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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gun registry successfully kept guns out of the United States

The people for and against the long-gun registry have been tossing allegations back and forth about how effective the registry has been in fighting crime. Often this takes the form of statistics. For: An average of 5,000 queries a day are made by law enforcement agencies.  Against: Virtually all the queries are automatically generated by local police computers whenever any kind of information is accessed, including outstanding parking fines.

The problem is that it is hard to really understand how useful the registry is when you look at broad collections of numbers.

So I decided to focus on one particular event, chosen at random, described by the Coalition for Gun Control:

In May 2000, the firearm registry played a pivotal role in uncovering what is alleged to be one of the largest and most sophisticated firearm smuggling rings in North America. Likely destined for the black market, nearly 23,000 firearms and their components were seized.

Wow, 23,000 firearms kept off of Canadian streets!  That is impressive.

Well, the truth is more complicated, as it always is.  As it turns out, the guns in question were World War II vintage M1 Garands.  US law prohibits firearms exported to foreign countries from being re-imported into the US.  This law helps protect the firearms industry from having to compete against itself.  In this incident, 1,000 rifles and 22,000 receivers (the middle bit that connects the stock, barrel, trigger, and 53 other parts required to make a working rifle) were legally imported into Canada, with the intention of smuggling them into the US to feed the antique collectors market.

Apparently, the smugglers decided to follow the law and register the rifles here.  The volumes involved raised a red flag and the authorities were able to roll up the smuggling ring.

Let's recap.  The billion-dollar long-gun registry was successfully used to prevent Americans from getting their hands on guns that were legally present in Canada and were being legally registered, thus preventing the loss on untold numbers of sales for the Winchester firearms company.

Why would the Coalition for Gun Control be happy that the registry helped increase sales from an American gun manufacturer? 

Is the moral of this story that people who are smuggling guns shouldn't register them?  Are people who smuggled guns into Canada instead of out of Canada registering their guns too?

[Extended entry, with references, at Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on May 18, 2006 | Permalink


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This is a typical bogus argument used by one agendized group determined to impose their agenda on everyone like it or not. You find the same rubbish with all such groups, be they anti-smoking, PETA, etc. Yet anyone with any common sense (although I admit hard to find these days) would know that the gun registry has and never will have any affect on crime or criminals. The same as outlawing drugs has not stopped or even decreased drug use. It is however an attack on law abiding citizens with the totalitarian objective (stated by A. Rock himself at the time) the ensure that only the police and military are allowed firearms.

Those affected by the huge cash drain are the legal hunters, male and female, target shooters and most rural land owners who may need a weapon from time to time to deal with predators. None of these people have ever been a threat to society.

If we truly wanted to deal with the criminal use of firearms, then we need to change the 'justice' system to ensure appropriate penalities for crimes commited with a firearm. It seems though that our 'justice' system is too busy dishing out sentences for victimless crimes, actually stiffer sentences than most crimes with victims. Try refusing to comply with Census Canada. You would serve more time than beating up a little old lady and making off with her handbag.

Posted by: Alain | 2006-05-18 5:11:08 PM

Kind ' puts the kabosh on the ol' " criminals don't register guns" saw though do'nit?

Posted by: Nbob | 2006-05-18 5:43:51 PM

The Coalition for Gun Control was paid almost half a million dollars by the former Liberal government.

Wendy Cukier is a high paid cheerleader for the registry.

She is also one of Canada's international faces of gun control.


UN Gun Conference -- Thailand
As reported May 12th, Professor Gary Mauser's comments on Earl Turcotte, who chaired a recent Canadian UN Committee meeting appear very accurate.

Leading to the June UN Small Arms Light Weapons Conference, Aiming to prepare for an upcoming United Nations conference on illegal gun trafficking worldwide, some 70 participants from governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across South and Southeast Asia have gathered in Thailand for a two-day workshop on specific aspects of the problem.

The discussions in Bangkok will help lay the groundwork for the Review Conference on eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, to be held in New York from 26 June to 7 July. Topics include the implementation of an international pact on marking and tracing, export/import controls, and supply and demand.

