Quebec court rebukes bill that eased gun control

Sep 10, 2012, 8:07 PM

MONTREAL (AP) – A Quebec court delivered a stinging rebuke Monday to Canada’s conservative federal government over a bill that scrapped a law requiring the registration of rifles and shotguns. The verdict Monday was a victory for gun control activists and came on the heels of a series of high-profile shootings in Canada.

The court accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government of violating the principles of Canadian federalism by refusing to hand over registry data for Quebec. The French-speaking province, where there is a strong current of support for gun control, wants to start its own provincial registry to replace the now-defunct federal one.

Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard gave the federal government 30 days to hand over the registry data for the province. The ruling applies only to Quebec but it is a crucial round in a broader legal battle that is expected to end up before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The federal government, which argues that the long-gun registry unfairly targeted law-abiding hunters, suggested it would appeal the Quebec ruling.

The decision came one week after Quebec was shaken by a deadly shooting at a rally following the election of a new separatist premier. A series of public shooting in Toronto earlier this year raised fears that Canada could be moving closer to U.S. levels of gun violence despite the country’s stricter gun control laws.

Prosecutors said the man suspected in the Quebec shooting had several weapons on him and in his car, including a long gun used in the shooting. Richard Henry Bain, who owns a hunting and fishing lodge, had many more guns at home, prosecutors said. The premier-elect, Pauline Marois, was unharmed but one man was killed and another person was wounded.

The federal government introduced legislation last year to scrap the law requiring registration of rifles and shotguns. Canada has long required registration of hand guns, but the long-gun registry law passed in 1995 faced bitter opposition from rural Canada, the Conservative party’s base, which considered it an overreaction to the problem of urban crime.

The law took effect in April but Quebec obtained a series of injunctions safeguarding data pertaining to the province.

However, the Harper government has refused to relinquish any data from the registry. It says Quebec can start from scratch if it wants to build its own registry.

But Judge Blanchard ruled that the registry data cannot be viewed as being strictly “federal” and said Quebec has a right to it.

Harper’s government criticized the ruling.

“I am disappointed with today’s ruling and will thoroughly review the decision,” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement. “Our Conservative government will continue to fight against any measures that needlessly target law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.”

Gun control advocates applauded the decision.

“The decision of the court reaffirms the fact that the data on guns is useful, that the province which contributed to collecting it is entitled to keep it and that it is in the interest of public safety to maintain it,” the Coalition For Gun Control said in a statement.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

This photo shows the garden of Kyle Good and Gerald Singer in Garrison, N.Y. on Aug. 8, 2022. The c...
Associated Press

For hire or food, garden sitters save the day during summer

NEW YORK (AP) — Take my chard, please! The season has come when many home gardeners, their numbers booming since the pandemic began, are being rewarded with fully matured, ready-to-pick vegetables and flowers. It’s also vacation season, and this summer travel is back. How do you maintain your garden and take advantage of all that […]
7 hours ago
The receipt for property that was seized during the execution of a search warrant by the FBI at for...
Associated Press

Media to ask judge to release Trump search warrant affidavit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for many of the nation’s largest media companies will try to persuade a federal magistrate judge on Thursday afternoon to make public the affidavit supporting the warrant that allowed FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate last week. The Associated Press, The New York Times, […]
7 hours ago
FILE - A hiring sign is displayed at a restaurant in Schaumburg, Ill., Friday, April 1, 2022.  More...
Associated Press

Fewer Americans file for jobless benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market continues to stand out as one of the strongest segments of the U.S. economy. Applications for jobless aid for the week ending August 13 fell by 2,000 to 250,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Last week’s number, which raised […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

Lawyer’s group text causes 2nd Florida murder case mistrial

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A prosecutor in a murder case complained about a judge’s ruling in a group text message that included the judge, resulting in a second mistrial for a man charged with killing his girlfriend’s young son. Now the defense wants the case dismissed altogether. Broward County Judge Peter Holden refused to […]
7 hours ago
A doctor shows a monkeypox sore on a patient´s foot at the Arzobispo Loayza hospital in Lima, Peru...
KTAR.com

Arizona health department launches monkeypox resource page

Arizona health officials launched a monkeypox web page with information and resources to help the community better understand the outbreak.
7 hours ago
Terrence Hersey stands for a portrait at his home Friday, June 17, 2022, in South Holland, Ill. Her...
Associated Press

Disqualified for disabilities, railroad workers fight back

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — After Terrence Hersey had a stroke on the way home from his railroad job in 2015, he underwent months of therapy to learn how to put words together in sentences and learn to walk again. He had to relearn how to get in and out of a car and how to […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Quebec court rebukes bill that eased gun control