Claim No. 1: Access to a gun increases the risk of murder.
False: Canadian gun owners are less likely than other Canadians to commit homicide.
Claim No. 2: Rifles and shotguns are the weapons most likely to be used in domestic homicides.
False: The problem is the murder of family members, not the means of killing. Rifles and shotguns are not the weapons most likely to be used in domestic homicides. Knives are.
Claim No. 3: Spousal murders with guns have fallen threefold since the law passed, while spousal murders without guns have remained the same.
False: Spousal murders have slowly been declining since the mid-1970s. There is no empirical support for the claim that the long-gun registry has reduced spousal murders. The long-gun registry was not begun until 2001.
Claim No. 4: Stronger gun laws have helped reduce gun violence.
False: The rate of homicides committed with a firearm generally declined from the mid-1970s to 2002. This steady, long-term decline has been driven by economic and demographic changes. However, the use of firearms in homicide has increased since 2002.
Claim No. 5: Firearms stolen from legal owners are a significant source of crime guns. Registration is essential to prevent dangerous individuals from getting guns.
False: All studies of crime guns agree that stolen registered firearms are infrequently involved. It is the criminal record check, which is part of licensing, and certainly not registration, that stops criminals from getting guns legally. Bill C-391 will not change the current provisions for obtaining a firearms licence. Registration simply refers to the firearm, not the owner.
Claim No. 6: Firearms pose more problems in smaller cities where there are more gun owners.
False: Homicide is a particularly acute problem in large cities where ironically there are fewer legal gun owners.
Claim No. 7: The registry is an essential tool for police when taking preventative action and when enforcing prohibition orders to remove firearms from dangerous individuals.
False: The long-gun registry does not contain information on a gun’s location. The registry only contains descriptive information about the registered guns.
In approaching dangerous situations, the police must assume there is a weapon.
Claim No. 8: The gun registry is consulted by police 10,000 times a day and provides important information.
False: Almost all of the “inquiries” are routinely generated by traffic stops or firearm sales and are not specifically requested, nor do police often find them useful. Almost all of these inquiries involve licensing, not the long-gun registry.
Claim No. 9: Polls show Canadians believe the gun registry should not be dismantled.
False: Two recent polls show that the public does not support the long-gun registry. This is consistent with at least 11 earlier polls, all of which have clearly demonstrated that the Canadian public has no faith in the long-gun registry or its ability to increase public safety.
Claim No. 10: Stronger gun laws have helped reduce gun-related death, injury, violence and suicide.
False. No properly designed study has been able to show that gun laws have been responsible for reducing criminal violence rates or suicide rates in any country in the world.
In sum, the test of any governmental program should be whether it meets its goals. In this case, the long-gun registry has failed.