Organized by the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific of the Department for Disarmament Affairs, the workshop is sponsored by the Governments of Canada, Japan and Thailand, along with the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The June conference will review progress since an international action plan was adopted in 2001 to fight the menace posed by small arms and light weapons. Among other provisions, countries agreed to ensure that licensed manufacturers apply an appropriate and reliable marking on each small arm and light weapon as an integral part of the production process.

They also committed themselves to keeping comprehensive and accurate records for as long as possible on the manufacture, holding and transfer of small arms and light weapons under their jurisdiction. In addition, countries agreed to strengthen their ability to cooperate in identifying and tracing illicit small arms and light weapons and guaranteed that all confiscated, seized or collected small arms and light weapons should be destroyed.

As reported, Gary Mauser recently wrote the Chairman of Canada's Foreign Affairs Committee after attending a meeting of Canada's SALW Committee.

Mauser stated, ""The Canadian National Committee on SALW has spent tens of millions of dollars - possibly hundreds of millions -- on a large number of vague "feel good" projects around the world. At least 24 different international programs and initiatives are listed as being funded or largely funded by them." It appears that while Canada's goverment is moving to stop the waste from Canada's gun registry, the bureaucrats in the Department of Foreign Affairs have choosen "even though they do not have a mandate from the new Conservative government, they intend to continue acting as if they had," as Mauser noted.

Canada's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay, could not be reached for comment.


Perhaps Cukier and the Coalition are hoping for the last laugh at the Conservatives at the UN. Or, is Canada's new Conservative government seeing the bureaucrats doing and end run around them?


Posted by: TIZReporter | 2006-05-18 6:08:48 PM

What is really ironic to me is that the Garand rifle was originally developed in Canada, but got no play here from the government of the time either.

Posted by: Conrad in the sands | 2006-05-18 6:13:42 PM

Greetings from the Great Country, the United States of America!!!

The Garand was developed by a Canadian working at the Springfield Armory in Springfield MA, not in Canada. The only Canadian rifle ever built was the Ross Rifle, which was junk.

Ironically, another Canadian developed something American in Springfield MA - James Naismith who created basketball for the YWCA.

It's easier to say "Canadian-born" than Canadian. It's more of a secret shame than something to be proud of. While this was clear under Liberal/Corporate rule, Harper has a long way to go to make non-Ontarians proud of Canada.

Posted by: Scott | 2006-05-18 6:28:31 PM

I remember ranting against the Long Gun Registry to a high ranking RCMP officer about 5 years ago while I was still a local town Councillor. He responded that his son was a rooky Constable and he felt better knowing that his son could check whether or not a house where he was about to respond to a call or complaint contained a registered gun owner. I responded by asking him if he felt good knowing that his son's expectation of potential fire power and state of preparedness or lack thereof should rest on the posibility of bureaucratic error. He then changed his position to one where their officers are always prepared for encountering firearms. I then reminded him that he no longer had a point to his defense of the Registry.

My conclusion was that high-ranking RCMP were cheerleading for Government of the Day.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2006-05-18 7:08:13 PM

Does anyone else find it ironic (or maybe just coincidental that the individual most quoted in the TIZReporter entry is named "Mauser"?

Posted by: A Different Sean | 2006-05-18 9:59:52 PM

The Police need to have instant access to everyone's medical history too, and their tax records, and how they voted, and a list of the organizations they belong to, and their school records, and their e-mail accounts, and their banking information...

Safety first!

Posted by: infidel | 2006-05-19 12:06:37 AM

If they ever kept records of penis size, they'd have to have a mighty big piece of paper for mine.

In fact, my wife has often joked it should be registered as a dangerous weapon. Wait a minute ... maybe she wasn't joking.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-19 12:18:47 AM


They do if you are a convicted predator. Besides how mant decimal places do you need.

Posted by: Dr. Liberty | 2006-05-19 9:04:45 AM

Anyone see the cache taken from the Jamestown Crew yesterday? Was there a single registered long gun amidst the pile of glocks, macs and ar15s?

Posted by: db | 2006-05-19 2:29:32 PM

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