Canada: Campaigners outraged by decision to destroy national gun registry

On 15 February, the Conservative government of Canada won approval in Parliament for Bill C-19 that will abolish the national registry of rifles and shotguns and allow the destruction of records on 7.1 million guns currently registered. A broad coalition of campaigners led by the Coalition for Gun Control said they were outraged by the decision, which will also have implications for Canada’s international commitments to prevent gun proliferation, including the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA). As Ken Epps of Project Ploughshares has said, “The [PoA] calls on each state to implement provisions related to improving national standards and, in particular, 'to ensure comprehensive and accurate records are kept for as long as possible on the manufacture, holding and transfer of small arms and light weapons under their jurisdiction.' The elimination of registration requirements for non-restricted firearms by Bill C-19 will mean that Canada cannot meet this commitment and others”.