OTTAWA – Bruce Hyer, the MP for Thunder Bay Superior North states, “Bill C-19, the government’s bill to end registration requirements for non-restricted firearms such as hunting rifles and shotguns, comes up for its final House of Commons vote Tuesday evening, at Third Reading”.
Standing firm on a long-time campaign promise, Thunder Bay–Superior North MP Bruce Hyer said “I have always held the strong conviction that we must end the well-intended but ineffective and wasteful registration of hunting rifles and shotguns. I will vote Yes on Bill C-19 tonight. Other portions of the firearms legislation that will remain in force will continue to be effective.”
Long gun registration was made compulsory in 1995, and Hyer said the issue has been a constant irritant to many constituents since that time. “I have been researching this for years, and public safety remains a top priority for me. This bill will only end registration of non-restricted hunting rifles and shotguns, but maintains the requirement to register handguns and other restricted firearms. The reasons that I have voted this way include:
- Jack Layton and the NDP knew my position over almost a decade and 4 elections, and allowed me to run on that promise to my constituents;
- The NDP has never had an official policy on the registry. Then Leader Audrey McLaughlin, and all but one NDP MP, voted against the registry when it was introduced by the Liberals.
This bill will maintain the registration of restricted firearms; and the most effective part of the remaining legislation is the requirement that every legal firearm owner must be licensed, and that the police will continue to know who they are. Before anyone can be licensed they must take a safety course, pass a difficult test, have spousal approval, pass a Canada-wide police screening, and wait at least 28 days for approval.”
The original legislation that created the firearms registry was Bill C-68, introduced by Jean Chretien in 1993 and signed into law in 1995. Ironically, Stephen Harper was a Reform MP at the time who voted for the registry on Second Reading.
“This issue has evoked strong emotions on both sides of the debate,” shared Hyer. “Gun control is not ending. We can now put this issue behind us and work on more important issues, like creating jobs and boosting our sagging economy.”