit to cover guns that were previously owned.

The long gun registry did not start until 2001.

Since 1991 there has been a 65 per cent reduction in homicides using long guns. This has nothing to do with the $2 billion waste of money registry that was introduced 10 years later.

Why do I call it a waste of money?

I, like millions of other hunters, have purchased rifles since 1991 legally. I had to produce a valid FAC, plus supporting picture ID with my current address. This information along with the make, model and serial number of the gun was recorded in the store’s registry. This information has been available for free to the RCMP since 1991; Allan Rock did not have to waste $2 billion to gather information that was already there.

You need to understand that laws requiring permits to purchase long guns is what has reduced the crime by stopping anyone with a criminal record from purchasing one legally. If you really want to reduce gun crime in Canada, listen to Prime Minister Harper and introduce minimum jail terms for people committing violent crimes. Would you support a law imposing a minimum three year jail term for possessing a gun without a permit? I am sure most hunters and farmers would support that bill.

How you can associate Allan Rock’s $2 billion waste of money with the Avro Arrow is beyond me.

Richard Callihan,

Kelowna