Ms. Candice Hoeppner (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as we come to the close of the second hour of debate at second reading stage of this bill, I would like to read into the record some of the feedback that I have been receiving. I have received numerous emails, letters and phone calls. Although hunters and farmers and sports shooters have contacted me, the majority of the correspondence has been from front line police officers who are concerned. It is important that as we look at ending the long gun registry we look at what police officers are saying.
Chief of Police Rick Hiebert in Winkler said:
“As the Chief of the Winkler Police Service I would like to offer my support for Bill C-391. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police does not speak for all active police chiefs when supporting the long-gun registry. I personally believe it is time to put an end to the long-gun registry and use that money to focus on criminals and illegal gun activity.”
I want to read one more email I just received today from a high-ranking police officer from Toronto, who asked to remain anonymous. He said:
“I'm a firearms owner and believer in firearms accountability. I do not believe that the registry has made my job easier or safer. Further to that, it has not made public safety better and it has created a false sense of security. I'm in support for a change to this legislation for the better.”
As legislators, as individuals who represent the great country of Canada, we have an obligation when we see a piece of legislation, a bill that has not worked, to address it honestly and change it. That is why I have introduced Bill C-391.
We do have a problem with gun crime in Canada. I agree with the concern shown by Members of Parliament who represent large cities and urban centres that we have a problem with gun crime. But the long gun registry has done nothing to help reduce crime in cities.
Many of the concerns that have been brought forward are addressed under the licensing process, and it is important that Canadians understand this important part of our gun control. It truly is gun control; it is the licensing process.
Individuals who have a record of violent crimes, criminal behaviour, domestic violence are denied a licence, and that needs to continue. But the long gun registry has done nothing to actually end gun crime in Canada. If it did, I believe that individual police officers would come forward. They would be calling me or writing me and telling me to continue with the long gun registry because they need it. That is not what I am hearing.
As we look back over the last 10 years of this boondoggle, of the waste of money that has gone into this long gun registry, let us look at it honestly and look at the facts.
The long gun registry has done nothing to reduce crime. The long gun registry creates a false sense of security. It actually creates a shopping list for gangsters and individuals who want to break into that long gun registry--and it has been breached over 300 times--and target long gun owners to try to steal their firearms. The registry is actually a hindrance to fighting crime in Canada.
This is an important piece of legislation. We are being watched as members of Parliament on what we do to fight crime in Canada. We need to focus on criminals and criminal activity.
I ask for the support of those members in this House who, in their riding have said, that they will not support the long gun registry. I ask them to be here on November 4 and support this bill which would end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all.