Vancouver police officials gathered yesterday to voice their support for the long-gun registry — its success is vital because it’s a lifesaver, they said.

“We’re convinced the gun registry has helped to save lives, and will continue to save more lives in the future,” said Glen Wong with the Vancouver Police Board.

The gun registry, which has been mandatory since 2003, requires Canadian gun owners to register their firearms. Unless Bill C391 is passed Sept. 22, long guns, such as hunting rifles, will be excluded.

“I want to be perfectly clear. The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police supports the continuation of the firearms registry as a crucial component of both the public and officer safety,” said Chief Const. Clayton Pecknold, president of the BCACP.

“The registry gives police officers … reliable information so they can make the best possible decision (when) going into potentially dangerous situations.

“Eliminating (it) will inevitably and needlessly endanger the lives of police and the citizens they serve.”