Nunavik’s KRG backs call for exemption from Quebec’s gun registry
Legislation does not reflect distinct territorial, cultural and linguistic context, resolution says
Kativik Regional Government councillors have passed a resolution in favour of exempting all Nunavik Inuit gun owners from Quebec’s new firearms registry.
The registry came into force across Quebec on Jan. 29. It requires all gun owners to register their weapons before Jan. 29, 2019.
But Nunavimmiut have argued that the legislation does not include any form of accommodation for Inuit who have distinct rights as subsistence harvesters, as spelled out in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
Makivik Corp. has fought the legislation from the time it was first tabled in 2016, noting Inuit rights are enshrined in their land claim agreement.
KRG councillors added their support for an exemption when they passed a resolution to that effect on May 29, during regional council meetings in Aupaluk last week.
“The legislation does not provide any exemptions from the mandatory firearms registry for guns used for hunting by Inuit beneficiaries of the JBNQA, nor does it propose any form of accommodation that would reflect the distinct territorial, traditional, cultural and linguistic context inherent to the region,” the resolution read.
As of April 2018, 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.
Quebec’s Ministry of Public Security has said the firearms registry already offers support to those registering their weapons and has been made available in English.
The ministry said that government officials have also been in contact with the region to evaluate the possibility of introducing additional support to facilitate registration, though a program has yet to be put in place.