If Bill C-71 comes to pass does it create a gun registry? Isn't this a campaign promise that the Liberal Party of Canada said that they wouldn't do if elected? Wasn't the first firearm registry a waste of taxpayers money with no benefit to public safety?
Too long didn't read version; yes, Bill C-71 will create two-thirds of a gun registry, formerly known as the long-gun registry.
There is no linear way to outline this, so we'll start with the new stipulations hoisted on retailers. Firearm retailers will be required to keep records of every firearm sold by their business for no less than twenty years. Any business person will be able to tell you that this is a bureaucratic nightmare that will raise the cost of doing business, and has the potential to either close small stores or force them to not retail firearms. Some businesses will be rightfully boycotted by firearms owners as they are known to not protect the buyers information recorded, which as of the publication of this article isn't an issue as they don't have to record the information but will have to under C-71.
The next stipulation is that the owner of a firearm must verify a potential buyer by calling into the Canadian Firearms Center and getting a verification number in order to legally sell their firearm to another licensed owner. The buyer then will have to call in and verify that number in order to legally take possession of that firearm. Licensed firearms owners that dealt with the former long-gun registry will recognize this, it was called a transfer verification number back when the long-gun registry was in effect, and in case you're wondering yes it's the same thing.
The seller to buyer personal sale issue is one that's worth exploring for a moment. If a seller buys a new firearm from a store under C-71 then that sale is recorded for twenty years at the point of sale. If the seller then looks to sell that firearm to a licensed buyer, they both require the verification number from the Canadian firearms Center. This is how firearms will be traced from point of sale to future potential owners, as it is in itself a long-gun registry.
While the current wording of the law states that make, model, and serial of the firearm won't be asked for, that doesn't prevent a few issues once C-71 is law. The first issue is that it would be easy for any future government to seize business records Canada wide in order to start the creation of a new long-gun registry based off of new sales. Another issue is that the telephone staff at the Canadian Firearm Center sometimes have allegedly asked callers information that isn't legally required. If this is the case, and under C-71 should they ask make, model, serial, then how is a new firearm owner to know what they're asking is beyond the scope of law and that they're participating with the creation of a long-gun registry?
After the seizure of business records, the first buyer of a new firearm can be traced and contacted. If the original owner, or any subsequent owner along the way doesn't have a verified transfer number then they have illegally sold a firearm, even if it's to a licensed firearm owner. This will slow person to person commerce to be only available during the operating hours of the Canadian Firearms Center.
Combined with business records this also gives the government the power to trace the new firearm to it's current owner if they should ever want to create an up to date long-gun registry. This is achieved without having to know the make, model, and serial number at the Canadian Firearms Center because if any seller of a firearm purchased at a retailer doesn't have a transfer number for the firearm that links it to the new buyer then the sale has been done illegally.
If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then logically it's a duck. Although in this case of Orwellian doublethink our government would have us look at this "duck" and expect us to believe it's something else entirely. A long-gun registry by any other name is still a long-gun registry, and make no mistake, Bill C-71 will put into effect another long-gun registry.