The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Volume 10, Number 3 August 2004
Message from the President
Welcome back. Despite the less than perfect weather we hope you have had a good summer. To catch up, let's do a quick analysis of the recent election.
First the bad news. A few people have commented to me that they were discouraged by the results, which is understandable given the re-election of the Liberals. Remember, however, that their "success" was just as much a defeat. They lost about 40 seats including over 20 in Ontario leaving them well short of a majority government. If history repeats itself, we will get another shot at them in 12 to 18 months. With few new faces the Liberals still look like the same tired old party that Canadians are growing weary of.
Buoyed by early polling results showing them in the lead the conservatives were perhaps guilty of being overly optimistic. Nevertheless they did add about 25 seats to their total including a much needed breakthrough in Ontario which they can build on in the next election.
We were disappointed by the poor response to our offer of free "Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote" signs. Despite sending out over 4000 copies of our "Voter's Guide" to local gun owners we only received about 70 requests for signs despite the fact that we even delivered and put them up. If you are a gun owner but wouldn't even have a free sign put up to take a stand on the issue, please don't complain when the police show up for your guns. Remember, if you ignore your rights, they'll go away.
Now the good news. Locally we did very well, electing two of a possible four Conservatives. All four CPC candidates actively sought our support and many TSCON members worked for local candidates. The two seats we won were by margins of 700 and 1100 votes and we sent Voter's Guides to over 1000 households in each riding so it is fair to say that gun owners got both candidates elected. I personally worked on Leo Bonomi's campaign in St. Catharines (he lost a squeaker to Liberal slug Walt Lastewka) and received some flattering comments from both Leo and his staffers who were very impressed with the hard work and dedication displayed by the TSCON volunteers.
Paul Martin looked like a tired old man who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory while Stephen Harper presented as a young, energetic and very credible alternative to Martin despite leading a party less than 6 months old. It is probably fair to say that if a few conservative candidates had kept their mouths shut about some contentious issues Harper would be the Prime Minister. On the plus side, he now has some time to get the party organized and spend time in the public eye so Canadians can get used to seeing him. This should actually be easier to do as leader of the Opposition rather than doing it while struggling to govern with a small minority government.
It was noteworthy that the gun registry fiasco was mentioned prominently in CPC ads and Harper zinged Martin good about it in the leader debates. This type of exposure ensures that The Firearms Act will continue to be the poster boy for government waste. With ever-shrinking public support and a minority government it is unlikely that even the Liberals would be stupid enough to risk passing more anti-gun legislation in the immediate future.
In addition to the Voter's Guide and lawn signs TSCON placed two very effective ads in the "Niagara News" weekly newspaper (local CPC candidates were passing out copies at their campaign offices) and ran 40 radio spots in the last week of the campaign on CKTB radio. This has left our finances somewhat depleted and with another election likely in the near future we need to build up our cash reserves. You can help by taking out a 2005 membership and supporting our gun shows. Remember that every cent we collect goes to supporting your right to own and use firearms.
Keep up the fight. Slowly but surely we are winning.
Reloaders Under Attack
If you are one of those people who still thinks if you play by the rules the government will finally leave you alone, here is more proof (as if you really needed it) that they will never stop until the guns are all gone or we kick them out of office.
The latest ploy involves regulations regarding people who handload their own ammunition. This is an update on the new proposed changes to the explosives regulations affecting handloaders and appeared recently on the Canadian Firearms Journal
1. Handloading in fully detached dwellings only.
2. No more than 5 kg (we have also heard 2 kg) of smokeless propellant to be stored within that dwelling. You can possess more but it must be stored in outdoor powder magazine built to Natural Resources Canada specifications
3. No hand loading within 15 meters of a neighboring dwelling.
4. All propellants are to be given a United Nations designation number and subject to even more rigorous import/export laws.
As stated on another thread my friend and fellow shooter and handloader who is a Fire Safety Officer (fire Inspector) in Ontario has contacted the Federal Explosives branch and questioned them regarding these changes. Basically he found that they think that the changes regarding quantities stored and distances are by their way of thinking improving public safety.
However the people he talked to could not provide him with any information as to WHY these changes are being considered, meaning they could not provide him with any details of any requests for these changes from a Fire Marshall of a province, or a Chief Coroner of a Province or from the Insurance Industry which are the sources normally for these types of changes. That being said, none of those types of people would oppose such changes either.
