November 15, 1995 Immediate Release

5,900 MORE POLICE OFFICERS OR GUN REGISTRATION? YOU DECIDE. "Money for gun registration should be spent on better enforcement measures," says Breitkreuz.

Yorkton - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, asked the Senators to take one long, last, hard look at Bill C-68, apply some good old common sense and only approve those clauses which will be cost-effective at deterring real criminals from using guns.

On September 21st, Ontario Solicitor General, Bob Runciman appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, "Our position is that the sections of Bill C-68 that provide for compulsory registration of all firearms will divert police resources from more important tasks. Those sections [of Bill C-68] will reduce the number of officers and amount of money available to deal with serious crime. They will make the real task of gun control more difficult and more dangerous for the police officers who undertake it. And those provisions will ultimately have no significant impact on violent crime, or the use of firearms by violent criminals." Mr. Runciman pointed to the failure of the handgun registration system as proof that registration "does little to limit the use of handguns by criminals."

Later in his address to the Senate Committee Runciman reported, "In Ontario alone, just dealing with the paperwork generated by registration would take between 10 and 15 officers off the street and put them behind desks, shuffling registration forms. That is the equivalent of about 30,000 hours of police time each year - just to deal with red tape. In national terms, 85 million dollars would put another 1,000 customs agents on the border; 500 million dollars would put an extra 5,900 police officers on the street. The federal alternative is to use the money to register every shotgun and bolt-action .22 in Canada. No great brilliance is required to figure out which would have a greater impact on crime."

"On October 19th, 51 delegates representing 4,600 OPP officers gave near unanimous support for this resolution: "That the Ontario Provincial Police Association not support Bill C-68 in its current form." During the Senate Committee hearings the Solicitor General for Ontario was accused of being out of step with the police officers in his province. Obviously, he wasn't," observed Breitkreuz.

"Since the provinces are split on whether gun registration will improve public safety or not, and if the Senate doesn't kill the bill outright, they should recommend that Rock's registration plan only proceed in those provinces where the legislatures, the public and the police support it. The provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta and the two territories where there is widespread opposition to gun registration would use the money the feds planned to spend on registration to improve enforcement measures against gun-toting criminals. After a five year trial taxpayers should soon be able to judge which approach gets the best bang for the buck," predicted Breitkreuz.

For more information please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394