The long-gun registry debate is a topic everyone seems to have an opinion on and Halifax Regional Police Chief Frank Beazley is no different. Beazley spoke out for keeping the registry at a press conference this week. Afterwards, he talked to Metro about the registry and why he is in favour of keeping it.

Why come out in support of the registry now?
Well, I’ve been in support of the registry right from the beginning. I’m the past vice-president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. I’ve represented their position. I’ve represented my own personal position ... It’s a community safety issue. It helps people regulate and store their guns properly, which may prevent theft. It’s a great tool for investigation.

Some people think the registry doesn’t work, it’s a waste of money. What do you say to those people?
Get informed. Really, seriously sit down and have a look at it. Read the reports. Talk to people like myself or other police officers. Talk to the nurses, the women’s shelters — the numbers are there. I know people can make numbers say whatever they want them to say, but the numbers are there. Murders have dropped in the past 20 years, particularly after (the registry was implemented). I think we do better investigations because of the information available to us. People store (guns) much more safely, and you don’t have the accidents you used to have where a kid would pick up dad’s gun in the corner behind the stove and it had a round in it.

Are long guns a problem in Halifax? Or is it a more rural issue?
Of the weapons I seize every year, the vast majority are pistols and revolvers. But about a third of those weapons are long guns, either in their (original) form or altered, like the sawed-off shotgun, the sawed-off rifle that drug dealers use and people use to rob banks, that type of thing.