The Sporting Clubs
Volume 10, Number 2 April 2004
Message from the President
What a difference a month makes! In January the new Conservative Party of Canada was leaderless, Paul Martin could do no wrong and everyone in the media had the Liberals coasting to another big majority. The best gun owners could hope for at that time was some tinkering with the Firearms Act. Then Auditor-General Sheila Fraser (don't you love her?) blew the whistle on the "Adscam" scandal. That sound you now hear is all those little Liberal rat feet scurrying for cover. Liberal popularity plunged nearly 15%. An accidental broadcast of a Liberal caucus meeting recorded dozens of backbench Liberals crying that an early election with the stink of the scandal still in the air would cost them their seats. The new Conservative Party saw its popularity rise 10% despite not even having picked a leader yet. The Bloc and NDP are smacking their lips at the prospect of picking off Liberal supporters who are disgruntled and disappointed by the widespread corruption. In other words, it's an exciting time to not be a Liberal.
They are truly caught between the classic "rock and a hard place". An early election while the scandal is still fresh in everyone's mind could cost them dearly. Yet if they wait till fall for it to fade it gives the Conservatives time to organize under their new leader, Stephen Harper, and adequately prepare for the election. In addition, almost every day seems to expose more examples of Liberal rot to the light of public scrutiny and there is no telling how many more skeletons are in their closet, just itching to get out. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall in Paul Martin's office as the Liberal brass sweats over the decision of when to call their long anticipated election.
The election of Harper is also bad news for the Liberals. It was significant that in the leadership election, not only did he win the west (as expected), but he was also the clear winner in Ontario, which is the key province for any party hoping to form a government. It is projected that the Liberals could lose up to 30 seats in Ontario (mostly to the Conservatives). If another couple of dozen were lost in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, not only would the Liberal majority be destroyed but they could actually lose power. The next few weeks will probably determine if they have the nerve to go to the polls. If that is the case, rest assured that "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" will keep you informed of the issues.
And while "Adscam" is front and centre, the billion dollar (some say $2 billion - see the following story) gun issue continues to fester. Anti registry editorials, columns and letters-to-the- editor continue to outnumber those favouring it by at least 10 to 1. Opinion polls show a majority of Canadians want it scrapped (see "Latest Poll Results" on page 2).
"The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has been very busy drumming up support for the Conservative Party, encouraging people to buy party memberships and actively working on the leadership campaign. We feel that the election of Stephen Harper has created the best chance of unseating the Liberals. He has come out very strongly in opposition to Bill C-68 (see his statement on page 3) promising to repeal it and replace it with something that we can live with.
Stay tuned. The next few months are going to be very interesting, indeed.
Registry Cost Now $2 Billion?
On Feb. 13, 2004, CBC news reported that the gun registry is costing taxpayers far more than previously reported, soaring towards the $2 billion mark. Nearly $2 billion has either been spent on or committed to the federal program since it was introduced in the mid-1990s, according to documents obtained by Zone Libre of CBC's French news service. The figure is roughly twice as much as an official government estimate that caused an uproar across the country. The gun registry was originally supposed to cost less than $2 million. In December 2002, Auditor General Sheila Fraser revealed that the program would run up bills of at least $1 billion by 2005. But the calculations remained incomplete, so CBC News obtained documents through the Access to Information Act and crunched the numbers. A large part of the $2 billion expense is a computer system that's supposed to track registered guns, according to one document. Officials initially estimated it would cost about $1 million. Expenses now hover close to $750 million and the electronic system is still not fully operational. While the dollar amount is huge, it should really come as no great surprise. At last count, MP Garry Breitkreuz has asked the Liberals 22 times in the House of Commons how much the Registry would cost and 22 times they have refused to answer. Maybe now we know why.
Letters Still Needed
Have you written a letter yet to the committee reviewing the Firearm Registry, and if not, why not? With all their other problems the last thing the Liberals need is constant reminders of how many people hate the Firearm Act and vote against them because of it. For that reason it is extremely important that you let Albina Guarnieri and her committee know how you feel about this useless legislation. Take fifteen or twenty minutes and put your feelings on paper. While e-mails, form letters and petitions are OK, nothing is more effective than a personal letter. Just follow these guidelines.
1. Keep it brief.
2. Be polite.
3. Stick to one or two main themes. Suggest it be spent on police, health care, women's shelters or mental health counseling as constructive alternatives.
4. Emphasize that gun owners do not oppose reasonable controls. Mention the National Firearms Association's "Practical Firearm Control System" (www.nfa.ca/index/publications.html)
5. Ask for a reply to your letter. If you do not get one, write again and ask why not.
Address your letter(s) as follows:
Hon. Albina Guarnieri
House of Commons
No postage is required.
DO IT NOW!!!
