John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 10.28.11
Cobden, Ontario


Goodbye to all that long-gun rubbish, and good riddance

I'm no fan of Prime Minister Harper and Canada's Conservative government, but they are doing one thing right: scrapping the country's long-gun registry.

Since 2003, Canadian residents have had to register their rifles and shotguns. And they have to periodically renew their registrations -- I've just renewed mine for my .22 single shot rifle and 20-gauge single barrel shotgun that I've owned for four decades.

(They're holdovers from my farm days, when they were working tools for pest control and butchering chores.)

The cost of creating and maintaining the long-gun registry was and is obscene:

$1.2 billion to set it up, and $66 million a year to keep it going.

Who loves ya, baby?

Well, the cops love it -- they claim to access the gun database 17,000 a day. You know, to check which criminals have registered their guns.

That's 6.2 million checks a year on 30 million Canadians. One in five. Come on, guys...

I reckon if our law enforcement agencies had their druthers, they would have databases on everything and everybody. Total Information Awareness, right? Where have I heard that before...

The bill under consideration mandates destruction ASAP of the existing long-gun registry.

However, you still will need a certificate to buy and possess firearms. It will be no big deal for law enforcement to come up with a weapons database of who, what, and where.

I think you can plan on this happening.

The long list of restricted and forbidden firearms (that would make many Americans weep) will remain:

  • a handgun with a barrel length of 105 mm or less;
  • a handgun designed or adapted to discharge 25 or 32 caliber ammunition;
  • a rifle or shotgun that has been altered to make it less than 660 mm (26 inches) in overall length;
  • a rifle or shotgun that has been altered to make the barrel length less than 457 mm (18 inches) where the overall firearm length is 660 mm (26 inches) or more;
  • an automatic firearm and a converted automatic firearm;
I have no problem with that. Who needs an AK-47 for deer hunting, eh?