The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 1 January 2005

Message from the President


Here's hoping you all had a great Christmas holiday and that 2005 brings us good news on the firearm rights front. With the politicians on their usual two-month winter break, this will be a good chance to catch up on a variety of diverse firearm issues. First, 2005 memberships.

If you have not renewed or joined for 2005, please take a moment and do it right now! With the minority government situation there is an excellent chance that an election will be called sometime this year. In last year's election we had good success because we had the financial resources to run several effective newspaper and radio ads that were well received by the voters. However, that left our treasury rather depleted and this time around we may only have one year to replenish it before the next election rather than the usual three or four years.

It has been pointed out before that our main revenue sources are memberships and the gun shows, and the short time line before a possible election reduces our income potential. Remember that all 2004 memberships expired on Dec. 31/04. Help us to be financially prepared for the next election by renewing your 2005 membership and maybe throwing in a few extra dollars as a donation if you can spare them.

While you are at it, now would be a good time to make a political contribution as well. The Conservative Party of Canada has taken a strong stand in support of gun owners and electing them is the best chance we have to see the firearm registry dumped.

And while I don't personally like it, contributions to political parties get you the biggest refund bang of your tax buck. For example, a $25 contribution gets you a refund of $18.75, $100 gets a refund of $75 and $500 gets you $350 back. All in all it's a small price to pay to support high profile Conservatives like Garry Breitkreuz, Peter MacKay and Stephen Harper as well as local MPs Dean Allison and Rob Nicholson who all support us on the firearm issue.

On another matter, if you are like me you have probably noticed that the members of your gun club, your hunting buddies, the friends you see at gun shows and that person looking at you in the mirror all seem to be getting a little grayer. Thanks to government red tape, fewer and fewer young people are getting into the shooting sports but this is something you personally can help to change. Why not make a New Year's resolution to take a young person shooting. It could be a relative, a neighbour or a friend from work.

A few months back we had a display at the Welland Fair and one of our Executive members who shoots black powder put a couple of flintlock rifles on the table. People young and old flocked around them flies to honey, proving that there is still lots of interest in firearms. All that is needed is for someone like you to give them the chance to try shooting. Remember, the sport you save may be your own.

Speaking of saving, be sure to read the following item about what is going on with the reloading regulations. It looks like we might just win one.

2005 is going to be a busy year. Get ready for it.

Best wishes,

Gerry Gamble

Reloading Update

In the two previous issues we have been keeping you updated on the reloading issue and the misguided attempts by government bureaucrats to address a problem that the facts show doesn't exist. It is becoming rapidly apparent that the thousands of letters and e-mails to the people responsible for opening this can of worms are having a dramatic effect. Here are some quotes from the latest letter from Explosives Branch head honcho Chris Watson dated Dec. 17/04. (bold type is ours)

"While we recognize that handloading properly practiced is a safe activity, government has the duty to maintain up-to-date, appropriate regulations, thereby maintaining the confidence of the public that government is acting in a responsible manner. At the same time, I would like to make it clear that the current review of handloading regulations is not sparked by any rash of accidents or fear of them, which will be an important factor to consider in the review of the regulations.

In the past, we have worked with the reloading community to put in place regulations to exempt handloaders from this prohibition. Indeed, the Explosives Branch maintains close links with many stakeholder associations, including the blasting explosives manufacturers, fireworks importers and users and other industry groups. It has always been their practice to consult fully with stakeholders before changing any of their regulations.

At the invitation of the National Firearms Association (NFA), NRCan officials will join a world sport shooting advisory board at their annual meeting next March. At that time a decision will be made whether any regulatory changes will be required. Be assured that no proposals to modify the regulations affecting handloading will be made before full consultations have been completed.

If changes to the regulations are required, our goal will be to balance the desire of handloaders to continue to practice their hobby unimpeded with the need to ensure public safety and security. Again, please be assured that we will not change anything in the current regulations until all interested parties have had the opportunity to provide their input."

It is obvious that they are backpedalling rapidly on this issue and it is critical that the pressure is kept on them. 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:

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 to all of the following:

A C.G. (Chris) Watson
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
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.
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

Hon. Larry Bagnell
Parliamentary Secretary
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Also, send copies to your local MP.

Registering an Unregistered Firearm

Considering that the government claims gun owners are widely complying with the Firearms Act we find it amazing how many calls we are still getting from people telling us they have unregistered guns, asking whether to register them and if so, how.

Briefly, here is what you have to do:

Beginning on Oct. 24/04, if you wish to register an unregistered firearm you must first have it verified by a government verifier. This may be rather difficult since verifiers are harder to find than honest Liberals. Once the firearm has been verified, the verifier will give you a verification code which you will fill in when you register the gun. We still suggest doing the registration online if possible.

As we have said before, for obvious reasons we cannot counsel people to break the law by not registering their firearms. If you make that choice, however, the wisest thing you can do is to tell as few people as possible and to keep the firearms in a location where they either cannot be connected to you or where it is unlikely they would ever be found by accident or by someone searching for them.

Bruce Montague

The following is an excerpt from the website

"Bruce Montague is an ordinary Canadian who has been charged under the Firearms Act. On September 11, 2004 Bruce was arrested and jailed for 11 days for violation of the licensing and registration terms of the Firearms Act. Police officers then conducted a 36 hour search of the Montague home, seizing and confiscating his firearms, ammunition, computer and many other non-related things like binoculars, scopes and books.

What started this? Bruce is a model citizen with no criminal record, and has an excellent community and business reputation. But as a hunter and gunsmith from northern Ontario, Bruce Montague has boldly and actively opposed the Liberal's illegitimate gun law by nonviolent public protest and peaceful non-compliance.

