Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:48 pm Post subject: Court rules Quebec Long Gun registry legal
( quebec's long quest for a provincial long gun registry seem closer to reality , the concern of course is will this decision lead to other provinces creating there own as well ? the confusing part is if this was federal jurisdiction 10 years ago why is it now provincial ? that part seems hard to explain )
Quebec court rules long-gun registry legal as Liberals seek to make federal data available
A pro long-gun registry pin is seen on the jacket of Liberal MP Mark Holland Wednesday Sept 22,...
Sidhartha Banerjee, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Oct 20, 2017
, Last Updated: 3:27 PM ET
MONTREAL — Quebec’s long-gun registry doesn’t infringe on federal jurisdiction, says a judge who has rejected a motion seeking to see it shelved.
The National Firearms Association, in conjunction with a Quebec-based pro-gun lobby group, had argued in court the province was wading into federal territory when it passed its own long-gun registry law in June 2016.
The province began plans to establish the log after the Conservatives abolished the federal long-gun registry in 2012.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Lukasz Granosik ruled Wednesday the province’s registry is constitutionally valid.
Granosik wrote the Quebec law is essentially about public safety — which is related to provincial jurisdiction on issues of property and civil law as well as the administration of justice.
“The act aims to make the work of law enforcement safer and the implementation of court orders more effective,” the judge noted.
The gun lobby, through its lawyers, sought an injunction and full arguments on the matter not long after the law was passed.
"Pieces of paper don’t prevent people with ill intent from performing evil acts. They never have and never will." - Sheldon Clare, National Firearms Association President
“From our perspective, it seems to us that the Quebec government is attempting to dabble in an area of criminal law,” Sheldon Clare, president of the National Firearms Association, said Friday.
He said the organization will examine the judgment and consider its appeal options.
“We have some concerns about the judge’s interpretation,” Clare said. “Clearly, they’ve looked at it as an issue of property instead of firearms and criminal law, which is really what the issue is.”
As part of the lobby’s case, it provided the court with its own facts and figures about why it believed Quebec’s own provincial long-gun registry was unworkable and costly.
The province has pegged the start-up cost of the registry at $17 million and an additional $5 million per year to operate.
Clare said his group wanted to demonstrate to the court that Quebec is headed down the wrong path. It has concerns other provinces will follow suit.
“Pieces of paper don’t prevent people with ill intent from performing evil acts,” he said.
“They never have and never will.”
The judge noted that question was not part of the court’s purview.
“All these elements, interesting as they are, are not relevant in this case, because it is not up to the tribunal to judge the expediency or the effectiveness of a law,” Granosik wrote.
Quebec fought a protracted legal battle against Ottawa in a bid to preserve the Quebec data from the federal registry, ultimately losing at the Supreme Court in March 2015 — a case in which Clare’s group was an intervener.
In June, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tabled a bill in the Commons that would change the rules and allow the province to look at Quebec information from the old registry if his legislation becomes law. It is currently sealed by a court decision.
Goodale warned he’s not aware whether the data is still useful given the registry was abolished in 2012.
The now defunct federal long-gun registry was created by the Liberals in 1998 in response to the murder of 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole polytechnique in 1989. They were targeted by a gunman because of their gender.
Nathalie Provost, a survivor of the massacre and spokesperson for gun control advocacy group PolySeSouvient, says she’s pleased with the decision.
“The judgment clearly recognizes the jurisdiction of the government of Quebec to regulate firearms on its territory, which is to allow the authorities to know which weapons are circulating in the province, to whom they belong and where they are located,” she said in a statement.
“It is obvious to us that such accounting is an integral part of effective gun control — objects that we must remember are designed to kill.”
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