...it would be impossible to ensure that licensed individuals do not give their guns to others not holding a license without the registry. The registration of firearms helps to enforce the licensing provisions of the Act.
To explain this, Ms. Cukier provided the example that if an individual has a license and purchases firearms without a registration requirement, there is no way to hold them accountable for those firearms or to prevent them from lending or giving them to an unlicensed person. In other words, registration results in accountability.
In addition, if a prohibition order is placed on someone and their firearms license is taken away, without the registry, the police have no way to know what firearms they should be seizing.
Lastly, Ms. Cukier explained that if guns are stolen after being improperly stored, owners are unlikely to report the theft as required by law. If guns are registered, in effect attaching the name of the gun owners to the firearm, owners are more likely to behave responsibly. Registration is an essential component in preventing the diversion of legal guns to illegal markets.
Clearly, the licensing and registry provisions included in the Firearms Act are interrelated, and licensing on its own cannot do what licensing and the registry can together. As Canada’s Supreme Court pointed out in their 2000 opinion on the constitutionality of the Act, the registry helps police officers to take preventative measures, and also aides in holding people who have misused firearms or sold them illegally responsible for their actions.
Doesn't this sound like an effective way to cut down on the gun flow to criminals? Admittedly, this would inconvenience gun owners, but wouldn't it be worth it?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.