Quebec to Create Provincial Gun Registry

Quebec has tabled legislation today to introduce a Quebec Gun Registry, it has been reported.

The federal government had maintained a national firearm registration system for all firearms since the 1990s, but in 2012 the long-gun portion was abolished.

However, Quebec fought a lengthy court battle to preserve the long gun registry data as it applied to Quebec residents.  The province was ultimately defeated at the Supreme Court of Canada, in a ruling earlier this year.

The Quebec government has now introduced Bill 64, the Firearms Registration Act.  Under the law, if passed, all non-restricted firearms in Quebec would once again require registration, this time with the provincial public security ministry.

Quebec Gets Least Use of Existing System

According to RCMP figures, police in Quebec currently query the Canadian Firearms Registration system about 900 times a day, with 85,864 queries in the last quarter of 2014.  However, Quebec police utilize the system the least compared to other provinces, averaging just 1,086 queries per 100,000 population.

Quebec has one of the lowest rates of ownership for restricted and prohibited firearms, but has the second largest number of firearms licence holders in Canada, at nearly a half a million, suggesting most Quebec gun owners have just non-restricted firearms and would be widely impacted by the provincial registry.

Canada’s second most populous province has had an unfortunate history of gun violence, from a shooting and hostage-taking at the National Assembly in 1984, to the Ecole Polytechnique killing of fourteen women in 1989, and the 2006 Dawson College shooting, in which one woman and the perpetrator were killed.