April 3, 1995 For Immediate Release


"Stealing a gun could get you two years in jail but failing to register one could get you ten."

Yorkton - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, released results of research conducted by the Library of Parliament which compares the penalties for stealing a gun to penalties for improper storage or failing to register a firearm. "The results speak volumes about who the Justice Minister thinks are the most serious threat to public safety," said Breitkreuz.

"The penalty for theft of a firearm is a maximum 2 years in jail while the law-abiding citizen who gets robbed could get the same 2 year maximum if he or she hasn't locked his or her gun up according to all the governments rules. Voters have to ask this Liberal government to explain why the victim is subject to the same maximum penalty under the Criminal Code as the criminal who steals the victim's private property," explained Breitkreuz.

He continued, "Under Bill C-68 failing to register a firearm is subject to a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail or 10 years in jail if a man or a woman "knowingly" fails to register their firearms plus all the consequences of having a criminal record. Where is the justice, the fairness, the equity in providing such severe penalties for a non-violent offence such as failing to register a firearm and at the same time letting a thief get away with a lesser penalty?" asked Breitkreuz.

"Even after serving whatever sentence is imposed by the courts, the person who fails to register their firearm will also have to live with a criminal record with all its consequences. This may include: being denied employment, difficulty getting bonded, being refused entry into another country, and being prohibited from owning or using firearms. This is clearly a case where the punishment does not fit these Made-in-Ottawa crimes," concluded Breitkreuz.


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