A rack of "long guns" and rifles at the Shooting Edge gun store in Calgary, Alberta.
Credits: STUART DRYDEN/QMI AGENCY
The federal government is calling the ruling a victory.
"The will of Parliament and Canadians has been clear. We do not want any form of a wasteful and ineffective long gun registry," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement.
The Superior Court had heard a motion from the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto for an emergency injunction to prevent the destruction of data from the federal long-gun registry.
Justice D.M. Brown refused to place an injunction on the government's decision to destroy the information still being held in a computer database in Ottawa. The files include the names, addresses, phone numbers and registry numbers of all long-gun owners in Canada, dating back almost 20 years.
Canadian gun owners and firearms advocates are celebrating the decision.
"This is a rare victory for common sense in this entire battle," Tony Bernardo, spokesman for the Canadian Shooting Sports Association told QMI Agency. "We are very optimistic that the Supreme Court will recognize that it was 10 short years ago that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the regulation of firearms was a federal jurisdiction."
On the other side, the gun-control lobby was upset with the Ontario ruling.
"This decision is a setback but we will continue to fight for sensible controls on rifles and shotguns," wrote Wendy Cukier, president for the Coalition for Gun Control. "Outside of Quebec, rifles and shotguns are now completely untraceable."
The Quebec Superior Court recently upheld that province's injunction, saying the destruction of the data violated the Constitution and the spirit of federalism.
The federal long-gun registry was created by the Liberal government in 1995. The system was plagued with billions in cost overruns and it was largely loathed in rural and Western Canada, the base of the Conservative Party, which long vowed go get rid of it.