The Conservative government introduced a bill Tuesday to scrap the registration of long guns.

The bill marks the beginning of the end of the controversial long-gun registry. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and two Tory MPs will visit a farm near Ottawa to discuss the plan to kill the registry — a move almost certain to succeed under a Conservative majority.

A private member’s bill to kill it was narrowly defeated in the last Parliament, but the Tories promised to try again.

The Tories argue the registration of rifles and shotguns is a wasteful and unnecessary burden on law-abiding firearms owners.

However, the government says it continues to support licensing of people who own firearms and the registration of prohibited and restricted weapons such as handguns.

An internal RCMP evaluation made public in August 2010 found the federal gun registry was a useful tool for police. Just weeks later, MPs defeated a Tory private member’s bill to kill the long-gun registry.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper immediately promised to continue his party’s fight against the database.

Since its inception in the 1990s, the registry has been the focus of controversy — lambasted by critics as a needless intrusion into the lives of farmers, hunters, sport shooters and other responsible gun owners, and touted by others as a worthy tool for police who use it daily to glean crucial information.

Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia said Monday that even though the government is giving up on the long-gun registry, several provinces are ready to assume the responsibility.

Toews said provincial governments “are free to proceed as they wish” but Ottawa would not assist them in setting up another registry, and records held by the Canadian firearms program would not be shared with the provinces.

New Democrat MP Jack Harris called Toews’ position disturbing.

The internal RCMP evaluation released last year said the gun registry was a “useful tool” for police, but noted there was widespread confusion and misunderstanding about the firearms program.

The report found the registry prepared officers for urgent on-duty calls, helped them trace weapons found at crime scenes and assisted in keeping guns from the mentally unstable.

“The majority of firearms in Canada are long guns,” the evaluation said. “The majority of firearm deaths in Canada are caused by long guns.”

Universal licensing and registration of firearms create an atmosphere of accountability, the authors concluded.

Knowing that individuals and businesses are responsible for their firearms and the use of them decreases the likelihood that an individual will misuse, traffic or commit a crime with a gun, the evaluation added.