Peter Stoffer said yesterday his decision to vote to save the long-gun registry was made without pressure from the NDP.

“Under no circumstance has the leader of my party or any member of my party, past or present, cajoled, coerced, twisted my arm ... in order for me to change my vote,” the Sackville-Eastern Shore MP said yesterday.

The NDP could not successfully sway him at any rate, he added.

“In the twilight of my career, there’s very little a leader or a party can do to an individual.”

Stoffer told reporters yesterday at his constituency office in Fall River he will vote to kill Bill C-391— a private member’s bill that aims to scrap the long-gun registry — when the motion comes before Parliament tomorrow.

The bill’s author, Manitoba MP Candice Hoeppner, said yesterday Stoffer’s announcement likely signalled the end of C-391.

Stoffer explained while he remains “adamantly against” the long-gun registry, an informal poll cobbled together from emails, phone calls, and conversations with his constituents found that 62 per cent support saving it.

“A majority of my constituents have indicated to me their personal view that the registry should be saved, even though I completely disagree with them,” he said.

Stoffer said the debate is no longer about the long-gun registry, but about what he calls “wedge politics of the worst kind.”

“This is not an urban/rural issue. This is not a gender issue,” he said. “I’m quite dismayed that people would put it in those camps.”

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