Quebec moves forward on provincial firearm registry

Quebec is moving forward on plans to create its own version of the former federal long-gun registry.

In light of the anniversary of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre, the Parti Québécois has announced the government will move forward with a bill that will make long-gun registration mandatory. The provincial registry will be implemented as soon as Quebec can obtain the necessary data from the Canadian Firearms Registry.

The federal long-gun registry was created by the Liberal Party in 1995, in the wake of the Dec. 6, 1989, massacre at Montreal's École Polytechnique, in which 14 women were singled out because of their gender and killed by a gunman.

"If we can see any glimmer of hope … in this dark tragedy, it is that it has paved the way for a profound reflection on violence, particularly against women, and the ways that we can circumscribe or even eradicate it," provincial Minister of Public Security Stéphane Bergeron said in a statement released Thursday.

Since the long-gun registry was scrapped by the federal Conservative government last April, Quebec has gone to court and won the right to preserve its share of the long-gun data.

The federal government has since destroyed most of the remaining records of registered long guns and is currently appealing the Quebec Superior Court ruling blocking it from destroying the Quebec data.

Bergeron said the bill will provide the foundation for Quebec's own gun registry, but won't be completed until Quebec gets the data from Ottawa.

Ceremonies to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women are held every Dec. 6 in Montreal and other cities across the country.