These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Challenges Launched Against Registry

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, last week the first of many charter challenges was launched against the gun registry.

Courts will not begin to hear these challenges until the fall. However the government has imposed an arbitrary registration deadline of June 30. Courts may rule that the registry violates the charter.

Will the government extend the registration deadline until a court decision has been reached?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government on this side of the House has argued a number of times that we are trying to work with gun owners to have them understand that the intent of the system is not to penalize hunters and legitimate gun owners. The intent of the system is to make our streets safer.

Specifically in answer to the member's question, no, the deadline will not be extended.

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the final deadline for registration is less than a month away. Almost 300,000 gun owners have not yet registered and over 300,000 gun owners have yet to re-register their handguns. The government has received letters of intent of registration from only a fraction of these.

What is the government planning to do with half a million gun owners who are non-compliant come July 1?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the intention of the government, myself as Solicitor General and the Canadian Firearms Centre is to not leave the impression that we will extend the deadline because we do not intend to do so.

I would advise that the system is working much more efficiently than it was sometime ago. Internet registrations are working well. The 1-800 number is working well. I would encourage all gun owners to get on the system and get registered.