The Need: It seems it all started when a demented Marc Lepine using a Mini-14 auto-loading sports rifle at L'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989, tragically gunned down fourteen young women. While the resulting outcry focused on violence against women, concern and apprehension over lawlessness involving guns generally, especially in the populous Canadian cities rather than the towns and rural areas, urged the Federal Government to take dramatic legislative action.
Concept and Goal: Proclamation of gun control legislation involving registration of all existing firearms. To be able to track any firearm, especially if used in unlawful activity, collect and store related data in a large national database.
Scope: Mandatory registration by all gun owners throughout the nation. Creation of custom entry and retrieval software serving a national database to enable the progressive capture of all owner data related to gun ownership. Number of guns to be registered unknown.
Quality: Comprehensive and reliable data is required for individual
gun searches to be effective.
Timing: The legislation would require all owners to comply by a given date, beyond which ownership without registration would become a lawful offence. In the lead up to that date, a considerable volume of work would be necessary to collect the data.
Budget: Estimated net cost for startup, $2-million. This estimate was based on the assumptions that the fees charged for registration would "normally" cover the cost of the on-going administration, that the regular program staff should be able to handle the implementation work load spread over the period leading up to the dead line, and that the proposed budget therefore covered only the extra help needed.
Risks: No assessment information available. As far as we know, politicians deal only with necessities, not with probabilities.
People: A new department set up within the Ministry of Justice.
Contract/Procurement: A well-established Canadian software firm would be contracted to develop custom data management software for the purpose.
Communication: Public notification of the registration deadline, otherwise as and when considered necessary.