Quebec gun control advocates say proposed registry has major flaw

A group of gun control advocates including survivors and family members of those killed in Montreal's polytechnique massacre says Quebec's proposed new gun registry has a major flaw.

Proposed law won't require gun sellers to verify license of buyers

Nathalie Provost and Heidi Rathjen, who survived the 1989 Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, say the Couillard governemnt's proposed gun registry has a major flaw. (CBC)

A group of gun control advocates including survivors and family members of those killed in Montreal's École Polytechnique massacre says Quebec's proposed new gun registry has a major flaw.

The Couillard government's proposed registry, outlined in Bill 64, does not explicitly require someone selling a gun to verify if the buyer has a valid firearms license.

"One of the main objectives of gun control is to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, so it just doesn't make any sense," Heidi Rathjen, polytechnique survivor and member of the group PolySeSouvient, told CBC.

Harper loophole

The Couillard government is working on creating its own registry after the federal government under the Harper Conservatives abolished the federal long gun registry.

Rathjen said before the Harper government abolished the federal registry, gun sellers were required to call the Canadian Firearms Centre, administered by the RCMP, to check the validity of a buyer's permit before the buyer could take possession of a gun.

She said when the Harper government abolished the long-gun registry they also eliminated this requirement, and it appears the Quebec legislation contains the same loophole.

Optimistic bill could be changed

Rathjen said sellers may check the validity of the permit if they have concerns, but theyr'e not required to.

"It's happened in the past that a permit was revoked, but they still had the physical card, and the seller didn't check and sold the gun and then the gun was used for violent purpose," Rathjen said.

Rathjen will be in Quebec City Wednesday when PolySeSouvient makes its presentation to a Nation Assembly committee reviewing the proposed legislation.

She said she's optimistic public security minister Martin Coiteux will amend the bill to close the loophole.


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