Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that we will not have an opportunity to extend the debate. I want to compliment the member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands who has been steadfast in his work on this particular file. For the most part, I completely concur with his comments. I applaud his commitment to his own constituents on this particular issue.
The hon. member pointed out the very real fact that 6 out of 10 provinces, representing well over 80% of the population, whose provincial governments for the most part will have to pay for a lot of the implementation of that ill-advised act, opposed the Liberal long gun registry.
It is clear, even in rural Canada, that taxing deer hunters, duck hunters and farmers does not make any sense. We should be focusing our energies on mandatory penalties for those individuals who commit crimes using a firearm.
I would argue that the benchmark of any law should be whether it is effective at obtaining its objectives, which is to deter the criminal use of firearms, and whether it is cost effective. We know in point of fact that it is not effective in deterring the criminal use of firearms. We also now know that something that was supposed to cost only $85 million will probably cost at least $800 million once it is fully implemented.
In this modern era, since September 11, why do we not use those additional resources to ensure the security and perimeter of this country in terms of the appropriate border officials from a customs perspective and the ports police? Those issues should be addressed as well. Let us give that money to the RCMP for new technology to fight cyber crime or the subversive elements that exist internationally. We could give the money to CSIS to augment its budget.
Let us give more money to the RCMP to fight organized crime as opposed to taxing rural Canadians who are owners of long guns and shotguns. These rifles are owned by our neighbours. They are the people who would comply with the law. The biker gangs will not be running out to the kiosks in malls to register their long guns.
I was very impressed with the comment made by the member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands with respect to the massive increase in black market sales that has taken place with respect to firearms. That was essentially what we were very much trying to resist.
In a modern society everybody knows that we need to have stringent regulations with respect to firearms to prevent accidental harm to individuals. We need to ensure that we have rules in place.
Of course we should maintain the mandatory registry for handguns. That has been in place since the 1930s. However, it is not about handguns and it is not about Uzis, for which there may be debate in the states, it is about long guns, ones that are used by everyday hunters and everyday farmers who live throughout this great country.
I would move to seek unanimous consent for this private member's bill to be votable so hon. members could have a chance to vote on it.