Smoke and Mirrors – Quebec’s Proposed Long-Gun Registry

Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA)
Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA)
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Etobicoke, ON -( As of this writing, hearings for the proposed Quebec provincial gun registry are well underway, but they are not going the way politicians and anti-gun advocates would like.

Pesky little things like “facts” keep creeping into the hearings, causing the weak-minded to gasp and shriek while others fume apoplectically with righteous indignation.

Premier Philippe Couillard claims Quebec’s gun registry will cost about $20 million and “only” another $5 million per year to run. Sure.

The Pinocchio factor looms large here and given the horrendous experience with the last long gun registry, we can safely assume Premier Couillard knows he’s being less than honest with his electorate.

When the Chrétien government brought in its infamous boondoggle, they claimed it would cost only $2 million and that those costs would be covered entirely by the fees paid by gun owners. Of course, a couple of billion wasted tax dollars and a couple of decades later, no one believes that lie.

NEWS FLASH: Quebec is drastically understating what this will cost to implement.

Of course, the usual suspects come out spewing the same old tired lies they tried using to save the federal gun registry and predictably, the Quebec Association of Provincial Police Officers and the Quebec Association for Public Health both support the legislation.

Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux spouted statistics about how often Quebec police used the federal gun registry. He claimed that in 2003, they accessed it 177 times a day; and just prior to the Supreme Court decision in favour of killing the registry in Quebec, Coiteux claimed a figure of over 900 times a day.

Said Coiteux: “I think it’s very important for police services to have this tool. I think there is a historical context which explains why we want this tool, why it is so important in Quebec.”

Utter gibberish. It’s important, he cries, but he cannot explain why and he most certainly cannot explain how it will help anyone, including police officers, be safer.

Retired MP Garry Breitkreuz and his former assistant, Dennis Young, filed numerous Access to Information requests. They clearly showed that police didn’t actually query the gun registry very much at all. Police computer programmers wrote programs so that the gun registry would be automatically pinged no matter the reason police ran someone’s name.

Get pulled over for speeding? PING!. Witness an accident and give a statement to police? PING! Be the victim of a crime? PING! Almost any interaction with police sparked a trail of electrons to the gun registry. Why? Because nothing says a program is successful like statistics “proving” how often it is used – even when it is not actually being used at all!

The fraudulence of this statistic is well known, yet police and politicians continue to spout it time and again as though sheer repetition can somehow make it true.

“The registry will let police know if there’s a long gun present, and where to find that gun.”

No, it won’t. It can’t. It will only tell them if there is a firearm registered at that location. It will not and cannot tell them if there is an illegal gun at a location. What it will do, however, is the most dangerous thing. It will give inexperienced police a false sense of security because an error-riddled database has told them there “are no guns at this location.”

That can get good cops killed. Laval police officer Valérie Gignac was killed by a man with a prohibition order. Presumably trusting that the information she received regarding the suspect’s lack of firearms was sound, she was murdered when the evil criminal fired a rifle round through the door.

Quebec MNA Sylvie Roy presented a petition against the registry in March. That petition contained over 58,000 signatures of voting Quebecers who do not want their government to create a provincial gun registry.

Even more baffling than the political insistence on the gun registry is the stance of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. They are both for it and against it.

Chief Ghislain Picard said because, “hunting is part of the culture and lifestyle of First Nations, possession of firearms for the purposes of traditional practices is an Aboriginal or treaty right, and the obligations that such a firearms registry would impose on First Nations would be a direct interference with the Aboriginal and treaty rights.”

That sounds like he’s against a registry, right?

He then goes on to say that he would prefer that each First Nation community have their own gun registry instead.

“Will it be 10 or 41 registries? We’re not there yet in our consultations,” said Chief Picard.

Ten or 41 registries? Really? The costs spiral out of control at the mere thought of 41 separate gun registries! Taxpayers will foot the bill for each and every one of them.

Premier Philippe Couillard is quick to assure people the penalties for non-compliance are not criminal in nature, as if that somehow makes the whole ludicrous process acceptable.

He fails to note, of course, that the province has no jurisdiction to implement criminal code penalties. The worst they can do is levy fines, and they are extensive under this proposed legislation. Fines start at $500 and range up to $5,000.

All for refusing to “affix it (the registration number) to the firearm in the manner prescribed by government regulation.”

It’s deja vu all over again!

Gun registration would not and could not prevent the murders of 14 women at l’École Polytechnique. Gun registration did not prevent the Dawson College murders and, yes, the guns were registered. In fact, gun registration really doesn’t do anything at all except make a few antis feel warm and fuzzy; let politicians pretend they are doing something; needlessly endanger police officers with bad information; and cost the overloaded taxpayer truckloads of money.

Sounds like a lose/lose all around. Well, except for the warm, fuzzy antis and the politicians, of course.

Regardless of what the public wants, it will get a gun registry. Premier Philippe Couillard made it clear this will be a “whipped” vote, meaning all Liberal MNAs must vote the party line or face disciplinary action.

It will be up to the good people of Quebec to fight this every step of the way. Write your Member of the National Assembly. Call them on the telephone. Send them faxes. Make sure your voice is heard even if they will, as Premier Couillard has indicated, utterly ignore you as they do whatever they want.

Then kick the lying carpetbaggers out of office.

About CSSA:

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.

For more information, visit the website at

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5 years ago

With all it’s own resources I’m surprised Canada hasn’t broken away from the Crown like their neighbor to the South did over 200 years ago?

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
5 years ago

I’m wondering how many times Canada will make the same mistake, even if limited to Quebec this time. I’m wondering if the people are asleep as they are in the U.S. or if they’re illiterate. I’m wondering if they know this issue is merely a political distraction and not related to public safety. For example, consider the bad old USA. Of 218 nations, the U.S. ranks 98th, well inside the safest half of the world. Stated another way, your chances of being murdered in the U.S. are 38 thousandths of a percent (.000038). In Canada, your chances are fourteen thousandths… Read more »