Why oppose registering guns but support licencing their owners?

I’ve just been listening to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews responding to opposition MPs in Question Period on the gun registry. Toews repeatedly stressed that even though Conservatives want to scrap the long-gun registry, they continue to support licencing gun owners and registering restricted weapons, such as handguns. Why is registering rifles and shotguns unacceptable, but those other aspects of the firearms regulatory system are just fine? Toews objects to the long-gun registry on grounds that “criminals don’t register their guns.” But the bad guys don’t apply for licences or register handguns either. So why the inconsistent approach?

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