Cullen attacks government for putting gun-owners and citizens at risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2012

Government refuses to listen to reason

Ottawa–Today’s vote that scrapped the gun registry marks the end to a divisive chapter that did little to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

“The registry became a political football rather than a vehicle for effective public policy,” said MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “The changes we voted on today crossed a threshold and created fundamentally different legislation that I could not support.”

Cullen was referring to the fact that all previous Conservative bills to scrap the registry did so without throwing out the mandatory licence verification provision.

“This provision protected the seller and society,” said Cullen. “Why take it out? It makes no sense and the government offered absolutely no explanation.”

Without mandatory license verification, if an individual has a revoked license or is under prohibition, there is nothing to verify this and stop them from buying a gun.

Cullen appeared before the Public Safety committee last November to push for amendments that would consider the interests of law-abiding gun owners and maintain public safety. At that time, he warned that even his constituents and other Canadians who despise the long-gun registry don’t want Ottawa to ditch all controls.

“Let’s remember that this government is refusing to vote for amendments they supported a short eight months ago. What we put forward was in previous bills. The Conservatives are betraying their own advice and the safety of Canadians,” said Cullen.

“This arrogant and domineering approach to governing is not what Canadians voted for last May,” Cullen said. “I’m worried this government is causing harm. They are putting both gun-owners and citizens at risk.”

The long-gun registry was introduced in 1995 by the Jean Chrétien Liberals as a one-time investment of $2 million. Costs have since soared to more than $1 billion.

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