The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Newsletter




Volume 10, Number 4 November 2004


Message from the President

Greetings! I hope this issue finds that the hunting gods have been kind to you all and that your freezers are full of meat and your minds full of good memories from the hunt.

The firearm issue has been rather quiet over the past few months as Parliament only returned about six weeks ago. As we predicted, with Paul Martin busy trying to save his minority government's butt it is unlikely that they will rock the gun control boat any time soon.

That doesn't mean MP Garry Breitkreuz has eased up, however. Ever the thorn in the Liberal side, Garry tried to find out just what the recommendations were in Albina Guarnieri's report on modifying the Firearms Act (remember, the one that Martin almost completely ignored). Amazingly he got the following reply on Nov. 3/04.

"After a thorough review of the documentation, it has been determined that requested information cannot be disclosed. The information you requested is excluded in its entirety pursuant to Section 69(1) of the Act. ["Cabinet confidences"]

If the Liberals won't release the report you can bet it had very little good to say about how the programme is running.

On a different note, although it may not seem important to us, the result of the U.S. election was actually very good news for gun owners worldwide. Like it or not, the re-election of George Bush is the best thing that could have happened if you own a gun.

Despite several phoney attempts to paint himself as a hunter and a friend to gun owners, John Kerry's Senate record of voting some fifty times for more gun control showed his true colours to gun owners.

Some may ask how Bush's election helps us. Well, as long as he holds the White House any efforts by the United Nations to bring about international agreements on private gun ownership will be blocked by U.S. opposition. Remember that once a country signs on to such agreements the government of that country (e.g. the Canadian Parliament) has no ability to overturn it. The result is that Canadian gun owners could end up with the same restrictions on them as Russians, Cubans or Rwandans. Also bear in mind that today much of what the UN does is controlled by representatives of 3rd World dictators who have no interest in seeing their citizens with any access to firearms whatsoever. The fact that John Kerry kept talking about more U.S. involvement with the UN could have had serious consequences for us.

Speaking of Bush, while the gun owner vote didn't get much play in the news, some interesting facts about it have surfaced. For example, of the four million members of the NRA, 95% of them vote and nearly all vote Republican. A national exit poll conducted by CNN showed that 63 percent of American gun owners voted to re-elect President Bush, while just 36 percent voted for John Kerry. In the pivotal state of Ohio (which tipped the election to Bush), one news report said 60 percent of hunters and shooters voted for Bush, which by itself would have made up most of his 120 000 vote margin of victory. Similar vote margins in key states like Florida and New Mexico reinforced the importance of the gun vote to Bush's re-election.

With increased pro-gun majorities in both Congress and the Senate the next four years are going to be very lean for the anti-gun crowd.

In Canada, it's not the vote but the dollar that may cause trouble for the gun controllers. To fund many of Martins' promises on heath care, etc, there is pressure on all government agencies to trim their budgets and with the Canadian Firearm Registry being one of the worst value-for-dollar departments they will be hard pressed to maintain their current funding, especially with the minority government situation.

Such issues make the Liberal hold on power tenuous and an election could come up on very short notice. On that note, remember that all 2004 memberships expire on Dec. 31/04. Help us to be financially prepared for the next election by renewing your 2005 membership early and maybe throwing in a few extra dollars as a donation if you can spare them.

Merry Christmas and have a great 2005!



Best wishes,

Gerry Gamble

Reloading Update



You will recall that in the last issue of the newsletter we outlined some of the proposed changes that were being considered which would have serious implications for home reloaders. Most of these were changes were based on preposterous claims such as properly stored smokeless powder could explode and similar nonsense and done for the reason of, you guessed it, "public safety", despite the fact that apparently only one incident could be found in the past 10 years where stored powder may have contributed to a fire in a residence. After the near implementation of the previous bout of idiocy regarding non-explosive ammunition components, pro-firearm groups have learned that the best defence is a good offence and immediately picked apart the 'logic' on which these changes were being based. As a result, several things have happened:

- the Ministry of Natural Resources (which is proposing these changes) has agreed to meet with representatives of an existing user-group of industry professionals and organizations; the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) and the Manufacturers Advisory Group (MAG). No changes will be implemented without their input.

- a letter from a TSCON Executive member received the following reply:

(Comments in brackets are ours)



Dear Mr. XXXXXX,

Thank you for your email on this subject.

First of all I would like to make it clear that we recognize that handloading properly practiced is a safe activity, and the current review of handloading regulations is not sparked by any rash of accidents or fear of them. (Then why the fear-mongering and sudden concern about "public safety"?) We are currently reviewing all of our regulations, as many of them are old and outdated, and handloading is part of the manufacturing section. We are consulting with the NFA and other associations across the country to enable us to get a better picture of the activity, e.g. the quantity and number of types of powder a reloader may store, number of rounds loaded per week, etc.

