NEWS RELEASE

June 10, 2003                                                                                                 For Immediate Release

NOW PROOF THAT LIBERALS BOTCHED FIREARMS LICENCING TOO

“Government documents prove the Justice Minister’s promises to Parliament have been broken.”

Ottawa – Today, Garry Breitkreuz, Official Opposition Critic for Firearms and Property Rights, released a trail of documents obtained over the last two years that the Liberals botched the firearm licencing program and compromised their public safety assurances in the process.  “The documents I have obtained through hundreds of Access to Information Act requests prove that they didn’t do the reference and background checks that they said they did,” stated Breitkreuz.  “They were so focused on the most useless part of the program – gun registration – that they forgot to do job-one properly.  Now we know why the firearm licence refusal and revocation rate was more than twice as good under the old FAC [Firearm Acquisition Certificate] program as it is under their new licencing scheme.  Who knows how many Marc Lepines have slipped through such a slipshod firearm licencing system?”

The Justice Department documents released by Breitkreuz reveal (documentation attached):

  1.  January 9, 2001  “Risk to public safety is mitigated through licencing – It is not a registration issue.”

  2.  July 11, 2002  Possession and Acquisition Licences issued without a firearms safety course = 15, 381.

  3.  April 12, 2003  Possession Only Licences issued without a firearms safety course = 1,305,841.

  4.  May 28, 2002  Question Period Briefing Note prepared for the Justice Minister states: "Reference and

       background checks are done on each Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) applicant."  June 3, 2003

       Solicitor General's response to Q-227 - "There are no statistics available on how many of the two references

        per PAL application were actually called."

  5.  April 12, 2003  Number of Possession Only Licences (POLs) issued without any requirement to provide

       references = 1,305,841.

  6.  March 2002  Firearm Licence and Refusal Rates under the old FAC program administered = 0.76%.

  7.  March 2003  Firearm Licence and Refusal Rates under new and improved firearm licencing system = 0.27%.

  8.  June 3, 2003  No statistics available on reasons for the refusal and revocation of firearm licences.

  9.  March 11, 2002  Gun registry has lost the addresses of tens of thousands of licenced firearm owners.

10.    January 16, 2003  Number of gun owners who didn’t obtain a firearms licence = 541,000.

11.   May 7, 2003  No tracking of addresses or “inspections” of persons who are prohibited from owning firearms or have had their firearm licences refused and revoked.

 

“In the last two months, I have received dozens of letters and e-mails documenting hundreds of cases where PAL applicants never had their references checked and individuals who provided references for PAL applicants who were never called.  What’s the point of asking applicants to supply two references if the government isn’t even going to take the time to call them?  What other lies did the bureaucrats tell the Minister?” asked Breitkreuz.  “The Privacy Commissioner should find this very interesting considering the government’s insistence that all the private and personal questions on the firearm licence applications are essential for conducting effective background checks.”

 

“Their own documents show that the billion dollars they’ve wasted couldn’t possibly keep guns out of the hands of persons that shouldn’t have them - as four Ministers have promised.  How many promises and how many billions more have to be wasted before voters tell the Liberals they’ve had enough?”

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SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

1.  January 9, 2001 - “Risk to public safety is mitigated through licencing – It is not a registration issue.”

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/PublicSafetyDocument-Jan92001.pdf

 

2.  July 11, 2002 – Possession and Acquisition Licences issued without a firearms safety course = 15, 381.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/moremistakes.htm

 

3.  April 12, 2003 – Possession Only Licences issued without a firearms safety course = 1,305,841.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/FirearmsLicencesbyProv-2003-04-12.xls

 

4.  May 28, 2002 - Question Period Briefing Note prepared for the Justice Minister states: "Reference and background checks are done on each Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) applicant."  June 3, 2003 - Solicitor General's response to Q-227 - "There are no statistics available on how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called."

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/questions/june-3-2003written.htm

 

5.  April 12, 2003 – Number of Possession Only Licences (POLs) issued without any requirement to provide references = 1,305,841.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/FirearmsLicencesbyProv-2003-04-12.xls

 

6.  March 2002 - Firearm Licence and Refusal Rates under the old FAC program administered = 0.76%

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/licenserefusal.htm

 

7.  March 2003 - Firearm Licence and Refusal Rates under new and improved firearm licencing system = 0.27%.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/licenserefusal.htm

 

8.  June 3, 2003 - No statistics available on reasons for the refusal and revocation of firearm licences.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/orderpapermay-02-2003.htm

 

9.  March 11, 2002 – Gun registry has lost the addresses of tens of thousands of licenced firearm owners.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/registrationmailings.htm

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/firearmscentrelosesguns.htm

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/lostowners.htm

 

10.  January 16, 2003 – Number of gun owners who didn’t obtain a firearms licence = 541,000.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/Article56.htm

 

11.  May 7, 2003 - No tracking of addresses or “inspections” of persons who are prohibited from owning firearms or have had their firearm licences refused and revoked.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/questions/may-7-2003written.htm