A Conservative poster: "The major question I do have is, if the registry is primarily used to take guns away from people who do not have them, why can't the licensing system be used for these purposes?"Koby: "By having "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" register their firearms, authorities can ensure that guns, owned by "duck hunters and farmers" who are no longer fit to own a gun, are properly disposed of. A gun license only indicates that person has the right to own a firearm. It does not tell the cops whether someone actually owns a gun or how many guns they might have. Furthermore, as it allows guns to be traced back to their last legal owner, the registry makes illegal sales and straw purchases more difficult and so helps keep "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" honest. "Studies have shown that in the US, states with both licensing and registration (versus one or the other) had fewer guns diverted from legal to illegal markets."
A Conservative Poster: "So, what you're saying is;
1) The police are incompetent because they won't be able to find guns when they are called to seize them. "
Koby Look the issue is this. The number of legal gun owners in Canada, is huge (1.85 million) and with any large population certain very accurate predictions can be made about their future behavior. One thing we can know for sure is that a small percentage of "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" will be convicted of a crime sometime in the future and that a small percentage will develop a mental disorder that will render them unsuitable for gun ownership at least for period of time. Now, even though this number is small in percentage terms, in absolute terms the numbers are quite large, in the 10s of thousands. Enter the gun registry. It makes it easier for authorities to seize the guns of people who should no longer have them. Why? Because the onus is on the gun owner in question to produce any registered weapons. If the police do not have proof that someone owns any unrestricted guns, how can they demand that he produce them?"
A Conservative poster: "the registry will never get all the guns in Canada"
Koby: I agree -- especially in light of what have already happened. Two points though. One, the argument I laid out still holds. After all we are talking about guns that have been legally registered. Two, the problem is with guns that were purchased prior to the registry and not with new guns being purchased. So, as time passes the percentage of unregistered guns will decrease.
read the whole exchange here. http://themaplethree.blogspot.com/2011/04/conservative-mp-john-weston-and-gun.html