Bill C-19



Bill C-19 (Ending the Long-gun Registry Act) was introduced in the House of Commons on October 25, and on Oct. 27, the Conservatives voted to severely restrict the amount of time the House could spend on considering it. At the parliamentary committee level, the government rejected all the amendments proposed by the opposition. On February 15, 2012, the government voted to send the Bill to the Senate.


The amendments contained in Bill C-19 will put Canadians’ lives at risk. Like previous legislation aimed at ending the requirement that individuals register their non-restricted firearms – category of guns that includes rifles and shotguns such as the semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14 used in the Montreal Massacre and sniper rifles, including powerful .50 calibre sniper rifles – this Bill will allow a licenced individual to acquire an unlimited number of guns without even checking if their licence is valid. There will also be no means to know who owns these powerful guns, who sold them or how many are owned. When long guns are recovered in crime, police will not be able to trace them back to their owners, losing an important investigative tool.

Registering all non-restricted firearms to their legal owners one time is key to the effectiveness of our gun control policy.

  • Non-restricted rifles and shotguns are used in homicides, suicides and unintentional injury and account for a substantial proportion of firearms recovered in crime, even in large urban centres.  They are the guns most often used in suicide, domestic violence and the murder of police officers.
  • This is not just an urban issue; the evidence shows clearly that rates of firearm death and injury tend to be higher in areas with more firearms per capita.
  • Screening and licensing firearm owners reduces the risks that dangerous people will have access to weapons and registration reinforces licensing, as it holds gun owners accountable for their firearms and reduces the chances that their guns will be diverted to unlicensed owners.
  • That link between licensing of firearm owners and the registration of their firearms was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in a unanimous decision on the constitutionality of the Firearms Act in 2000.
  • Registering firearms helps police enforce prohibition orders and remove guns from dangerous people.
  • The gun registry has aided police investigations, including the prosecution of accessories to the murder of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.
  • In Canada, rates of firearm death and injury have fallen with successively stronger firearms regulation, particularly those focusing on rifles and shotguns, the firearms most often in Canadian homes. 
  • The costs of maintaining the registration of rifles and shotguns alone have been determined to be less than $4 million per year, an investment that is dwarfed by the costs of gun death and injury.
  • All illegal firearms begin as legal firearms. Controls over legal guns are essential to preventing diversion and choking off the illegal supply.
  • Most industrialized countries register firearms. The registry helps Canada meet its international obligations to trace firearms and combat the illegal gun trade.

However, Bill C-19 goes far beyond simply repealing elements of C-68, the 1995 legislation; it actually  removes critical measures that have been in place since 1977. Bill C-19:

  • Makes verifying a firearms purchaser’s licence voluntary, which increases the chances unlicensed individuals will be sold rifles and shotguns.
  • Erases data on 7.1 million rifles and shotguns currently registered, despite the fact that the data could be useful as an investigative tool for police officers for firearm tracing purpose. Several international treaties require that countries maintain firearm sales records for the purpose of tracing.
  • Omits provisions to reinstate the requirement that businesses keep records of sales. This has been a requirement since 1977, and was removed when the Firearms Act passed in 1995 as the information would be in the registry. Without this information there is no way for police to investigate the source of rifles and shotguns recovered from crime scenes or seized from suspects. 
  • Destroys a tool widely used by police officers to remove guns from dangerous or suicidal people, enforce prohibition orders and take preventive actions.  

Stand up to Save Canada’s Gun Control Law. Contact your Member of Parliament to share your support for gun control and for the gun registry. Click here for MPs' contact information

Overview of Public Safety Experts' position on Bill C-19

* Please click here for French position statements and press releases

Coalition for Gun Control

Brief on Bill C-19 (updated March 2012) Click here

Testimony by the Coalition for Gun Control president Wendy Cukier on Bill C-19 Click here

Press Release, February 15, 2012- Victims of gun violence and women’s safety experts outraged by the expected outcome of today’s vote on Bill C-19 Click here.

Press Release December 13, 2011- Victims of Gun Violence, Police, Health and Safety Experts Applaud the Government of Quebec's Leadership to Save the Gun Registry's Data Click here.

Press Release November 31, 2011- Federal Government's Gun Registry Bill C-19 Seriously Jeopardizes Public Safety Click here.

