Why don't we simply follow the Canadians and introduce legislation to abolish "Long-Gun Registry"Â� - a bill that frees Canadians from the requirement to register non-restricted firearms, such as hunting rifles and shotguns?
Long-gun owners would simply require a valid firearms license to purchase or possess firearms, to purchase ammunition and to pass safety training. Individuals are still required to register prohibited and restricted firearms, such as handguns. This follows huge cost overruns to implement the firearms programme to dismantle the Canadian gun registry.
Soaring costs and administrative mismanagement, in concert with strong political, philosophical and emotional differences of opinion on gun control, have combined to make the gun registry a hot issue in Canada for years.
The implementation of the system was originally going to cost Canadian taxpayers a mere $2 million. Costs have soared to $1,4 billion and it is expected to hit the $2 billion mark before the dust settles.
"We support gun control, but we don't support the expensive, ineffective gun registry," John Wallace, Conservative Party spokesperson on the issue, said. "We believe the money for the programme should be used for targeted policing to go after illegal guns and the criminals who use them."
It is a fact that long guns were used in only 2,74% of robberies in Canada and nobody was injured during such robberies.
Supporters of the licensing system say it promotes responsible gun use, gives a record of where guns are located, what kinds of firearms there are, and who owns them. It deters crime, saves lives and assists the police.
Opponents say there are better ways to control the illegal use of weapons, including tougher sentences for gun crimes, controlling imports, and tightening border security. In addition, gun registry costs have been out of control since the beginning of the gun registry programme.
They argue that gun registry is irrelevant in gun control since criminals will not register their guns. Rural Canadians, farmers and hunters say gun registry penalises legal gun owners and is a bureaucratic trap.
Legal experts argue that the Canadian charter is under threat because of the legislation.
"Â¢ It is a fact that SA's licensing legislation is based on Canada's system. Question is: if a sophisticated First World country finds itself trapped by the implementation of the system, and by the soaring costs, how can a Third World country hope to implement such a system and keep costs under control? The government should simply admit defeat and rethink the system.
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