Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Action Alert: Save Lives, Keep the Gun Registry!

Urgent Action Alert to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP leader Jack Layton and Ontario MPs: Save Lives, Keep the Gun Registry!

In the next several weeks, Parliament will vote on whether to keep or scrap Canada’s long gun registry. Recent compelling evidence from the RCMP confirms that the gun registry has overcome early difficulties and is proving to be an invaluable investigative tool for police, essential to community safety and, most important, is saving lives, especially women and youth. Please act now to tell Prime Minister Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP leader Jack Layton and federal MPs from all parties: Save Lives, Keep the Gun Registry.

Today the RNAO released an Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper pointing out that Ontario’s registered nurses do not see the gun registry as a north/south or rural/urban issue. It’s a health issue. The gun registry is proven to save lives.

Here’s what the RCMP study found:

  • The long gun registry better equips police to respond to, for example, a situation of domestic violence – knowing there’s a gun in the home before entering can help police save lives;
  • A 12 per cent decrease in firearm deaths in Canada between 2001 and 2004 is attributed to the gun registry;
  • Spousal homicide rates and youth suicides have both seen significant reductions;
  • 81 per cent of trained police officers agree the registry has been beneficial in their investigations;
  • Contrary to the general impression shared by many Canadians, the registry is now operating in an effective and efficient manner. Since the registry was transferred to the RCMP in 2006, its annual cost has been cut to only four million dollars – a relatively modest sum for a government program.

You can read the full RCMP report at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/fire-feu-eval/eval-eng.pdf.

In seeing the gun registry as essential to health and community safety, the RNAO joins an impressive array of police, health and community groups, including: the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP); Canadian Police Association (CPA); Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB); Canadian Public Health Association; Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions; Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians; Canadian Paediatric Society; Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists; Trauma Association of Canada, YWCA of Canada; and the Canadian Labour Congress.

For further background on why police and health organizations are united in supporting the long gun registry, see:

So why does the gun registry continue to divide Canadians in the face of such overwhelming evidence that it saves lives?

No doubt it has become a political “wedge” in politically highly-charged times.

The RNAO says it’s time for all our leaders to take a step back and re-evaluate the gun registry through the lens of best evidence and what is necessary for health and safety, not what might give temporary political advantage.

What Can YOU Do TODAY?

Please tell the Prime Minister, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton and all Ontario Members of Parliament (MPs) that RNs say it’s time to stop playing politics with people’s lives. Certainly the gun registry is not the end of the matter. We must do a better job of getting handguns off our streets in urban communities and stopping the flow of illegal and unregistered firearms over the border. But the registry is an excellent start. RNs say rather than tearing apart something that works, let’s build on its success to improve safety for all Canadians.

Please don’t delay.

  1. Email the letter below to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP leader Jack Layton. A copy will also automatically be sent to all Ontario MPs.
  2. Please share this action alert with your colleagues, friends and family and ask them to write as well.
As leaders in your community, your views matter. When nurses and their families speak out, politicians listen. Please act now!
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