OTTAWA - The Conservative government is poised to introduce a bill in the Senate aimed at abolishing the federal long-gun registry.

Kory Teneycke, communications director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has confirmed the legislation is to be introduced later today.

The move marks a change in strategy for the Harper government, which had been unofficially backing a private-member's bill sponsored in the House of Commons by Tory backbencher Garry Breitkreuz.

That bill has come under fire from critics who say it would go far beyond abolition of the present requirement to register hunting rifles and shotguns.

The Breitkreuz bill, as currently drafted, would also change registration and licensing rules for handguns and other semi-automatic weapons.

Teneycke says the bill to be introduced in the Senate deals strictly with the long-gun registry, eliminating some of the technical and political problems surrounding the bill in the lower house.