Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The Conservative government said Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, that millions of records of registered long guns have been destroyed.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The federal government says millions of records of registered long guns have all been destroyed, with the exception of court-protected data from Quebec.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed the registry's destruction "as of last night" after gun enthusiasts began spreading the word.

No formal news release appears to have been issued by a Conservative government that has made repeal and destruction of the long-gun registry one of its bedrock promises.

Story continues below advertisement

Nor has the government said exactly how much taxpayer money will be saved by repealing the registry, although a study by The Canadian Press suggests it is a small fraction of the millions spent annually on gun licensing.

Last year there were almost eight million firearms logged in the registry, including more than seven million "non-restricted" weapons.

The latest data from the RCMP shows that, as of last July, there are still more than 564,000 restricted firearms and more than 191,000 prohibited weapons in the federal gun registry.

"Our Conservative government is proud to say that as of last night, all contents of the long-gun registry have been destroyed, except those related to Quebec," Toews' director of communications Julie Carmichael said in an e-mail Thursday.

"Make no mistake, the tax-and-spend NDP will not hesitate to bring back the long gun registry. Now that these data have been deleted, they can never be recovered – even by Thomas Mulcair," wrote the government spokeswoman.

While there was no formal news release from Public Safety, groups such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters were out issuing public praise for the move after Toews apparently told representatives at a federal-provincial meeting Thursday in Regina.

"We are delighted that the Harper government has followed through on its promise in such a timely fashion," Greg Farrant of the Ontario association said in a release.

Story continues below advertisement

The Canadian Sports Shooting Association, meanwhile, issued a statement telling its members to "rest assured, we are the envy of international firearms advocates everywhere" because Canada is almost alone internationally in rolling back gun control laws.

"The removal of the registry is, however, more nibble than bite," added the commentary from the association.

The emboldened gun lobby now wants to see recent rules on marking guns repealed and some are also calling for an end to the licensing system.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies