First, we’d change the law, so that people who forget to register their gun can be issued a ticket, rather than face a criminal charge. This will give front line officers the tools you need to distinguish an honest mistake from a threat to public safety. Someone who habitually breaks the law and flouts the regulations should be treated far differently from someone who makes a one-time mistake. One kind of behavior is criminal, the other isn’t. And you need the appropriate tools to deal with each situation. That’s a message we heard loud and clear.
Second, we’ll permanently eliminate fees for new licenses, renewals, and upgrades.
And third, we’ll streamline paperwork, to make registration as quick and easy as possible.
Seems like a reasonable compromise to me. And it must also seem like a reasonable compromise to the 8 Liberal MPs who voted for Candice Hoeppner’s private members bill to abolish the gun registry - Ignatieff said MPs who vote for her bill on third reading will be punished and, after the abortion fiasco, I assume he's made sure his ducks are lined up first for this one. (Right?)
So what all of this means is that the fate of the gun registry now rests in the hands of a dozen NDP MPs who voted to scrap the registry last fall. Fairly or unfairly, Layton knows he'll get the blame for killing the registry if he doesn't whip the vote on this one. My guess is that's not what Jack wants, and enough NDP holdouts will have a change of heart, helping to shoot down Hoeppner's bill.