Firearms Registry

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.


Canadian Federal Government – Canada
Project name : Canadian Firearms program
Date : Jun 2006  Project Cost :$1,000M CAD

Synopsis :
In what may be the worst budget overrun in history, the costs to implement a registry of firearms balloons from $2M to $860M.  Original plan called for the program to cost $119M of which all but $2M would be covered by license application fees.  The program is eventually cut back, but not before cost had risen to $1B of which $140M would be covered by license fees.

Some reports indicate development costs for the database components of the registry rose from the original estimate of $1M to $60M.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Radical underestimation of complexity and scope of project.  Justice Department failed to communicate cost overruns to parliament.  Lack of oversight.  Failure to keep records of critical decisions.

Reference links :

  1. TIMELINE | The gun registry debate
  2. Auditor Generals Report – Costs of Implementing the Canadian Firearms Program