A new bill that would do away with long-gun registration is already coming under fire from local police.
On Wednesday, Parliament voted 164 to 137 in principle for C-391, a private member’s bill to end the decade-old registry of shotguns and rifles. According to the Conservatives, the registry is a billion-dollar waste that targets honest gunowners while doing nothing to fight crime.
But proponents of the registry, including members of law-enforcement agencies, say it is an important tool for investigations. According to Const. Brian Palmeter with the Halifax Regional Police, officers have as much, if not more, incidents with long-barreled weapons as they do with handguns.
“We have a problem with rifles and shotguns as well as handguns. We need rigorous controls for both,” he said. “I think so far this year, we’ve seized 160 firearms, and over half have been long-barrelled firearms, which supports the need for the registry.”
Palmeter said not knowing whether firearms could be involved when police respond to a call makes the job that much more risky.
“When officers know what they may encounter, they’re prepared and are able to take appropriate actions,” he said. “Ultimately, by knowing they’re there, we can take steps to ensure that … the community at large is not at risk because of them.”
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