Unfortunately some very preliminary numbers were released before they were internally vetted, (in other words we trotted out a load of horse manure as fact and got caught doing it) and the information appears to have become somewhat distorted in its passage around the country. (Apparently we redneck rubes couldn't read english)

If (note - now it is "If") changes are required, we aim to come up with proposals that permit handloaders to continue to practice their hobby unimpeded, while at the same time ensuring public safety and security are respected. Please be assured we will not change anything in the current regulations until all interested parties have had the opportunity to provide their input. Etc., etc.



Yours sincerely,

Christopher Watson

Chief Inspector of Explosives

Explosives Regulatory Division

Natural Resources Canada



This letter is about as close as you will ever get to having a government bureaucrat say "We were wrong." If you are asking, "Where do we go from here?" the answer is simple. We have to put even more pressure on them to run away from this like it was a live grenade. If we sit back and think the issue is dead they will take it to mean a lack of commitment on our part.

If you have already contacted the people involved you need to do it again. If you haven't yet done so it is even more important that you do now. There is nothing government officials fear more than public backlash and this is the time to make them feel it.

As always, a short letter, fax or e-mail making one or two points is best. Some issues to be stressed could be:

-where did they get their'research' from?

-how many cases of residential fires have been caused by handloaders?

-who is going to compensate you for the loss of use of your reloading equipment, the cost of your components and the additional cost if you have to purchase commercial ammo?

-why were industry experts from powder manufacturers not consulted?

-why are they trying to turn more honest Canadian citizens into criminals by putting in place unreasonable and unresearched regulations?

Keep the letters polite but blunt. They have to know we are serious about this.

We will keep you informed as this issue plays out.

Send copies of your letters, e-mails and faxes too al of the following:



C.G. (Chris) Watson

Christopher.Watson@rncan.gc.ca

Chief Inspector of Explosives

Director, Explosives Regulatory Division

1431 Merivale Road

Ottawa, ON K1A 0G1

613-948-5170 Fax: 613-948-5195



Clayton E. Brockett

brockett@NRCan.gc.ca

Explosives Regulatory Division

Natural Resources Canada

1431 Merivale Road

Ottawa, ON K1A 0G1

613-948-5203 Fax: 613-948-5195



Juri T. Kasemets, P.Eng. jkasemet@nrcan.gc.ca

National Manager, Regional Inspection and Enforcement

Natural Resources Canada

Explosives Regulatory Division

1505 Barrington St., Suite 1505 North

Halifax, NS B3J 3K5

902-426-9486, Fax: 902-426-7332



Hon. John Efford

Minister of Natural Resources

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

john.efford@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca



Hon. Larry Bagnell

Parliamentary Secretary

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Bagnell.L@parl.gc.ca



Also send copies to you local MP.

Verifiers (No, not again!)



The Liberals never learn. As most of you know the ill-conceived "verifier network" is virtually non-existent.

Recently, however, it has come to light that the law stipulates the following (as stated in CFC bulletins 5, 44 and 61):

"All firearms being registered for the first time, and all firearms being transferred to a new owner must be verified."

These bulletins went on to plead with people to become verifiers since very few active volunteer verifiers are still around.

According to these bulletins, if you registered a non-restricted firearm as required and now wish to sell it, it must be verified before it is sold. Seems clear, right? Wrong!

Just after reading these new releases an Executive member wanted to purchase a shotgun. He called the CFC to get the name of a local verifier but they could not provide one. When he told them he had all the information on the gun (he had a copy of the registration slip) the CFC clerk asked a few questions about the gun on the phone and then said it was verified! Three weeks later the new registration slip arrived in the mail.

Is the clerk a verifier? We don't know, but since she never actually saw the gun it obvious the verification is a joke anyway since everything she accepted was based on the buyer's verbal (not written) word, which would be very difficult to prove in a court of law.

We are not sure what this means. It is possible that some of you will call to transfer a gun and be told a verifier must see it while others will be done like the above case. We raised the issue with Garry Breitkreuz' office and were told that so far there have been no complaints so we assume that situation number 2 is taking place. If you are told a gun must be verified please let us know so we can follow up on this obvious inconsistency.

It should also be noted that while on the phone the member asked the CFC clerk to call back with a list of local verifiers. Three weeks later - no call so far.

Bill C-10A



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 well over a year ago the regulations are still not in place. However, you are now covered by an amnesty until Dec. 31/05.

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.