Nor could they provide him with any details regarding any incidents where the storage of powder/primers in a residence caused any sort of a problem to public safety. They made some vague reference to some incident supposedly in Renfrew (Ontario) but could not provide ANY details. (Apparently there is only one case in the past ten years in which smokeless powder contributed to a fire and there was no explosion involved). They seem to be concerned with EXPLOSIONS. Everybody knows that powders will add to and act as an accelerant to a conflagration but this is irrelevant because many other things in a house will do the same thing, paints, solvents, aerosols, etc, etc. Powders properly stored under the current regs will not cause an EXPLOSION and as far as we can find out never have.
These changes are not yet posted on their website but will be in the next one to two months according to them. This is done to get public input. They say they are still in the consultive stages and have people from the firearms community providing input. They said that these people whoever they are have NOT yet argued against these items. Anybody that knows who it is from the firearms community that is involved with this process should ask them what they are doing about this and when they are going to let the rest of us know what's going on. As news of these changes has already leaked out they indicated that they have been a little surprised at the feedback they have already been getting from shooters (all negative). This is good let's keep it up.
So it would appear that,
1) They are creating and/or modifying regulations that on the surface appear reasonable but do not solve an existing problem because no problem exists.
2) They are doing this as part of an ongoing campaign against firearms owners.
3) They are creating a regulation (another one) that the provinces have to enforce. The Fed's only do enforcement on manufacturers, importers, etc. of explosives, ammunition, etc. For residences it is under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Fire Marshal. It would be virtually impossible for the provincial Fire Safety Officers to enforce these regulations, so they are in effect making useless laws for problems that do not exist that can't be and won't be enforced and do nothing to enhance public safety.
So when they put this up on their website it is important that we all provide feedback. The people he talked with when he pointed out that the distance requirement itself would eliminate 90% of all reloading activities sort of surprised them and they indicated that they might have to revise that, indicating that it is possible to get them to change this with some rational arguments.
The important things in our feedback should be.
NO PROBLEM exists with the current regulations regarding public safety.
NO EXPLOSIONS have occurred with PROPERLY STORED powders in the quantities specified in the current regulations.
Have they had requests from a Provincial Fire Marshall for these changes? And if not, WHY are you making these changes?
Who proposed them? What is their rationale or motivation for making new regulations to address a NON-EXISTENT problem? Is this politically motivated? Who are they consulting with and what are those people's credentials regarding explosives, etc? Do they realize how many people and businesses these changes will negatively affect? How were the distances and quantities arrived at? Where is the empirical testing data that shows that these changes will have ANY effect in saving any lives or preventing property damage more effectively than the current regs already do? Make them try to actually justify these changes scientifically. On anything you send them, copy your MP as well.
Check their website for new proposed changes to be posted
Note: you have to scroll down to the "Proposed new Draft Regulations" Section
Copies of letters, faxes and/or e-mails should be sent to the following :
Clayton E. Brockett E-MAIL: brockett@NRCan.gc.ca C.G. (Chris) Watson
Processing Officer E-MAIL: Christopher.Watson@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca
Explosives Regulatory Division ,Natural Resources Canada Chief Inspector of Explosives
1431 Merivale Road, Ottawa, (Ontario) K1A 0G1 Director, Explosives Regulatory Division
Phone: (613) 948-5203 Fax (613) 948-5195
Hon. John Efford
Juri T. Kasemets, P.Eng. E-MAIL: email@example.com Minister of Natural Resources
National Manager, Regional Inspection and Enforcement House of Commons
Nat. Resources Canada, Explosives Regulatory Division Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
1505 Barrington St., Suite 1505 North E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K5
Tel: 902-426-9486, Fax: 902-426-7332 Hon. Larry Bagnell, Parliamentary Secretary
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
As previously noted, under Bill C-10A those of you who purchased 12/6 handguns between Feb. '95 and Dec. '98 are now legally grandfathered to keep them. However, despite the bill being passed over a year ago the regulations are still not in place. However, you are covered by an amnesty until Dec. 31/04. If the regs are not yet enacted, the amnesty will have to be extended. The NFA also informs us that the grandfathering allows you to acquire additional 12/6 guns, so you will be able to buy that .38 snubby you have had your eye on.
Guarnieri Committee a Farce
In previous newsletters we talked about Liberal MP Albina Guarnieri chairing a committee that was reviewing the firearms legislation. At the time our observation was "While this may well be a strategy to quiet gun owners down till after the election, we cannot base our actions on that assumption." As it turns out our scepticism was well justified. The committee made some decent recommendations but nearly all were shot down by Paul Martin and Anne McLellan. And how big a farce was the committee? When the "improvements" were announced, Guarnieri was nowhere to be seen. In fact, she apparently learned of the changes when they were announced on TV. If this isn't an indication of how scummy the Liberals are we don't know what is. In fact, only good thing coming out of this whole futile exercise was the waiver of the $25 firearm transfer fee (which was exorbitant in the first place).