Latest Poll Results
Not that it comes as a big surprise but the latest Ipsos-Reid poll conducted in January '04 reinforces what we have been saying for a long time, that the Canadian public wants the Firearm Registry dumped. The results closely match three other polls by Ipsos-Reid and JMCK and show that a majority of Canadians (52%) agree that Paul Martin should get rid of Canada's Federal gun registry. Only 43% disagree with the suggestion that the Federal gun registry should be scrapped. Support for the elimination of the Federal gun registry is highest in British Columbia (64%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (64%), and Atlantic Canada (61%). Close to six in ten Albertans (57%) believe Martin should get rid the Federal gun registry, while under half of Quebecois (48%) and Ontarians (45%) would like to see it dismantled. Unlike the bogus Environics poll last year which combined safe storage, firearm safety training and the registry together, this one simply asked: "Now, I'd like to read you some statements about Canada's new Prime Minister, Paul Martin. For each one, I'd like you to tell me if you agree or disagree: Should get rid of Canada's federal gun registry?"
Harper and Conservative Statements on the Firearms A ct
We are often asked whether a Conservative government will really repeal the Firearms Act. While no one can ever be sure what a government will do once it is in power, the following statements do appear to strongly state the positions of both the Conservative Party of Canada and newly elected leader Stephen Harper.
CPC statement on the Firearms Registry.
"A Conservative government will replace the current firearms law, including its firearm registration provisions, with a practical firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearm responsibly."
Stephen Harper on the Firearms Registry
"The long gun registry has proven to be a bad law and has created a bureaucratic nightmare for both gun owners and the government. As Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada I will use all the powers afforded to me as Leader and continue our party's fight to repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly."
Is This the Future?
We were contacted recently by someone who has a friend who recently attended a retirement dinner with some metro Toronto police types. One of the people there has a liaison with a Justice Department committee and was talking about some firearm related items that are under consideration and could see the light of day if the Liberals win the next election:(remember that these aren't even official only proposals yet. We are printing this to let you know that even while Guarnieri's committee is supposed to be working to make the Firearms Act less onerous, the pinheads in the Justice Department are still dreaming up more anti-gun crap.)
1. Dewat guns would require registration. Owners would have 4 years to comply.
2. Total capacity of ammunition in one's possession would be limited to 400 rounds.
3. A ban on any ammo capable of penetrating level 4 body armour, which would include virtually all high speed .22 calibre ammo (.220 Swift, 22-250, .223 Remington, etc.), most magnum rifle rounds like 7 mm Mag and 300 Win Mag as well as the .270 Win, 25-06, etc.
4. It would be mandatory for physicians to report gunshot wounds they have treated in violation of patient-doctor confidentiality
5. Anyone owning para-military firearms (AR-15's, AK's, FN's, etc. would only be permitted a limited inventory of spare parts.
Don't ask us how they intend to do all this since they can't even come up with verifiers for active guns, let alone dewats, and how, aside from residence searches, could they determine nos. 2, 3 & 5. Of course little things like personal rights have meant nothing to the Liberals in the past so why should this be any different.
Wills and Inheritance
We have covered this topic before but a case recently brought to our attention emphasizes the need to make sure you have a will and an Executor when it comes to firearms. A local gun owner recently passed away as the result of an accident.
Shortly afterward the police asked another relative to let them into the house to check for firearms, which he did. The police then confiscated the deceased man's firearms, which had not been registered. He also had no will or Executor. Despite all this it is clear that the police acted outside their jurisdiction. As the legal heir to his estate his wife (who has no PAL or POL) should still have been allowed to take possession of the firearms for the purpose of disposing of them in a legal manner, including giving them to their son who has a PAL. All of this is very clearly stated in two National Firearm Association documents "What You Should Know if You are the Executor of an Estate Including Firearms" and "A Primer on Inheritance and Firearms". Despite the fact that the police had no legal right to take the firearms, now that they have them the family may have to retain a lawyer to get them back. Here are several lessons to be learned from this case.
1. Never allow the police into your house without a warrant. Once you have admitted them voluntarily , if they observe anything they construe as criminal activity they are within their rights to charge you.
2. Have a will drawn up. No one likes to confront the idea of dying but if you love your family a will can save them much aggravation and expense after you are gone.
3. Appoint an Executor. When it comes to firearms an Executor has more rights than just about anyone. They need no licence and can take possession of even prohibited firearms for the purpose of lawfully disposing of them. The only laws they have to follow are safe storage, display and transport.
4. Get a copy of the above noted documents. Staple them directly to your will. In the time of great stress after a death it is easier to hand the police a pamphlet than try to verbalize why they can't take the guns. These documents are available on the NFA website (www.nfa.ca) and on the TSCON club table at the gun shows.
Everyone exaggerates from time to time but an article in the Feb. 7/04 issue of the Calgary Sun entitled "Arsenal Found" goes a little too far. It reads "Lethbridge's growing cocaine underworld took a major hit when police surrounded a suburban home and found more of an arsenal than expected. "We expected to find two registered weapons in the home, but we were surprised to find parts of an assault rifle and parts of a shotgun," said Staff Sgt. Jim Carriere of the organized crimes section.