Why would someone intentionally challenge the law? Bruce is a man of character, integrity and conviction. Rather than comply with an unjust law, he has chosen to challenge it in court at enormous personal cost.

Why should you join Bruce Montague's fight to strike down the Firearms Act? Because his fight is your fight, if he loses we all lose. If we do not DEFEND our Rights and Freedoms NOW we will lose them forever."

Editor's Note: Bruce is originally from Niagara Falls. We have spoken to him several times on the phone. He is no wild-eyed radical, but a polite, sort spoken young man who has taken on a difficult battle at great personal cost. Make no mistake: any one of us could be Bruce if the police decided to play hardball. It has happened before and will likely happen again. Please check his website and send him a donation. In addition, we are in the planning stages of having Bruce come to speak locally, probably in late April. More information will be forthcoming in the next newsletter.

Sorry, Sam

In the Dec. newsletter in the TSCON Executive list for 2005 we mistakenly left off Sam Arnold. Sorry Sam, our mistake. We still love you!

Gun Show Regs Scrapped!

Unbelievably, after a charade that has gone on for six years, the government has finally announced that virtually all the proposed new (now old) regulations concerning gun shows have been scrapped. This includes the need for permits, providing lists of gun show vendors, etc.

These regulations were a joke from the beginning. No serious problems have ever been associated with gun shows in Canada and this always appeared to be just another way to harass gun owners out of existence. Luckily the feds could never get their act together and the fact that policing the shows was going to fall largely on local or provincial police forces at great cost in both dollars and manpower was likely its downfall. This means that our shows will continue to entertain gun owners for some time to come.

Storage & Display of Antique Firearms

(With thanks to Dave Tomlinson of the NFA)

Storage and display of firearms continue to be one of the most misunderstood parts of the Firearms Act and when it involves antiques the confusion grows. This should clear up some of the mystery.

You own a brand new Lyman Deerslayer Flintlock rifle. Does it require registration?
Being a flintlock, it is not required to be registered as it is an "antique firearm" by the CC s. (Criminal Code) 84(1) "antique firearm" definition.

Is it still subject to the storage requirements under the "law"?
Assuming that it is an antique, it is NOT a "firearm" for all provisions of the Firearms Act, and is not a "firearm" for SOME parts of the Criminal Code, under CC s. 84(3)(a). As such, it is exempt from the Firearms Act, and the provisions regarding the display and storage of firearms. The "regulations" specify [Regulation 2(5)] that "Sections 5 to 13 do not apply to antique firearms." That eliminates all regulations requiring trigger locks, etc. Apparently, one may also store a handgun which is an "antique firearm" on top of one's desk, so long as it is unloaded -- even if it is also a "prohibited firearm." The "prohibited firearm" status has no effect if it is ALSO an "antique firearm."

To be displayed on the wall, would it need to be "attached" to a permanent fixture?
By law, it does not need to be. The regulations regarding display and storage are DIFFERENT for an "antique firearm." It requires no locks or lockup. However, Regulation 14 says one cannot store or display an "antique firearm" unless it is unloaded.

At what point does one cross from "storage" to "display" to "handling"?
The law does not make that clear. A judge would have to rule.

TSCON has a handout which describes what constitutes an "antique firearm." It is available at the gun shows. The NFA also has an excellent article on storage of non-restricted firearms that can be viewed at:

New Zealand Dumps Gun Registration

On Dec. 24/04 Police Minister George Hawkins confirmed that gun registration will not be in a bill he is preparing to tighten border control of illicit arms trading.

The registration of all the guns in the country was recommended seven years ago in a review of gun laws but neither the previous nor the present government acted on the recommendation, and Mr. Hawkins said today it was off the agenda. "Police told the Government it wouldn't make very much difference, and they recommended that we did not register every firearm," he said . . . "Police advice was that most of the times guns are used illegally, they are illegal guns and they don't know about them anyway."

Our question is, if the New Zealand government and police are smart enough to realize this, how come our politicians and police chiefs aren't?

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 Feb. 11/05 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

Attention Gun Show Vendors!

If you think you are going to be late to the gun show for any 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.

2005 Memberships

If your mailing label reads "04" or earlier or if you received a 2005 membership card with this mailing you were 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?

Pro-Gun Businesses

In this issue we would like to highlight two local pro-gun businesses which are worthy of your patronage:

Erie Tracker Outfitters
111 Killaly St. West
Port Colborne

Port Colborne Marine
417 King St.
Port Colborne

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 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
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

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 #2 Apr. 4, 2005
>Vol. 11 #3 Aug. 15, 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 and many other extras makes this a fantastic fishing package. $8,000 O.B.O. Call Holly (905) 358-8536 Niagara Falls.

Wanted: Remington 1100 semi-auto shotgun in .410 gauge. Prefer one with a skeet barrel but will consider others. Must be in VG-EX condition and at a reasonable price. Call Gerry 905-685-4480.

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.

TSCON Inquiries?

General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Memberships 905-685-4480
Gun Show 905-562-7686
FAX 905-934-8039


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.

"It isn't weapons that define evil, but intentions. Cops, robbers or plain citizens may all be armed, but only the robber's gun is evil." Columnist George Jonas, The Ottawa Citizen, 02/ 21/ 2002

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

Marcel Boisvert      TSCON T-shirt       The Sporting Clubs of Niagara 
Chester Pacan        gun cleaning kit    The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Daniel Doornekamp    Pocket knife        The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Craig Constant       Free PAL Test       Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)

G u n S h o w

Friday, Feb. 11, 2005 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave., St. Catharines


Buy, Sell or Trade, 100+ tables of Antique and Modern Firearms, Knives, Hunting Accessories and Gun Parts

For tables or information call:
John @ 905-562-7686