Alert from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Coalition for Gun Control ALERT:
Dear Coalition for Gun Control’s Friends,
Conservative MP Candace Hoeppner’s Private Member’s Bill C-391’s second reading debate is
scheduled for Wednesday Nov 4 2009. We urgently need the help of supporters in order
to remind ALL Members of Parliament that Bill C-391 turns back the clock on gun control.
Specifically, Bill C-391 proposes to eliminate long-gun registration and to destroy all existing
registration records. Firearms registration is a one-time only procedure that:
• makes gun owners accountable for their firearms and enforces the licensing provisions of the
law. Furthermore, registration makes it more difficult for straw purchases to occur, as well as
illegal sales by legal gun owners.
• is an essential tool used by police when taking preventive action, and enforcing prohibition
orders. It is the system police use to ensure that all firearms are removed from an individual’s
possession when the situation warrants it
• helps police investigations. Two men were identified and convicted as accessories to the
murder of 4 RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, in part because a registered gun was left at
the scene of the crime.
• allows police to differentiate between legal and illegal firearms. Without information about
who owns firearms legally and the firearms they own, police cannot charge individuals with illegal
• allows police to trace firearms easily, thus facilitating further investigations into smuggling.
• reduces the chances that legal guns will be diverted into illegal markets.
The evidence shows that stronger gun laws, which include the licensing of gun owners and
registration of all guns, have helped reduce gun related death, injury, violence and suicide:
• When controls on rifles and shotguns were strengthened in 1991, 1441 Canadians were
killed with guns; in 2005, the number was 818.
• Murders with rifles and shotguns have decreased dramatically, from 107 in 1991 to 32 in
2008, in part because of the stronger controls on firearms.
• The number of women murdered with firearms fell from 85 in 1991 to 32 in 2005. In contrast
murders of women without firearms declined only slightly during the same period of time.
• The gun registry is consulted by police 10,000 times a day and has helped in efforts to take
preventive actions and in several investigations.
We have grave concerns that Bill C-391 may get enough support to pass. Only 10 opposition
votes are needed to pass this bill, and 3 NDP MPs as well as one Liberal have spoken against
the long-gun registry in the media. The gun l obby has targeted opposition MPs in rural ridings.
Also, with an election looming, the Liberals and NDP have floated compromises that would also
weaken the law.
In these difficult circumstances, the vote of one MP can make all the difference, and it is for that
reason that we are once again soliciting your help. Members of Parliament are in their ridings
this week, and it is a key time to ensure that your MP will vote against C-391, as well as
that the opposition parties will hold party lines. Coordinates of all MPs may be found at
http://www.parl.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-O-CANADA