“A letter from Ontario’s Chief Firearms Officer to gun vendors, outlining their responsibilities to collect personal information about legal purchases, continues to draw fire from firearms groups concerned the province wants to implement its own “back-door” firearms registry.
But Ontario Provincial Police Supt. Chris Wyatt says the request in his letter creates no new requirement. “Ledgers existed for decades before the long-gun registry. This is nothing new,” Wyatt told host Evan Solomon on CBC’s Power & Politics Thursday.
Any person who purchases firearms in Canada must hold a valid firearms licence. Wyatt says businesses are required to keep records as part of their licence to sell firearms. The federal government says those rules changed with the passage of legislation to abolish the federal long-gun registry last month.
“It’s in the interests of public safety to ensure that firearms aren’t being sold to criminals or persons who are prohibited from having firearms,” Wyatt told Solomon.
The ledgers list the make, model and serial number of the gun sold, as well as the name and firearms licence number of the purchaser. There was also a column to record the registration certificate number from the federal firearms registry, but this information will no longer exist with the end of the registry.”