Please note that if you should have an encounter with the police over this issue the necessary information is contained in "SPECIAL BULLETIN FOR POLICE - No. 58"

from the Canadian Firearms Centre

Mel Berry



We are sad to report he passing of member Mel Berry. Mel was a very active member of TSCON. He always supported us with business ads in the newsletter and was an active letter writer for the club. He was an avid hunter for most of his life and exemplified the positive characteristics that all good hunters show. We will miss him. Our sincere sympathy is extended to his wife and family.

This Was Worth $2 Billion?



The most recent evidence of the stupidity and futility of the firearm registry comes from (surprise!) another of Garry Breitkreuz' inquiries. This time Garry asked what percentage of crime guns used in homicides were registered. Here are the results for the period 1998 - 2003. (All figures from Statistics Canada)

During that time period there was a total of 984 firearm homicides.

Number of Registered firearms used-66 (6.7%)

Number of unregistered firearms used-377 (38.3%)

Number of firearms not recovered-541 (54.9%)

Not only were less than 7% of the firearms used in homicides registered, just because they were registered doesn't mean the legal owner used them to commit the crime as many were undoubtedly lost by or stolen from legal owners.

Perhaps even more telling about the uselessness of registration is that the percentage of registered handguns used in homicides (remember that handguns have required registration since 1934) was only 48 out of a total 584 (8.2%). If one subtracts the number of lost or stolen handguns from 48 it basically means that the chance of being murdered by a registered owner with a registered handgun is virtually nil.

To give a better example of how seldom legally owned handguns are used in murders, in the time there were 48 murders committed with registered handguns there were 59 murders committed with prohibited sawed-off shotguns. Maybe they are the ones that should be banned. Oh wait, they already are!

If simple, ordinary citizens like us can see the futility of firearm registration, why can't politicians. Then again, it must be hard to see with your head up your a*s

2005 Executive



The following people are on the Executive of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" for 2005 (Save for future reference)

President

Gerry Gamble 685-4480

1st Vice-President

Bob LeGrand 892-3445

2nd Vice-President

James Houlden 934-4250

Secretary

Verna LeGrand 892-3445

Treasurer

Ladi Plut 937-2163

Gun Show Chairman

John Orth 562-7686

Past President

John Gayder 937-2301

Executive Directors

Barry DevereuxHonourary

Ivan Chamberlain

934-6882

Bodo Eichhorn 934-2532

John Kellaway 984-4189

Paul Kovacs 562-7159

Robert Lockhart 358-8923

Rick McConnery227-0724

Al McKie 682-7498

Carson Moore 934-6469

Ron Penfound 934-0844

Gilbert Pinney 937-3579

Bill Staff 562-5737

Richard Stewart 935-6623

Ted Valliere 935-3893

Jack Warner 937-8397

Shirley Warner 937-8397

2005 Gun Shows



The usual foot dragging by the CFC bureaucrats has left us in limbo as to whether the new gun show regulations will be in place for the 2005 shows. While there is some indication they will be delayed (again!) we have nothing concrete to report at this time. Just to be safe and to guarantee we got the dates we wanted we have scheduled the 2005 shows anyway. They appear in the following section.

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 Dec. 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 2005 gun shows are:

Feb. 11

April 29

Sept. 9

Dec. 9

2005 Memberships

If your mailing label reads "04" or if you received a 2005 membership card with this mailing you are not a paid up member after Dec. 31/04. 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?

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.

Pro-Gun Businesses



Do you own, work for or know of a local business which is supportive of the rights of firearm owners.

If you are aware of any 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.

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

XXL $18

Sweats - M-XL $20

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. 11 #1 Jan. 15, 2005

>Vol. 11 #2 Apr. 4 , 2005

Classified Ads



For Sale: Savage Model 99 lever action in 30:06, gold tone trigger. Very good condition. Asking $500 or best offer; Alumacraft Trophy 170 boat, trailer and cover. 70hp Merc with low hours. many other extras makes this a fantastic fishing package. $8,000 O.B.O. Call Holly (905) 358-8536 Niagara Falls.



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:



http://www.vaxxine.com/

scon

Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686

TSCON Inquiries?



General 905-685-4480

905-937-2301

Memberships

905-685-4480

Gun Show

905-562-7686

FAX 905-934-8039

Mail TSCON

Box 21047

St. Catharines, ON L2M 7X2

Weekly Meetings



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.

Moved, Address Changes, Etc.



For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 905-685-4480."There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." -- Robert Heinlein

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



Raoul Normand TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Brock Blaney gun cleaning kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Bruno Parisotto Pocket knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Ed Zeglinski Free PAL Test (transferrable) Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)