September 9, 1996

For Immediate Release


"Polls show there are higher criminal justice priorities than registering all legally-owned guns."

Yorkton - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, released the most recent numbers for bureaucratic positions invented in the federal government's new Canadian Firearms Centre. "We always said that Bill C-68 was more about creating an unnecessary bureaucracy than it was about improving public safety and now we are starting to see some of the proof," reported Breitkreuz.

As of August 1996, here is where the government is spending your hard-earned tax dollars:

"Millions have been already been spent and a total of 107 jobs have been created (just in the Department of Justice) in an attempt to licence all law-abiding firearm owners and register all legally-owned guns. However, the government has been unable to produce one shred of evidence to prove how these measures will reduce the criminal use of guns," said Breitkreuz. Ontario Solicitor General, Bob Runciman said it best when he appeared before the Senate Committee last fall: "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."

"The argument is no longer whether gun registration improves public safety (it's clear it does not and will not) but whether this multi-million dollar expenditure is a priority for the majority of people in Canada," clarified Breitkreuz. "The Maclean's/CTV 1994 year-end poll reported only 5% of the people thought "the absence of stronger gun control laws" was the main reason for the increase in violent crime, while 40% thought it was because "the justice system is too lenient". This clearly demonstrates that the people want their money spent in areas where it will do the most good; namely, putting more police officers on our streets and highways, tightening up the parole system, keeping dangerous offenders and sexual predators in jail where they belong, combatting gangs and organized crime, deporting refugees who commit criminal acts, improving crime prevention programs, making restitution to victims of crime, implementing a DNA data bank, and so on and so on," concluded Breitkreuz.

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