Feds Launch Studies of Gun Industry and Environmental Impact of Lead Bullets

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Feds launch 'in-depth' study of gun industry

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OTTAWA - The federal government is launching an "in-depth" study of the country's civilian firearms industry as part of a program to combat gun crime and weapons smuggling and trafficking.

A request for proposal seeking research bids was posted this week by Public Works.

The study, Characteristics of the Canadian Firearms Industry Supplying the Civilian Market, is to be completed by March 31, 2014.

Public Safety Canada wants up-to-date details on who is manufacturing civilian weapons, who's selling them, who's buying, who is exporting and importing and who works in the industry.

The research is also to examine "marketing approaches, prevalence and influence of the Internet on the import/export/domestic sales of firearms, estimate of volume and value of sales (and) market profitability," among many other factors, including international comparisons.

The study falls under the Investments to Combat the Criminal Use of Firearms (ICCUF) program, a $10-million-a-year interdepartmental initiative that includes Public Safety, the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada.

The ICCUF was created in 2004 with a five-year mandate that was made permanent by the Conservatives in 2009.

"To have an informed, national enforcement strategy to address gun crime and trafficking of firearms, the government of Canada must first have co-ordinated and comprehensive national firearm intelligence-gathering and analysis," according to Public Safety Canada's website.

The government's request for proposal was posted the same day the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear a Quebec bid to preserve the last of the federal long-gun registry data.

The Conservative government passed legislation in 2012 to destroy millions of gun registrations, a move that was opposed by police forces who said the information helped combat gun crime, including firearms smuggling and trafficking.

The destruction of data on more than five million firearms from all provinces and territories except Quebec was completed last autumn and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney says Ottawa will be pressing the Supreme Court to allow the job to be completed. …