Facing elections in late January, due to a no-confidence vote in Parliament that resulted from a corruption scandal, Canada's ruling Liberal party will announce a handgun ban on Thursday. All legally-owned handguns have been registered in Canada since the 1930s.
On September 22, 1998, Anne McLellan (the Liberal Minister of Justice) said "we're not interested in confiscating their guns, as long as they are legitimate gun owners, as long as they store them appropriately, transport them appropriately and so on ..."
That same day, in a debate in Canada's Parliament, Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough East) stated,
Turning now to the motion, the first issue is the confiscation of private property. If the mover thought about that for more than five seconds, he would realize that a proper registration system gives security of ownership and enhances value. Far from confiscating, it does the exact opposite and legitimizes the owning of firearms. Certainly property registration does wonders for land titles and land values as it does for motor vehicles and other forms of property. Why would it not be true with firearms?
On August 26, 2004, Canada's Commissioner of Firearms spoke at the annual meeting of the Canadian Professional Police Association. He declared: "For years, firearm owners have expressed fears regarding the confiscation of firearms. This is a concern I heard loud and clear when we held consultations with firearms organizations last fall. But, in fact, those fears have not materialized."
In a 1976, interview in the New Yorker, the late Nelson Shields, who was then the head of the group which is now known as the Brady Campaign, explained registration's purpose:
The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal.(Richard Harris, "A Reporter at Large: Handguns," New Yorker, July 26, 1976, p. 58.)
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