May 17, 1996 For Immediate Release


"The Liberals spend $1 million a year and they don't know if it's cost-effective," revealed Breitkreuz.

Ottawa - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, made available the Liberal government's response to his written question which asked, "Since 1934, how many crimes, in total, have been solved using the RCMP's Restricted Weapon Registration System?" Answering on behalf of the Government, Solicitor General Herb Gray, stated: "The statistics requested respecting the number of crimes that have been solved by tracing the firearm back to the registered owner are not kept at this time and are therefore not available."

"Surely, the purpose of registering handguns and other restricted firearms is to solve crime by tracing the firearms back to the registered owner," asked Breitkreuz. "And, the RCMP doesn't even keep these statistics?" This is just one more piece of evidence proving that Auditor General Denis Desautels was right-on when he criticized the government in his 1993 report which said: "Our review of the new regulations indicated that important data, needed to assess the potential benefits and future effectiveness of the [gun control] regulations, were not available at the time the regulations were drafted. The government proceeded with new regulations for reasons of public policy." The Auditor General went on to make the following recommendation, "We believe it is essential that the Department of Justice evaluate the effectiveness of the [gun control] program again. Members of Parliament and the Canadian public need to know whether the means the government has chosen to achieve the program's objectives are work."

The lack of evidence that registering firearms serves any useful purpose was also shared by Ontario Solicitor General, Bob Runciman, during his appearance before the Senate Committee on Legal Affairs last fall when he pointed out that the handgun registration system "does little to limit the use of handguns by criminals." "The main point that is missed by most pro-registration, anti-gun lobbyists is: If you have $500 million, and your objective is to save lives and provide for the safety of our citizens, how would you spend it? According to the Ontario Solicitor General, you could put 5,900 more police officers on our streets, you could establish a network of women's crisis centres and other support services to strengthen our families, or alternatively, you could provide much needed support for health services," said Breitkreuz.

"All laws, and especially gun control laws, have to be cost-effective. In the next few weeks, I will be re-introducing my Firearms Law Sunset Act which would automatically repeal gun control laws after five years unless the Auditor General has determined that the legislation has successfully increased public safety and reduced violent crime involving the use of firearms," reported Breitkreuz. "My bill removes any doubt about the claims that the Liberal government's real plan is to eventually confiscate all firearms. If my bill becomes law, only those gun control measures that improve public safety, reduce violent crime and save lives would remain on the books."

"People want security, and the government's inability to produce any evidence clearly shows that gun registration does not provide security -- it only gives the impression that it does. Old-line politicians are masters at creating impressions with very little substance to back it up."

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