Ontario vows to keep collecting data on gun buyers despite federal objections

Toronto — The Canadian Press

A rifle owner checks the sight of his rifle at a hunting camp property in rural Ontario west of Ottawa on Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010. The House of Commons is set to vote on the long-gun registry next week. (Sean Kilpatrick/Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ontario says it won’t create a provincial gun registry, but it will require stores to keep records of who buys guns, despite federal objections.

Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur has written her federal counterpart, Vic Toews, to say Ontario will “comply fully” with the requirements of Bill C-19, which scrapped the federal gun registry.

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But Ms. Meilleur says Ontario retailers will still be required to log names and address of anyone purchasing a gun as part of the permit process.

She says the Ontario Provincial Police chief firearms officer interprets section 58 of the Firearms Act as giving him the power to impose that requirement.

Ms. Meilleur says it’s up to Mr. Toews to change the Firearms Act if he wants Ontario retailers to stop collecting information on gun buyers.

Mr. Toews sent a letter sent Tuesday to all provincial chief firearms officers, saying the collection of point-of-sale data is no longer authorized under the Firearms Act.

He asked the RCMP to notify him “immediately” if they hear of chief firearms officers engaged in “unauthorized data collection.”

Quebec want its own gun registry and has mounted a legal challenge preventing the destruction of the federal long-gun registry records.