Quebec gun owners protest against re-establishing registry
Published Saturday, February 20, 2016 4:23PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 20, 2016 6:17PM EST
Dozens of gun owners held a rally outside the St-Jerome riding office of Parti Quebecois leader Pierre Karl Peladeau Saturday morning in opposition to a proposed law that would re-establish the gun registry in Quebec.
The controversial registry was abolished four years ago by the former Conservative government in Ottawa.
Quebec decided to would create its own version of the registry after political parties unanimously voted in favour of Bill 64 in December, but a group of gun owners is seeking to convince politicians that the call for a gun registry is not unanimous.
“We feel misunderstood,” said activist Guy Morin of the group Citizens United against the Gun Registry. “People seem to ignore the fact that there's already strong gun control in Canada.”
Gun owners currently require a licence to purchase a gun or a long-gun.
“The registry is a useless extra step, especially if it only applies to Quebec,” said Morin. “Why Quebec? Are we better? I don't think so.”
Similar to the St-Jerome riding, rallies were held in Thetford Mines and in Lac St-Jean to denounce the proposed gun registry.
The PQ caucus is divided over reinstating the registry.
The emerging opposition against the registry has become a political hot potato in the National Assembly, where some MNAs from rural areas are feeling pressure from their gun-owning constituents.
“Well, because you have different sensibilities on the territory, so we must take into account these different sensibilities,” PQ MNA Bernard Drainville said about the matter last month.
In Quebec, 95 per cent of guns are hunting rifles.
“I think it's deplorable that law-abiding gun owners are demonized in society,” said gun owner Steven Clark.
The newly formed citizen's coalition against the gun registry is circulating a petition against the proposed law as plans to challenge it as it makes its way through the legislature.