In addition to the two lawfully registered weapons -- a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and a Star .22-calibre semi-automatic pistol, cops also found parts for an assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, three crossbows and thousands of rounds of ammunition." Sgt. Carriere must be easily surprised. Perhaps we are mistaken but it seems that calling parts for two guns and a couple of crossbows (the weapon of choice for drug dealers to carry?) an "arsenal" is just a little dramatic. And apparently these were law-abiding drug dealers since the two real guns the police found were both registered.
Gun Show Location and Dates
All gun shows are held at:
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
If you want tables for the April 16/04 show, contact Ted Valliere right away at 905-935-3893. Shows are usually sold out and often we do not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!
Confirmed dates for our 2004 gun shows are:
Attention Gun Show Vendors!
If you are going to be late for the show due to heavy traffic or some other reason you need to call Ted ASAP. Otherwise he may rent your tables to walk-in vendors after the 6:00 pm cutoff. The Merritton Community Centre can be reached at 905-682-0098. They will pass the message to Ted that you are going to be late so he can hold your tables until you arrive.
Gun Show Flyers
Do you own or work at a business that employs gun owners, have customers who own guns, attend out of town gun shows, belong to a sports club, church group or service organization that includes gun owners or just know the location of some public bulletin boards? Is so, you can help us make our gun shows more successful by posting or handing out our gun show flyers. Contact TSCON and we will make sure that you get flyers to distribute. Also feel free to photocopy and distribute flyers as widely as possible.
Each issue of the newsletter gives us the opportunity to highlight local business which are supportive of the rights of firearm owners. We suggest that should you require services in these areas you strongly consider directing your business their way. This month we are pleased to recommend:
(hairstyling for men)
536 Carlton St.
St. Catharines L2M 6Z4
If you are aware of any other local pro-gun businesses that value firearm owners as customers rather than engaging in political games let us know. We will be happy to list their names and addresses in the next issue of the newsletter.
If you were a member of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" in 2003 but have not renewed your membership for 2004 please read the insert in this issue of the newsletter. If your mailing label reads "03" you are not a paid up member for 2004. Help us continue our work by supporting TSCON with a membership.
Trigger Locks for Sale
To help you comply with the safe storage lawsThe Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has trigger locks for sale. They aren't fancy and they take a few seconds to put on and take off but they are legal. Locks are now reduced in price to only $1.00 each! Pick them up at the club table at the gun show or call any member of the Executive. Large quantities available!
Hats and Crests
Available due to popular demand are our TSCON hats and crests. Prices are as follows:
Hats w/crest - $16
Crest only - $ 5
Hat & Crest - $20
They are available at the TSCON club table at all the gun shows or from any member of the Executive.
T-Shirts/Sweat Shirts - Now in Blue
Our popular "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts and sweat shirts are now available in blue as well as gray and in a greater variety of sizes. Both are very good quality and available in the following sizes:
T-shirts M-XL $16
T-shirts XXL $18
Sweats M-XL $20
Sweats XXL $22
Get yours at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.
Free Classified Ads for Members
Classified ads for shooting and hunting related items are free for members.
Please call 905-685-4480 and submit ads by the dates listed for inclusion in the next newsletter:
>Vol. 10 #3 Aug. 14, 2004
>Vol. 10 #4 Nov. 10, 2004
Wanted: Will pay cash for wood decoys, any condition, call Paul 905-468-3073
Wanted : semi-auto 30-06 rifle in good shape, willing to borrow or purchase, call Fred 905-684-5909
For Sale: synthetic sporter stock, fits any Nagant rifle $40, 12 ga. and 20 ga. dies for a MEC 600 JR. press $20 ea.,universal charge bar Model "C" single stage $15, assorted charge bars for MEC single stage presses $5 ea., call Paul 905-788-0535, 905-714-2019 (cell) or contact email@example.com
Wanted: bullet casting and sizing equipment, willing to buy a complete package (getting started), call Don 905-685-1476
For Sale: Iver Johnson 12 ga, single shot, full choke, asking $50, call Peter 905-688-5221
For Sale: Winchester Model 71 (1937), .348 Win, Williams receiver sight, professionally refinished, EX, asking $750. Sako Classic Hunter, .338 Win Mag, Simmons 3-9X42 Expedition scope, like new, asking $1500 or trade for an O/U in 20 or 28 gauge, call Paul 905-892-1737
TSCON Web Site
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative information are available on our web site:
Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686
Moved, Address Changes, Etc.
For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 905-685-4480.
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building, next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port Dalhousie
When? Wednesdays, 7:00 pm.
Who? Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.
General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-935-3893
St. Catharines, ON
Draw Prize Winners
The following members are winners in our latest draw. Please call Gerry at 905-685-4480 to arrange to claim your prize.
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
gun cleaning kit
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
M-Tech pocket knife
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Free PAL Test (transferrable)
Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)