|Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.
Firearm Registration "Post Card" is Already 8½" X 14" and Very Complex
For Immediate Delivery
May 8, 1998Ottawa – Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, distributed a copy of a "mock-up" of the government’s new Application to Register a Firearm. During the debate of Bill C-68, the Justice Minister bragged about how simple it all would be. On June 13, 1995 in the House of Commons Allan Rock said: "….in the existing inventory of long arms we are going to ask only that the owners mail in a card to identify themselves and their firearms." The firearm registration "card" released by Breitkreuz today is an 8½" by 14" sheet of paper with enough fine print (in both official languages) to make your head ache, dozens of lines of instructions and more than seventy blocks to fill out and/or circle. "And, there is only room for one firearm on each form," observed Breitkreuz. "Do they really expect firearm owners to fill out one of these forms for every gun they own? I guess Joe Jordan (MP for Leeds-Grenville, Ontario) was right this week when he said on CBC NewsWorld that, ‘Gun registration will be no more complex that the Income Tax system.’"
Earlier this week Breitkreuz released a letter sent to the Justice Minister by her own handpicked User Group on Firearms. The letter warned Anne McLellan about the effect application forms even more complex than the current five-page application for a Firearms Acquisition Certificate (F.A.C.) would have. The User Group letter dated April 23rd stated: "The new series of forms are unnecessarily long, complicated and burdensome, and raise some serious privacy issues. They also tend to talk down to the applicant. This will significantly undermine compliance. A minimum 50% error rate is now being projected, before any major testing or review by the Minister. This situation is intolerable. Forcing individuals to live with such burdens, rather than making the forms user friendly, clear or simple and conform to the user needs, as stated in ‘In Sight’ issue #4, will greatly encourage non-compliance. This 50% error factor will quickly destroy the system, and, in our opinion, must be immediately remedied by removing the unnecessary complexities presently built in."
Breitkreuz is continuing to apply pressure to the government on this issue. This week he moved a votable motion for debate in the House of Commons which would force the government to produce the minutes of all meetings of the Justice Minister’s User Group on Firearms and all correspondence between her advisory group and her Department. Breitkreuz and three other M.P.s also used House procedures to force the Standing Committee on Justice to examine all the critical issues raised in the User Group’s letter within the next 10 sitting days.
"Apparently, the government is now hiring 6,000 ‘Verifiers’ to help the five to seven million law abiding gun owners identify their firearms and fill out the new forms," reported Breitkreuz. "With the Liberals admitting the new firearms forms will be no more complex than Income Tax forms, it will be just like tax time all year long for responsible firearm owners. In the meantime, criminals will go right on victimizing Canadians using whatever firearms they want," said Breitkreuz. "We asked the Canadian Firearms Centre for the newest version of the forms two days ago but they won’t even return our calls. Why is the government being so secretive about what it’s doing? Government secrecy breeds mistrust," he concluded.
For a copy of the Registration Form, please call:
The Office of Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.Yorkton: (306) 782-3309