Nathan Cullen defends vote on Long Gun Registry

Barring any hold up in the Senate chamber, the Long Gun Registry will be slipping into the night after the passing of Bill C-19 last week.

  • Feb. 20, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Barring any hold up in the Senate chamber, the Long Gun Registry will be slipping into the night after the passing of Bill C-19 last week.

The bill ends the controversial history of the long gun registry, which was first introduced in the ‘90s with Jean Chretien’s Liberal government.

The Conservative Party described the registry as “wasteful and ineffective” which needlessly targeted law-abiding Canadians.

They claimed the registry did nothing to reduce crime.

Although previously in support of scrapping the registry, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen voted against the passing of this bill, saying there were portions of earlier bills not included which he couldn’t stand for.

“They’ve been pretty consistent up until this last one and in the last one they took out a protection that was there to prevent guns from ending up in gangs and to protect gun owners themselves,” said Cullen.

Cullen is referring to a licence verification provision. He said that while gun shops have to call the National Firearms Centre when selling a gun, private sellers don’t have such provisions.

“I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they took it out,” said Cullen, adding that he had attempted to put it back in the bill, in the same language the Conservatives had used in earlier bills, but couldn’t get it back in.

“In good conscious, there’s no way I could vote for something I know will cause harm,” he said. “This is not what people have been asking for. You still want gun control in Canada even if you’re against the registry.”

He said taking out that provision could potentially create a bootleg market.

He’s aware of the potential upset this may cause with some people within his riding, being an opponent of the registry in the past.

“There’s going to be some people that are upset but we’ve spoken to a lot of them and when we talk about this they can’t believe it because they also believe it shouldn’t be easier for gangs to get guns,” said Cullen. “What hunter or farmer wakes up in the morning wanting gangs to have more guns? Nobody.”

He added, “I’m on pretty solid grounds here.”

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