TORONTO – Canada’s Conservative government introduced legislation Tuesday to scrap a controversial law that requires the registration of rifles and shotguns.

Canada has long required registration of hand guns, but the long-run registry law passed in 1995 faced bitter opposition from rural Canada, the Conservative party’s base, which considered it an overreaction to the problem of urban crime.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said they don’t want laws targeting law-abiding citizens such as hunters.

Police and victims’ groups are voicing opposition, but the Conservatives have a new majority in Parliament after national elections in May. They are also want to destroy the archive of registrations already collected.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to kill the registry in the last session of Parliament, but the bill was narrowly defeated.

The former Liberal government passed the tougher gun control law after Marc Lepine shot to death 14 students with a semiautomatic rifle at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.

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