January 9, 1995 For Immediate Release


"86% of handguns seized in "Project Gun Runner" were unregistered."

Yorkton, Sask. - Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville has been waiting months for an answer to his Freedom of Information request. Back in the spring, after hearing and reading media reports that 86% of handguns being used in crimes in the Toronto area were unregistered, Breitkreuz asked for a copy of a report called "Project Gun Runner". After getting the run around for a number of weeks by the Department of Justice and the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, a formal request for the report was filed through Freedom of Information. Finally, Breitkreuz received part of the Investigative Summary of "Project Gun Runner" which includes: the introduction, project objectives, fact sheet, conclusions, and recommendations. The "fact sheet" included with the summary confirms media reports that 86% of the 70 revolvers and 123 semi-automatic pistols seized during the nine month "joint forces operation" were"unregistered". This despite the fact that registration of all handguns has been mandatory in Canada since 1934.

"Project Gun Runner" proves once again that registration of firearms cannot and will not stop criminals from acquiring guns illegally and then using them in violent criminal acts. The investigation also concluded that the primary source of illicit firearms (in Canada) is the United States. The report also does not make any recommendations about improvements to the current handgun registration system as one of the solutions to the firearms smuggling problem. This because the real experts, the police on the street, know that registration of firearms does not deter real criminals from acquiring or using the tools of their trade. Only more and better enforcement of existing laws and stiffer penalties for violent criminals will do this," asserted Breitkreuz.

"During an interview with CBC Radio in December, Justice Minister Allan Rock admitted that universal firearms registration might not have the slightest effect on reducing crime or suicide rates. He also admitted in the House of Commons in December that most handgun crimes are committed with unregistered, smuggled guns. Rock's only justification for this multi-million dollar make work project (universal registration of all firearms) was that the police tell him they need it. If the police firearms smuggling experts involved in "Project Gun Runner" didn't tell him they needed it - then who did," asked Breitkreuz? Reformers support the Liberal government proposals to control crime but the Minister of Justice has failed to demonstrate exactly how the haphazard banning of certain firearms and forcing 7 million law-abiding citizens to register their rifles and shotguns will improve public safety and reduce violent crime. Until the Minister can show how his gun control proposals are the most cost-effective way to save lives, Reformers will oppose him every step of the way," promised Breitkreuz.

Note: If anyone wants a copy of the Project Gun Runner report, please call my office.


For more information please call:

Yorkton: - (306) 782-3309

Ottawa:- (613) 992-4394