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Winnipeg - The Manitoba government said Tuesday it won't prosecute gun owners charged with firearm registration offences.Instead, when police lay charges under the Criminal Code they will request that the federal government prosecute them, the province's Attorney-General Gord Mackintosh said.If Ottawa declines, Manitoba will stay the charges on the basis that prosecution by the province is contrary to the public interest.As well, conservation officers will not enforce or administer long gun registration laws.The federal firearms law generated strong protests earlier this year as the deadline for people to register their guns approached.Mr. Mackintosh said there is no benefit in making criminals out of hunters and farmers.Alberta and Saskatchewan have also said they won't prosecute charges under Canada's controversial firearms law.In December, Auditor-General Sheila Fraser issued a blistering report on overspending in the firearms program. The registry, introduced with tougher gun laws in 1995, was supposed to cost Canadians $2-million but is expected to have cost $1-billion by 2004-05. Mike RossThe Cartridge GuysLife Member, North American Hunting ClubMember, National Rifle AssociationMember, Meeker Co. Historical Society
 
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