So for now, the Tories will do the next best thing: gut the registry before shutting it down:
The Harper government plans to fulfill its pledge to gut the federal long-gun registry by providing amnesty to gun owners who don't sign up and eventually unveiling legislation to eliminate it.
Auditor-General Sheila Fraser will release her report on the controversy-plagued registry today.
Sources said the amnesty would be announced imminently and legislation would come some time this spring. They were unclear what the legislation would say, but it's assumed the law would not get rid of the handgun registry, merely the portion of the registry that deals with long guns.
The Conservative election platform included an unequivocal promise to scrap the registry, but the minority government is concerned that it might lose a vote on legislation to kill it in the House of Commons, hence the apparent need to introduce an amnesty to make the registry essentially inoperable.
Sophisticated urbanites who can't tell the difference between a hunting rifle and a handgun will not be mollified by what appears to them to be playing games with the law. But everyone who's been refusing to register their rifles will be relieved by the amnesty, even if the chances of them having been caught before were microscopic.
Outright abolition of the registry will just have to wait for a majority government. Or for something that can be traded off to the opposition.
Source: Globe and Mail