Quebec’s Attempt To Resurrect Gun Registry Is Political Fantasy

CSSA counsel says new Bill 20 contravenes existing federal law.

Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Shooting Sports Association

TORONTO, Canada – -( The Government of Quebec’s announcement to create a provincial firearms registry with Bill 20 is a transparent attempt to mislead voters into believing it will contribute to public safety, says the Canadian Shootings Sports Association (CSSA).

It comes as no surprise that the provincial government is trying to get out in front of the pending federal court case to secure Quebec’s portion of the useless national firearms registry database. Quebec firearms owners have already shuffled more than 150,000 guns since the federal registry was scrapped nearly a year ago, so there is no hope that the data can actually reveal where the guns are or who has them. And even if it could, the data entries would only provide the locations of lawful gun owners, who are not the same people involved in crime.

CSSA legal counsel and firearms lawyer Edward Burlew says Bill 20 runs counter to existing federal law: “The proposed legislation from Quebec clearly contravenes the Firearms Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If Bill 20 was to go forward, I would think that the Parliament of Canada might have a few things to say about it.”

CSSA spokesman Tony Bernardo, who is also executive director of the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CILA), contends that the Quebec government has taken the bait from anti-gun groups and that advice comes with a mammoth price tag.

“This is a classic case of fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me,”says Bernardo. “Gun registries are not designed to keep people safe, they are designed to fool the public into thinking they are being taken care of by a paternalistic government. That’s why the federal registry failed and the Liberal leadership candidates have admitted they wouldn’t bother with a new one. They know Canadians recognize the registry’s uselessness.

“The Quebec government knows that gun registries don’t prevent crime or tragedies,” adds Bernardo. “They’re simply prepared to play fast and loose with taxpayers’ money for this newest public safety scam. Perhaps the Quebec Public Safety Minister would take a minute to explain how a registry will protect Quebeckers from themselves, but he knows no such explanation exists. The charade continues, and responsible gun owners everywhere will be in a special kind of awe if Quebeckers buy into this ruse.”

The Quebec Public Safety minister told a news conference yesterday that he tabled the bill a month before the court ruling to avoid ending up in a “legal vacuum.” Bernardo believes it is a strategy to gain voter popularity even if the federal government wins the Quebec Court of Appeal ruling and does not provide the data.

“This is the oldest trick in the colouring book,” says Bernardo. “If Quebec fails to acquire the notoriously unreliable federal data, the government of the day can claim it went to bat for the little guy. It is bogus security and an insult to every Canadian who does have an appetite for real public safety measures.

“Unscrupulous legislation like Bill 20 invites civil disobedience,” he adds. “I for one would not blame any Quebec gun owner who doesn’t want to be added to a database just waiting to be hacked by cyber-criminals trying to find out where the guns are. The federal police database was breached hundreds of times. A new database could be hacked and put good people in further danger. It can also get police officers killed if they believe registry data that claims there are no guns on the other side of the door they’re knocking on. That’s already happened, too. How many times do we have to prove that registries don’t stop crime because criminals don’t register their guns?”

For further information contact:

Tony Bernardo
Canadian Shooting Sports Association / Canadian Institute for Legislative Action
[email protected]

The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website