There is virtually no support in StatsCan data for the Liberals’ assumption that merely owning firearms is a threat to public safety.
In 2015 there were 604 homicides, 451 of which were solved. Guns were used in 178 homicides, an increase of 23 from 2014 and 47 since 2013.
“Despite the increase, the rate of firearm-related homicides was the second lowest ever recorded since data became available in 1974,” according to StatsCan.
2015 was a typical year for homicide in Canada. Approximately 1% of victims of violent crime who suffered physical injury were injured due to the use of a firearm.
Back in 2011, I testified to the House of Commons (and later to the Senate) about the ineffectiveness of the long-gun registry. Based on StatsCan Homicide Survey, I found that firearms owners are one-third as likely to be accused of homicide than other Canadians.
In 2016, I submitted another Special Request to StatsCan to extend my analysis of homicidal PAL holders to see what happened after the Harper’s Conservatives cancelled the long-gun registry.
StatsCan recently replied: Firearms owners remain much less likely to be accused of homicide than are other Canadians. In 2015, 19 PAL holders were accused of murder, and of course, some may be innocent.
It is extremely unlikely that ending the long-gun registry in 2012 has had any effect at all. Fewer than 6% of guns used in murder had ever been registered, and only 2% of those accused of homicide had a firearm licence. There is no indication that scrapping the long-gun registry un-loosened gun violence. None.
On a world-wide scale, both Canadian and American violent crime rates are relatively low. Canada ranks in the lower third of countries listed in a recent UNODC report (ranking 153rd out of the 207 nations that reported homicide statistics).
Will the Liberals’ campaign promises about guns actually improve public safety? Remember, the Liberals only honour promises that win them votes.