Ottawa to consider scrapping mandatory gun registration after deadly mass shooting
Ottawa (Reuters) – The federal government is considering scrapping the mandatory gun register that is used to track weapons and ammunition used in mass shootings, as Ottawa tries to reduce gun violence amid the opioid crisis.
The registry was designed to identify people who may have obtained a firearm through a criminal or terrorist act, as well as those who have purchased a firearm after committing an assault or other crime.
However, in recent months there have been at least nine cases of firearms owners using the registry to acquire firearms without being charged with a crime.
The Conservative government has also announced a proposal to require background checks on those buying firearms, as the Liberals and NDP have previously proposed.
“We are considering whether to make changes to the existing registration system,” said Environment Minister Kirsty Duncan, a Conservative.
Duncan said Ottawa would consult with experts on what other steps to take to improve the registry.
She did not say whether any changes would be implemented in the near future.
In the past year, more than 100 people have died at the hands of other people in Canada, mostly in shootings.
More than 30,000 people have been injured in Canada’s firearm violence crisis, according to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Gun-control advocates have said the registry would make it harder for law-abiding people to buy guns and make it easier for criminals to obtain guns.
Gun owners, who typically register their firearms in a centralized system that is overseen by the RCMP, are concerned that such a system would slow the flow of new gun purchases.