This past week, as a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, I studied Bill C-19: An Act to End the Long Gun Registry.
The Long Gun Registry was established in 1995, in the wake of the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre, where a lone gunman who was armed with along gun, murdered 14 women. This registry, which is formally known as the Firearms Act, regulates the possession, transport and storage of firearms. Unfortunately, Bill C-19 sets out to abolish the long gun registry.
What is interesting is that the same Parliamentarians who just recently fought hard to pass Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, are now determined to abolish a tool that has proven to be a safety mechanism that has protected all Canadians, particularly women and children.
For example, while Bill C-10 was committed to keeping our streets and communities safe, Bill C-19 threatens public safety and makes our streets less safe, particularly in cities like Vancouver where studies have down that sawed off long guns are frequently used in street violence.
While studying Bill C-10 our committee heard a number of heartbreaking stories from individuals who were victims of violence. Unfortunately, Bill C-19 lets the cries of women and children who are too often the victims of domestic violence fall on deaf ears.
Finally, while studying Bill C-10 great importance was placed on the testimony offered by police associations who made it very clear thatthey required all of the public safety tools they could acquire when fighting crime. Unfortunately, the voices of those same police associations, who have expressed that they do not want to see a registry which they use 16,000 times every day be abolished, will now go unheard.
This is an important issue, one that I have worked on for over two decades. I plan on fighting in defense of the long gun registry justas I fought against Omnibus Crime Bill. However, I would benefit greatly from your support. I urge you to generate awareness about Bill C-19 in your communities and reach out to the Parliamentarians just as you did with Bill C-10. Your opinions and your concerns matter and I urge you to continue to make your voices heard.
Save the gun registry, save lives.