Registry repeal has Rathgeber riding high

While there was no dancing in the streets, as he predicted in other reports, Edmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber and the rest of the federal Conservative party are ecstatic now that the repeal of the long gun registry has passed third reading in the House of Commons.

The bill was passed Wednesday night by a vote of 159-130, marking the completion of was of the Tories’ long-standing campaign promises. Two New Democratic Party MPs even broke ranks and vote with the Conservatives.

Edmonton-St. Albert Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber

“This is a bill I’ve spent a lot of time on in terms of hearings and study, vetting and addressing amendments,” Rathgeber said, noting there were receptions on Wednesday night to mark the passing of the bill, although he did not participate as he was fighting off the flu. “It was a great sense of satisfaction to finally have it complete, because so many Albertans had very strong feelings that the long gun registry was an invasion on their rights and tended to criminalize people for what was otherwise lawful behaviour.”

Although Edmonton-St. Albert is a predominantly urban riding, Rathgeber still heard from plenty of his constituents who felt repealing the registry was the right thing to do.

“There is a significant number of individuals who live in [St. Albert] who are sportsmen — who, on weekends, are duck hunters or big game hunters, and certainly we heard loud and clear from those individuals that this bill was an invasion of their rights and of their privacy,” he said.

While it’s true that the registry did assist police in convicting one of the accomplices in the Mayerthorpe RCMP shootings in 2005, as well as in a recent incident near Killam, Rathgeber said the fact those incidents actually happened outweighs any good the registry did after the fact.

“Weighed against the fact that four officers died that day [in Mayerthorpe] and the long gun reigstry was unable to do anything to prevent that, I think that … incident sadly and tragically shows the limitations of what was always sort of a misguided premise: that criminals would register their guns,” he said.

Even with the demise of the registry, Rathgeber said there are still plenty of adequate gun control measures in place, most notably the licensing of firearms owners.

“It’s the individual that’s licensed, and that doesn’t change. … Licensing deals with the individual; registration deals with the property,” he said. “In my view, and the view of the government, the two are completely different. It’s individuals that need to be licensed to show they are capable of safely handling firearms and don’t have criminal backgrounds. But registering the weapons doesn’t contribute to safety.”

The bill repealing the registry must now pass through the Senate.

— GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader


  1. Licensing under the criminal code only puts MORE guns on the street. Millions of firearm owners have simply said no to licensing themselves in order to posses their own previously legally obtained property. Someone not having a firearms license, that has a firearm stolen, will likely just suck up the loss and not incriminate him or herself by reporting the theft. As long as the simple possession of a otherwise legally obtained firearm is a crime. Don’t expect people to turn themselves in by reporting the theft. Why would they want to open themselves up to financially crippling court costs, job loss, and prison? Under these conditions, for most it’s a no brainer. they would just shut up, suck up the loss, and go on with their life.. Under the old FAC system (that made no legal owner a criminal) which worked much better, stolen firearms would be reported immediately, be recorded in the CPIC system, and be in effect registered as stolen. The owner could then collect his insurance for the loss, and the police would know it was ‘out there’. The current system promotes crime by criminalizing the theft victim. The Sooner the CPC realizes this, the sooner we can get back to the VERY effective FAC system that used to exist, and the sooner sanity will prevail in the case of firearms owned by target shooters, hunters, and collectors.
    A FULL return to the F.A.C. system is what is needed. All of the safety, storage, and training aspects of the current farce were transferred from the F.A.C. system, and ALL existed before the Liberals screwed everything up. The only difference the liberal included in C68(1995), was the registry (soon to be gone), and the criminalization of citizens who’s only crime is the continued possession of firearms they legally acquired, plus safely, and responsibly owned for years. This entire farce was created for political purposes only, and should be entirely dismantled for a return to the F.A.C. Read this link (click, or cut and paste into your browser), and educate yourself as to why this farce even exists.