Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik April 14, 2018 - 11:00 am

Nunavik Inuit repeat demand for exemption from Quebec’s gun registry

The government is “mixing up harvesting rights with criminality": Makivik

SARAH ROGERS
Charlie Watt, centre and in grey, addresses Makivik's annual general meeting in Puvirnituq last month, where board members passed a resolution again calling on the Quebec government to exempt the region from its firearms registry. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKIVIK)
Charlie Watt, centre and in grey, addresses Makivik's annual general meeting in Puvirnituq last month, where board members passed a resolution again calling on the Quebec government to exempt the region from its firearms registry. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKIVIK)

Makivik Corp. has renewed its call for Nunavik to be exempt from Quebec’s new firearms registry.

Nunavik’s Inuit birthright organization passed a resolution to that effect at its annual general meeting in March. Quebec’s new firearms registry came into effect Jan. 29, requiring gun owners to register their weapons through a provincial database, or face penalties.

Makivik has already made clear its position—the organization tabled a brief to the legislative committee studying the bill that went on to become law.

Makivik maintains that Nunavik Inuit should be exempt from the registry because of their distinct rights as harvesters under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

“Quebec did not consult properly nor did it include the requested exemption in the act or propose accommodation measures to the Nunavik Inuit,” Makivik’s most recent resolution read.

The MNA for Ungava, Jean Boucher, said earlier this year that the province would not consider an exemption for the region.

But Boucher said the Quebec government would help set up a regional organization to help Nunavimmiut register their weapons in Inuktitut, and noted the one-year grace period should give his government time to accommodate Nunavik’s gun owners.

“They’ve indicated they’re willing to help people fill out the forms, but there’s been no movement,” said Makivik President Charlie Watt, calling it “an administrative headache.”

Watt said he understands the public safety concerns behind the registry, but said the government is “mixing up harvesting rights with criminality.”

Under the new act, gun owners who fail to register their weapons could face a fine from $500 to $5,000.

Since the registry launched, a total of 50, 574 new weapons have been registered across Quebec, while another 29,649 applications have yet to be processed.

In Nunavik, about 20 firearms have been registered so far.

A spokesperson from Quebec’s Ministry of Public Security said the firearms registry already offers support to those registering their weapons and has been made available in English.

But officials have also been in contact in with the region to evaluate the possibility of introducing additional support to facilitate registration, the ministry said in an April 13 email.

The Kativik Regional Government said in an email that the Kativik Regional Police Force is currently looking at the new legislation “in order to determine its impacts on the region.”

Canada’s federal gun registry came to be in the wake of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in Quebec, when 14 women were shot and killed in their Montreal classroom.

But that registry was dismantled in 2012 by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

Quebec then tabled legislation to create its own registry, which passed in 2016.

The Quebec government has since fought to keep its own records from the federal registry, which was set to be destroyed, though that data remains sealed pending the outcome of court challenges.

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(5) Comments:

#1. Posted by Peter Inukpuk on April 14, 2018

If Mr. Jean Boucher had

If Boucher had consulted. would mean Nunavik knew and discussed the said issue, That would be exercising democracy. But if there was none, under everyone definition, that would be tranny. Self made king of Nunavik, in the blanket of democracy.

#2. Posted by Tivi on April 14, 2018

They didn’t consult, but they agreed another year to do so. They will consult or they will extend again the grace period.

#3. Posted by Hunter on April 15, 2018

How does registering my guns effect my “distinct rights as harvesters under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement”?

#4. Posted by Just Register Your Hunting Rifles on April 16, 2018

Enough already with your whiny attitude.A Makivik representative and the town manager informed me that I have to register all my Hunting Rifles. So I did. If you do not want to register your hunting rifles than may I suggest you go kill the animals with a bow and arrow and your harpoon.Its not that hard to do.I did not want to register my hunting rifles because I thought I was giving the K.R.P.F. the upper hand in knowing that I had a number of rifles and shotguns in my home and that would give them that much more power in entering my home with their service guns in hand taking away one of my Human Rights and Constitutional Rights of Canada, And that being feeling SAFE within my own home. The police will now have a record of me if they ever received a domestic disturbance call at my home and I am now paranoid if they will shoot first and ask questions later. Its time for the Inuit to stop bitching and whining about every thing and getting your MAKIVIK Crooks to fight for you.

#5. Posted by Inuk on April 18, 2018

#3; Gun registry is much required by law, though, you have to own your own rifle, gun in order to get them registered.

This is to prevent getting charged for keeping someone else’s rifle, guns, sometimes when a rifle or a gun is stolen, you could face charges without knowing why, and, also, in case to prevent getting charged when a rifle gun was used under criminal negligence.

Sometimes, stolen rifles, guns were seized by Police Officer that were used for careless use of firearms, and that made a suspect receiving extra charges for theft in their charges being reported on their files.

registering your rifles, guns will not affect you having to keep rifles, guns, it’s to prevent you as well, in case if your rifle, gun were stolen, you would be reached stating where your rifle or gun ended being seized, you would have to explain and claim your rifle, gun back following your FAC certificate.

tamanna tukisijaurqajangiturataq inunnut.

qaujimaittuujarunnailaurtatuuq!

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