We’ve been telling you that the provinces are creating a shadow long gun registry, a back door gun registry you might say, for the last week.
But that may not be the case, it might be the feds – or at least federal appointees - and on that point we may even have a win. But first, let’s back up a bit.
Last week we received a letter that had been sent out to all gun shop owners across Ontario by the province’s chief firearms officer, Supt. Chris Wyatt.
He informed store owners that with the end of the gun registry they must now keep a record of all purchases including the name, contact info, licence number of all buyers plus what was purchased.
Wyatt even said he wasn’t destroying the data that he and his team had collected all during the gun registry era.
When we questioned the feds about this they put the blame on the provinces and said it was out of their hands, through his spokesmen, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews made it clear that his office was not behind this and the provinces must want this.
Funny though, we’ve been checking with the provinces since the beginning and they have denied it uphill and down.
You’ll forgive me for not believing Premier Dalton McGuinty, although I think his government likes having all this data collected, it doesn’t appear that this decision to keep the shadow registry came from him or any of the other provinces.
We have checked with several provincial governments and they all deny being behind this.
As Lorne Gunter wrote in his column yesterday and discussed with me on Byline last night, this decision to keep registry data and create a back door registry came about through meetings between the various provincial chief firearms officers.
That means the RCMP is in on this.
The Mounties, or at least part of that organization – the very political part – always liked the gun registry. They wanted to keep it, they opposed Bill C-19.
But they aren’t the elected leaders are they. Their job is to follow.
Instead they found a back-door work around and will keep their gun registry data, everything but the registration number will be kept and still collected. This flies in the face of the democratic will of Parliament. This appears to be a case of bureaucrats deciding to act outside of the law.
The question here is how much did Toews know about this? Did he know this was happening before we broke the story? Did he give it his blessing?
Today, Minister Toews issued a fairly strong statement on the issue of the gun registry and the shadow registry bureaucrats are trying to build.
I question why it took so long but I welcome it either way.
I want to read part of this letter, addressed to Robert Paulson, Commissioner of the RCMP, and Pierre Perron, Director General of the Canadian Firearms Centre.
“It has been suggested in various media reports that Chief Firearms Officers, acting pursuant to their purported authority under the Firearms Act, are attempting to collect data that they are no longer authorized to collect pursuant to Bill C-19. To be clear, the Firearms Act does not authorize this activity.”
That to me sounds like a victory for law abiding gun owners and for Sun News and its viewers but then again, we thought the passage of Bill C-19 was a victory.
We’ll keep watching for this and keep standing with you and for common sense.
And that’s the Byline.