Another gun registry fails

They are pulling the plug on the gun and gun owner registry in Canada and the nationwide long gun registry (handguns have all been confiscated–except those owned by the criminals) in the UK can’t get off the ground after ten years.  Details are here:

Dunblane gun crackdown ‘a failure’

ALMOST a decade after the Dunblane massacre, ministers have been accused of an “abject failure” to crack down on the number of firearms in circulation. Tories have joined Labour MPs, gun-control campaigners and peers in condemning the government over the National Firearms Register, which was promised after Dunblane but will not be delivered for at least another year.

The need to establish a searchable, nationwide computer system to track those who hold firearms licences was established after Thomas Hamilton’s murderous attack on Dunblane Primary School on March 13, 1996.

Several investigations, including the inquiry led by Lord Cullen, found disparities in the records of legally held firearms maintained by police forces across the country. Hamilton had legal certificates allowing him to own the guns.

Legislation paving the way for the register of certificates was rushed through Parliament during Tony Blair’s first days in office in 1997, but the project has since become bogged down by a succession of technical problems.

The Home Office and police chiefs have since reversed the plan for a standalone firearms register, opting instead to link it to the Police National Computer. That will not happen until March 2007 at the earliest.

More details are here:

Pilots highlighted “data quality issues” which have yet to be ironed out, much to the anger of campaigners such as Dr Mick North, father of five-year-old victim Sophie.

Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe told the Jonathan Dimbleby programme that there had been “great progress” in gun control but admitted that 10 years was “too long” for the register.

He said: “I understand that they’ve had two pilots and we’re told that there are IT problems to actually resolving it, but I’m with Dr North in the sense that 10 years on, this is too long.

“We want it, there’s certainly no resistance from the police service to have it and clearly what we do need is a register of all the people with a licence and we certainly need a register of those people who have applied for a licence and had it refused because the danger is they apply to one force, fail, and then re-apply to another.”

The establishment of a searchable database of everyone who holds a firearms certificate, or who has ever applied for one, was one of the central demands of the campaign for greater gun control that followed the Dunblane massacre in 1996.

It was promised by Prime Minister Tony Blair to members of the Snowdrop Campaign, set up by victims’ families to call for tighter gun controls.

About £5.5 million has so far been spent on setting up the register, which will be piloted once again in May.

“Great progress” in gun control?  They make that claim when the number of crimes committed with guns has skyrocketed?  Oh yeah, I forgot that’s not how they measure progress.  They measure progress by how few people can legally own firearms, not how often guns are used criminally.  These people have mental problems.


3 thoughts on “Another gun registry fails

  1. “handguns have all been confiscated–except those owned by the criminals”

    This is incorrect. Handguns in Canada have been registered since, I believe, 1935, and VERY SMALL handguns were banned some time ago, but there has not been a sweeping handgun ban in Canada as there was in the UK.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

  2. I can see where what I wrote was easily misunderstood. I was referring to the U.K. when I said all handguns had been confiscated. My writing skills were the problem here, not my understanding of the situation.

    Thanks for making that more clear.

  3. Ah. I see now. The NATIONWIDE registry of long guns, rather than the multiple locally administrated long gun registry they have now.

    My error.

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