Public Safety Minister Vic Toews speaks to the media at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, May 16, 2012 comment on the new arrests in the MV Sun Sea case.
Credits: Andre Forget / QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA - Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has renewed his threat to legislate or regulate an end to the registry of long-gun sales in paper ledgers, but he won't say when he'll pull the trigger on it.
"I'm not going to comment directly on when legislation or regulations will be brought in, but we will act as is necessary," Toews said Wednesday.
The minister says it's still his intention to end the provincial practice of forcing gun shops to maintain paper-ledger records of rifle and shotgun purchases.
Toews praised New Brunswick for announcing Tuesday that it would stop trying to track long-guns sales on its paper ledgers to comply with the federal law that abolished the long-gun registry last month.
"New Brunswick, for example, has made it very clear that they are prepared to respect the will of Parliament," he said.
Toews says he's still waiting for Ontario to get the message.
"I'm surprised CFOs (chief firearms officers) would somehow rely on some kind of a general empowering section of legislation that is specifically contradicted by the legislation that we have put forward," he said.
Ontario's CFO insists the ledgers aren't affected by Bill C-19, which abolished the federal registry, and are one of the "reasonable conditions" the Firearms Act says he can attach to a gun shop's licence to operate.
Meantime, Nova Scotia's justice department says it has contacted the firearms program office run by the Mounties to seek clarification on gun shop ledgers.
"Our goal is, obviously, to comply with whatever regulation or requirement that they set forward," said Dan Harrison, department spokesman.
RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson has written to all CFOs to tell them federal law doesn't authorize them to run anything resembling a long-gun registry.
The PEI justice department confirms its gun shop ledgers will continue while it seeks legal advice.