From the "reporter doesn't know a gun from a turnip" file comes this gem from the April 28/04 edition of the Winnipeg Sun.
In describing an accidental shooting, reporter Bob Holliday said the shooter "admitted he fired his 30.06 shotgun from his truck". And reporters can't figure out why the public has less and less faith in what they write.
In September, TSCON will be holding "Movie Night". We will be screening two excellent videos. The first is titled "Busted" and deals with your rights regarding police searches. The second video is "Innocents Betrayed", a graphic depiction of 20th century examples of what happened to societies that allowed themselves to be disarmed. Total viewing time including question periods should be about two hours. We are still working out the logistics but complete information will be available at the gun show or by calling the TSCON contact numbers at the bottom of page 6. See you there!
1500 Year-Old Words of Wisdom
Thanks to T.V. for this one (too bad the Liberals aren't this smart).
"For men of understanding do not say that the sword is to blame for murder, nor wine for drunkenness, nor strength for outrage, nor courage for foolhardiness, but they lay the blame on those who make an improper use of the gifts which have been bestowed upon them by God, and punish them accordingly."
St. John Chrysostom (circa 341-410 A.D.), from "Treatise on the Priesthood," via B.T. Carlin, M.D.
Call for Nominations
As per The Sporting Clubs of Niagara constitution, elections for the Executive shall be held each year. The timetable to be followed is outlined below:
August - Call for Nominations to the Executive
September 15 - Election meeting held
Late September - Elected Executive takes office.
We are, therefore, issuing an invitation to all year 2004/05 members to submit nominations for the 2004-2005 Executive.
Nominations must be postmarked by Sept. 8, 2004. Nominations must be received in writing. They cannot be received verbally.
Address all nominations to:
THE SPORTING CLUBS OF NIAGARA
P.O. BOX 21047
ST. CATHARINES, ON L2M 7X2
ATTN: EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS
You likely know that we encourage gun owners to support every pro-firearm organization they can afford. While all of them do good work, in this issue we would like to put in a special plug for the National Firearms Association. For $30 a year you get the NFA magazine, access to the NFA Member Digest online and some of the best free legal firearm advice around. In the last couple of months alone the NFA has provided invaluable advice on topics like "The police are at your door... you are a firearm owner. What now?", "Your Rights at the Border" and "How Can You Store or Display a Flintlock Rifle?"
Believe us when we say you can't get a better value for $30. Check their website (www.nfa.ca)for membership info.
If your mailing label does not say "04" or if you received a 2005 membership card with this mailing you are not a paid up member. Help us continue our work by supporting TSCON with a membership. Complete the enclosed application and send it in with your cheque. Still just $10 a year! Aren't your guns worth it?
New Gun Show Chairman
Due to work commitments Ted Valliere has stepped down as Gun Show Chairman. Despite it causing his hair to get grayer and thinner Ted did a terrific job and deserves our thanks. We're sure he can use the rest! Fortunately for us, John Orth, our previous chairman, has agreed to get back on the hot seat and pick up where Ted left off.
Please direct any gun show inquires to John at 905-562-7686.
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 Sept. 10/04 show, contact John Orth right away at 905-562-7686. 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 should call John ASAP. Otherwise, he may rent your tables to walk-in vendors after the 6:00 p.m. cutoff.
The Merritton Community Centre can be reached at 905-682-0098. They will pass the message to John that you are going to be late so he can hold your tables until you arrive.
Trigger Locks for Sale
To help you comply with the safe storage laws "The 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
Sweats - M-XL $20
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 #4 Nov. 10, 2004
>Vol. 11 #1 Jan. 15, 2005
Wanted : semi-auto 30-06 rifle in good shape, willing to borrow or purchase, call Fred 905-684-5909
For Sale: Smith & Wesson Model 28 Highway Patrolman, .357 mag, 6", blued, like new, with case, brass, cleaning kit, $300
Mossberg 12 ga. shotgun, bolt action, adjustable choke, as new w/case, $100
Stevens Model 77 shotgun, 12 ga., adjustable choke, good condition, w/case, $100, call Rick 905-357-3792
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
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
St. Catharines, ON L2M 7X2
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building,
next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port
When? Wednesdays, 7:00 pm.
Who? Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.
Moved, Address Changes, Etc.
For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 905-685-4480.
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.
Winner Prize Donated By
Ken Andrews TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Aarron Atkinson gun cleaning kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Murray Gayder Pocket knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Doug Hurd Free PAL Test (transferrable) Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)