Long-gun registry death watch: the home stretch
UPDATE! FEBRUARY 28: By day’s end, Bill C-19 should be a couple of steps closer to becoming law. Today, the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act appears on the Order Paper for Second Reading in the Senate. The First Reading in the Senate was on February 16, the day after the Bill passed the Third and Final Reading in the House (see update below). As predicted, the C-19 is meeting little resistance in the Conservative-dominated upper chamber, where the opposition Liberals said they would not impede the bill’s passage.
UPDATE! FEBRUARY 16: Keen observers of the trajectory of Bill C -19 (aka the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act) will already know that the legislation passed the Third and Final Reading last night in the House of Commons. The final vote? Yeas 159, nays 130. And so, on the bill goes to the Senate, where once again it will undergo three readings before a final vote. As noted in earlier posts, the Conservatives also enjoy a healthy majority in the upper chamber, so what follows now is more or less mere formality before the bill receives Royal Assent and becomes the law of the land. Watch this space for updates on the status of C-19‘s passage through the Senate, where it’s currently the only government bill awaiting First Reading.
UPDATE! FEBRUARY 13: Speeches, questions and comments are now underway in the House of Commons following the Third Reading of Bill C-19 earlier this afternoon. You can watch it live on CPAC. Today’s Projected Order of Business for the House notes that two more sitting days remain to debate the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, pegging the final vote for Wednesday evening (as suggested in my previous update).
UPDATE! FEBRUARY 10: I’ve just learned from a reliable source on the Hill that Third Reading debate on Bill C-19 will get underway next week, with a final vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening. The majority Conservatives are confident the bill, aka the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, will pass without incident and make its way to the Senate. How confident are they? Plans are already underway for a celebration party in the offices of MP Garry Breitkreuz, a long-time foe of the federal gun registry.
As I write this, Bill C-19 is once again the topic of hot debate in the House of Commons, with the Report Stage now underway following the legislation’s return from committee (if you tune into CPAC right now, you’ll see Conservative MPs singing the virtues of the bill while combating opposition claims of disinformation). The ensuing debate will culminate with the Third Reading in the Conservative-dominated House, perhaps as early as Thursday.
Also known as the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, Bill C-19 was introduced in the House of Commons for First Reading on October 25, with the Second Reading and referral to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security soon following on November 1. After a series of hearings, the committee tabled its report just before the Christmas break.
Once C-19 passes Third Reading—an all but certain eventuality in the Conservative-dominated House, it’s on to the Senate. Since the Conservatives also enjoy a majority in the Senate, the bill will likewise no doubt breeze through the mandatory three readings in the upper chamber before attaining Royal Assent and becoming law. All that said, we’re not there yet. Stay tuned.
To read the complete bill, click here.