Press Release November 17, 2011- Police, Health and Safety Experts defend the long-gun registry Click here

Press Release October 25, 2011- Police, safety and suicide prevention experts and victims of gun violence outraged at Government’s introduction of Bill C-19 Click here

Myths and Facts on Canada's Gun Registry. Click here


Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Presentation to the Senate - Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs - Bill C-19 Click here

Canadian Association of Chief of Police Presentation on Bill C-19, Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Click here

Public Health Experts

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions - Statement on Bill C-19 Click here

November 1, 2011- Bill C-19 respecting firearms - Québec's public health directors favour the maintenance of the Canadian Firearms Registry Click here

November 17, 2011- Testimony by Rural British Columbia psychiatrist Dr. Barbara Kane Click here

November 24, 2011- Testimony by the Quebec Suicide Prevention Association Click here


Dawson College Student Union Testimony on Bill C-19 Click here

October 25, 2011- Dawson College Student Union: To stop gun violence, the long-gun registry must stay. Click here

Witnesses and victims of the Montreal Massacre Presentation on C-19 Click here.

Women's Safety Experts

Press Release, March 8 2012 Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses: Women’s Day 2012 one more step to ending gun control protections for women Click here

YWCA Canada's Brief on Bill C-19 is available here.

Presentation by YWCA Canada's Ann Decter and YWCA Yellowknife's Lyda Fuller on Bill C-19. Click here.

Canadian Federation of University Women Brief on Bill C-19 Click here

Brief by researchers Deborah Doherty and Jennie Hornosty on Bill C-19. Click here and here for the appendix.

Letter to the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on Bill C-19 from the Canadian Federation of University Women Click here

November 24, 2011- Testimony by the Fédération des femmes du Québec and the Fédération de ressources d'hébergement pour femmes violentées et en difficulté du Québec Click here

Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses's coordinated statement on Bill C-19 Click here

Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Center's response to "From their cold, dead hands" Click here

Press Release, February 16, 2012: CFUW Appalled by Passage of Bill C-19 Click here.

Background information: Weakening controls when guns are purchased will put women at risk


Press Release, February 16, 2012: CAW Urges Federal Government to Save Gun Registry Data Click here.

Press Release, February 16, 2012: PSAC: Public safety ignored as Conservative bill to eliminate long-gun registry approved in House of Commons Click here.

Press Release, February 16, 2012: CFNU condemns bill to kill Long Gun Registry, thanks MPs who voted against. Click here.

Press Release, February 15, 2012: CLC condemns vote ending Long-gun registry Click here.

Canadian Labour Congress's Submission to to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security regarding Bill C-19 Click here

Press Release October 27, 2011- CLC urges MPs to oppose Bill dismantling gun registry Click here

Press Release October 25, 2011- PSAC: Move to abolish gun registry puts Canadians' safety at risk Click here

Press Release December 5, 2011- PSAC statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women Click here

Press Release October 25, 2011- Harper's Gun Bill Sets Canada Back Decades, CAW says Click here

Pictures of the rally organized by CEP on Parliament Hill December 6, 2011 Click here

CEP women's conference targets violence against women Highlights include address by the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean; Dec. 6th march and rally Click here

Press Release December 7, 2011-CUPE joins hundreds at rally to save the gun registry Click here.

CUPE's Submission on Bill C-19 Click here

Press Release December 5, 2011-Long-Gun Registry is Critical to Ending Violence Against Women: Ontario Federation of Labour Click here.

Press Release December 2 , 2011- Ending Long Gun Registry Hypocritical as Nation Marks December 6th: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Click here.

Letter December 2, 2011-CAUT members oppose the government’s abolition of the long-gun registry Click here.


Op-ed " Little known changes to gun control will put Canadians at risk" by law professor Martha Jackman here

Press release, October 25, 2011- Tell Parliament the long-gun registry must stay, says Alliance of east coast safety experts Click here

Project Ploughshares's Speaking Notes: Bill C-19 and Canada’s international firearms commitments Click here

Testimony by Étienne Blais, Criminologist and Associate Professor, School of Criminology, University of Montreal Click here

Testimony by Quebec's Public Safety Minister on Bill C-19 Click here

Testimony by Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault on Bill C-19 Click here

Testimony by Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart on Bill C-19 Click here

Article- Tory intention to destroy long-gun records could break two laws, says Information Commissioner Click here

Article- RCMP confirms records of make, model and serial numbers of guns sold no longer required when long-gun registry is dismantled. This contradicts what prominent anti-registry spokesmen and the government were saying as late as this week Click here


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