Nunavik residents rush to register firearms as deadline looms

Inuit still seek exemption through their harvesting rights

Allen Gordon brings his rifles to the Kattitavik town hall in Kuujjuaq Jan. 28 to have them registered at a KRPF-coordinated clinic. Quebec’s firearm registry set a deadline of Jan. 29 for all gun owners to comply. (Photo by Isabelle Dubois)

By Sarah Rogers

Tuesday marked the deadline for Quebec’s gun owners to register their weapons, prompting a last-minute scramble among residents of Nunavik to comply with the province’s registry.

Quebec’s previous Liberal government put the registry into place Jan. 29, 2018, giving gun owners a full year to register their weapons before they faced any penalties.

Last week, with just days left to register, the newer Coalition Avenir Québec government said it would loosen some restrictions to “simplify” the process of registering firearms.

Quebec’s Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said Jan. 23 that those proposed modifications include giving long-gun owners more time than the 15 days currently required to inform the registry of a change in the location of a gun.

Gun owners also no longer need to register the length of the barrel of their firearm; the gun’s serial number is sufficient.

“I have said it many times and I repeat: our government is committed to listening to the public,” Guilbault said in a Jan. 23 release. “We have read their requests and we want to act accordingly.”

For many years, however, Nunavik Inuit have asked to be excluded from the registry, saying their harvesting rights under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement should exempt them.

Even after the registry was launched last year, government officials pledged to support the region through the registration process, though regional organizations like Makivik Corp. and the Kativik Regional Government say they weren’t consulted.

On Jan. 28, the Kativik Regional Police Force hosted a last-minute registration clinic at Kuujjuaq’s town hall, drawing more about 120 local gun owners.

Quebec’s Ministry of Public Security said in an email to Nunatsiaq News that the province has provided an Inuktitut-language explainer to KRPF detachments throughout the region.

Public Security said that, as of this week, more than 342,000 firearms have been registered under the new system, but couldn’t specify how many of those applications originated in Nunavik.

The province has estimated there are more than 1.6 million firearms across Quebec.

Quebec’s firearms registry will continue to process applications, even after Jan. 29, on its website.

Any gun owners who have not complied by Jan. 30 are subject to penalties up to $5,000 if they’re found in possession of a non-registered firearm.

Share This Story

(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Beneficiary on

    I am a full/part time hunter and I intend not to register my hunting rifles/shotguns. I will practice sticking to my rights. I do not wish to be forced to register. Okay, if I register and officials find out that I was in a penitentiary 9 years ago, I believe they would take my only hunting equipment which I believe is totally wrong. But I will still keep my hunting equipment. And continue to practice my belief.

    • Posted by Kurious Kat on

      Is there something being a ‘beneficiary’ that bestows a right to not register a gun? Please let us readers know where you’ve gleaned this ‘right’ from? Would love to know more.

  2. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    Its been said by every legal firearms owner registering them does not make them any safer.

  3. Posted by Young hunter on

    Why only Kuujjuamiuqs again get help while the rest of Nunavik do this on their own, KRG, KRPF and Makivik only help Kuujjuamiuts, ITN come back and let Nunavik vote for capital and I know that it wouldn’t be Kuujjuaq would either be Puvungituk or Inukjuak capital of Nunavik, this registry is a wastemof tax payers money and taxes will rise even more to cover the cost of this, it’s not legal firearms owners with valid fac it’s thermos with semi automatics, hand guns, restricted ones that do the majority of the crimes and as a Canadian citizen Quebec is infringing on our rights, away with this so called tax grab registry

    • Posted by wolfpack on

      I heard that every village will be getting a registration day in a near future not only kuujjuamiut.

  4. Posted by Stephen Cormier on

    With Mr. Trudeau’s new Bill C-71 being pushed through the The House shortly, I’m just amazed that so much little attention has been given to the FEDERAL PAL and it’s
    NON REQUIREMENT to obtain both Big Game and Small Game Licences in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the rest of Our Canadian Provinces!
    I’m certain that this piece of legislation along with MORE PROPOSED LAWS being enforced upon present PERFECTLY LEGAL current gun owners will be deemed USELESS
    Our Federal Government cannot willingly provide the necessities required to coordinate our Provincial Wardens with this information. I can walk into my local Canadian Tire Store and be asked to produce my PAL before the clerk will allow me to look at a firearm but at the same time my Provincial Government can legally sell a person a HUNTING LICENCE for Moose,Bear,Caribou, & Small Game , without even VALIDATING the fact that I have a PAL!
    Upon questioning this issue with many local officials, I’m led to believe that this is because “ The Privacy Act “ does not
    allow it! As long as our Provinces Incorporate and Enforce a
    Provincial Hunting Liscence ,that’s all that is required!
    This is an example of Our Federal Government’s mindset!
    Now, we are on the doorstep of more regulations! Please, give
    our LEGAL GUN OWNERS in Canada, a break! This is another example of how to Waste Money and LOOK PRETTY!
    MR.SCHEER, if you are out there, I’m behind you 100% in
    trying to put a stop to this Foolishness! I will be voting Conservative and I’m PROMOTING all other rightfully gun owners to do the same!
    I wonder where this will stand in court when a 16,17, or 18 year old, accidentally shoots another hunter! We’ll I’m being told, it’s OK , as long as someone accompanying him has
    their Valid PAL
    IS there something wrong with the way I think? Please feel free to send me your thoughts.

Comments are closed.