Rafferty targets long gun registry

Peggy Revell

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty is planning to introduce a private member’s bill calling for the abolition of the long gun registry once Parliament resumes later this month.
“The reason I’m doing that is really because I promised the constituents in every election that that’s what I would do, given the opportunity, and you know what, I got the opportunity,” Rafferty said last week while hosting a pre-budget consultation here.
Rafferty said he will introduce the bill as soon as he can during the upcoming sitting of Parliament.
“While a lot of the debate going on in the legislature will be about the budget, there’s still opportunity to put these bills forward,” he noted.
“A lot of people think that the business in the House is that 45 minutes you see on TV, but it’s not,” he stressed. “We sit at 9:30 [a.m.] and go until after 6 [p.m.], and there’s a lot of opportunities in that day to introduce bills.”
Despite private member’s bills historically not finding enough support in the House to become law, Rafferty believes there will be great interest in it from fellow NDP MPs, Conservative MPs, and a number of Liberal MPs.
Though he does concede there will be those, even in his own party, who disagree.
While Rafferty hasn’t put together the bill yet, he hopes to keep it simple and straightforward.
“I’m hoping that it’s going to be an easy yes/no, yay/nay vote,” he remarked.
“I think that we’ve got more than adequate gun control laws in this country, and I think the money can be better spent on enforcement,” Rafferty argued.
“I think it would be better spent in the large cities with programs and anti-gang related activities,” he added, stressing he isn’t against gun control in itself.
People are registered in other ways, he noted, such as through the firearms acquisition certificate.
“We have lots of laws, but we need to enforce them,” he remarked, arguing that the money spent on this registry would be better spent on enforcing border control, investigating mail and Internet orders of guns, and investing in programs that would help inner city youths and reduce gangs.
“If you’re going to target the money, target the money where it’s going to do the most good,” he stressed.
Elected as a first-time MP back on Oct. 14, this will be the first bill Rafferty has ever brought forward in the House.
(Fort Frances Times)