Canada Gun registry identified as a model of


Mar 11, 2001
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Gun registry identified as a model of incompetence

Robert Fife, Canwest News Service

Friday, July 23, 2004

OTTAWA - Canada's $1-billion gun registry is being used by a U.S. project-management centre for senior corporate executives as a case study in incompetence and financial mismanagement.

Baseline, a New York-based management centre that conducts case studies on information technology for business leaders, has published an analysis of the gun registry entitled: Canada Firearms: Armed Robbery.

The U.S. study examines how the gun registry developed from a simple $119-million system to track firearm ownership into a large and complex electronic database with a billion-dollar price tag.

"What was supposed to be a relatively modest information technology project ballooned into a massive undertaking. At last count, the program had amassed more than $1 billion in costs, and the system has become so cumbersome that an independent review board recommended that it be scrapped," Baseline's analysis said on its website.


The study said Canada's firearms registry offers multiple lessons for government and corporate project leaders on the difficulties involved in undertaking a controversial project, which has become the cornerstone of the Liberal government's gun-control policy.

The gun registry was originally supposed to cost less than $2 million when licensing and registration fees were included, but costs soared out of control as a result of bureaucratic errors, poor planning, unforeseen expenses and an increasingly complex computer system.

From the start, the U.S. study said Ottawa failed to develop a clear understanding of the project's scope and made a serious error in having the Justice Department manage the registry when it had never undertaken a technology initiative of this size and complexity.

The government first established a database where firearms owners would register their guns, but this quickly expanded into a large, complex computer network after Ottawa changed the criteria.

Costs began to escalate when the federal government decided the Canadian Firearms Centre should be able to tap into the computer records of every police agency in the country to determine if gun licence applications were involved in domestic violence or related incidents.

There were also numerous changes to licence and registry forms, rules and process that caused huge delays and mounting expense, according to the analysis. "By 2002, more than 2,000 orders for changes had been made, each requiring additional programming," the study said.

The study said continuing maintenance, development and support costs also skyrocketed out of control, rising to $688 million by 2001 and to almost $750 million today.

The U.S. study does not draw conclusions on whether the gun registry is effective in crime prevention, although it notes police rely on the database to determine if weapons are present before entering homes.

As of May, seven million guns have been registered out of the estimated 7.9 million in circulation. More than 12,000 licence applications were revoked due to public safety concerns while two million Canadians had filed and received licences to own firearms.

End article


Our buddies to the north have their own turd sandwich just like us now.


Aug 15, 2002
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Let's hope this case study isn't merely an attempt to get it right next time.

The most chilling thing about that article is that a "model of incompetence" still managed to register 89% of the privately owned firearms in Canada. Does anyone think they will throw that information away?


Well-known member
Jul 1, 2004
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Go hunting in Canada and your gun information is sent to ATF!

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