I often ask you to make phone calls, write letters or send e-mails and now is no exception. If each member of TSCON writes one letter, 900 letters will flood MP's offices. If you leave it up to the Executive perhaps 15 letters will go out. In this edition there are several very critical issues that will affect every one of you and require your immediate attention.
The first is possible changes to reloading and ammunition storage regulations. The second is pending animal cruelty legislation (Bill C-50). Both of these will have profound negative effects on gun owners and hunters. Third is the Bruce Montague situation. Each is explained in separate articles which you should look for further on in the newsletter.
As I write this column it appears the days of Paul Martin's Liberal minority government are numbered and an election in early 2006 is a virtual certainty.How the election will play out is anyone's guess. Will the repercussions from the Gomery inquiry anger voters enough to throw out an obviously stale and corrupt government or are Canadians so brainwashed by Liberal fear-mongering about Stephen Harper that they will be afraid to vote for a much needed change?
Whatever the case may be, gun owners need to be more active than ever before when the election is called. The Conservative Party of Canada has made big gains in Parliament and this needs to continue. Candidates never have enough help and there are always more jobs to be done than there are people to do them. Volunteer to put up signs, make phone calls and contribute money. Attend all-candidate meetings and ask pointed questions of the Liberals about why they continue to waste millions of dollars on an ineffective gun control scheme. Most important, get out to vote and encourage your friends and relatives to do the same.
While the realities of the election will become clearer in the next few weeks, what has become particularly obvious this year is the utter failure of Canadian gun control.
Despite a price tag in the $2 billion range there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that Canadians are one bit safer than they were before Bill C-68 was introduced in 1995. In fact, firearm homicide totals in Canada have actually gone up in the past two years.
To illustrate the futility of the Liberal gun control scheme, in 1995 there were 176 firearm homicides in Canada. By 2004, after $2 billion dollars and millions of person-hours of work the number of firearm homicides had dropped to 172, or only four less than before this whole mess started.
Many areas of Toronto have become virtual free-fire zones with daylight shootouts taking place as traffic whizzes by. Even smaller cities across the country are facing dramatic increases in criminal firearm use. Apparently the gang bangers and drug dealers never got the message that licensing and registering the firearms of target shooters and hunters was supposed to stop them from shooting each other and innocent bystanders.
A Nov. 15 online poll in the Vancouver Province newspaper shows just how far public support for the firearm registry has plunged. To the question "Is it time for Ottawa to scrap the national gun registry?", 82% of the respondents said "Yes". Only 18% said "No". Apparently the Liberals are the only people in Canada who still think the registry is a good idea.
A few important reminders: All 2005 memberships expire on Dec. 31. We realize Christmas is a busy time but please take a minute right now renew your support for 2006. With an election coming we need all the financial support we can muster to boot the Liberals out.
On a personal note, this is my last column as my term as President has expired. I am pleased to extend a warm welcome our new President, Bodo Eichhorn, who has accepted the challenge of running TSCON for the coming year. Bodo is a hard worker who is eager to learn and I am confident he will serve you well.
Many of you heard Bruce speak last April about his battle against the Firearms Act. Now, in an incredibly despicable manoeuver the Ontario government has moved to put a lien on Bruce's home using civil forfeiture laws which were put in place to deal with organized crime. Obviously Bruce is not involved in a crime syndicate so this appears to be a blatant attempt by the McGuinty Liberals to prevent Bruce from using the equity in his home to help fund his court challenge to the Firearms Act. This leads us to believe that the government is extremely worried that he might be successful and is using every underhanded method possible to prevent him from having his day in court. Those of you who met Bruce know he is a man of conviction who believes in what he is doing. Read more about this at:
Remember, if Bruce wins we all win. I implore all of you to send him a donation in whatever amount you can spare. Please make your cheque payable to the:
Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund
RR#2, Site 211, Box 7
Dryden, ON P8N 2Y5
Your Rights are in the Cards!
By John Gayder, past President
Editor's Note: We are becoming increasingly concerned about abuses of police powers as they pertain to gun owners. Many TSCON members report being stopped at police checkpoints upon returning from northern hunting trips. What are supposed to be MNR game checks often turn into police fishing expeditions looking for firearm violations. We are pursuing this issue to help protect our members from what we see as undue harassment.
Although everyone wants to support law enforcement officers, we are rapidly becoming a country in which the police are increasingly being viewed not as friendly protectors, but as agents of state social control. Firearms owners know this better than anybody. If you are stopped by the police or a game warden, it is entirely natural and proper to be polite to them. There is no law that says you must be polite, but it is a slam-dunk sure thing that things will go smoother if you are.
There is however, a big difference between being polite and being a pushover. Officers frequently use the average person's respect for the law as a way of getting you to unwittingly confess to legal sins you may not even know you have committed. Canada's overly complex firearms laws, coupled with the fact that gun ownership has been widely portrayed in the liberal media as being a bad thing creates a situation that is ripe for legal misadventure.
There are many laws which allow officers to stop you, ask for certain paper work and even conduct a search of you or your belongings. It is beyond the scope of this article to go through them all, but in general these laws have clearly defined limits.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says you can't be detained beyond what is reasonable, you can't be searched without reason and you can't be forced to talk. When in contact with officers over firearms related issues you will want to be polite and be prepared to show your papers, but you must understand that if you unwittingly give the police a wrong answer, you may end up being charged. After exchanging pleasantries with the officer and showing him/her your paperwork and firearms, you will likely want to politely assert your Charter right to silence and protection from unnecessary detention and unreasonable search.
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara has prepared a card to help you do this. The instant you believe the officer has started angling to "hook" you by going above and beyond simply inspecting your paperwork/storage, present the card and read from it. The officer may get angry. They may mock or insult you. However it is more likely they will recognize that you will not (unlike most people) be pushed into making the job of convicting yourself easy. That means they will be left with having to do the investigation themselves, and in view of the previously mentioned complexity of the law, they will likely leave you alone. If they do not, remain silent except for the statements on the card! Our vets fought and died to protect these rights and using them ensures their sacrifice was not in vain.
N.B. Students of this issue will correctly say that the dreaded Firearms Act stipulates you must cooperate with the police under some circumstances. This is true, but it is as yet untested before the courts and many experts believe it would not withstand judicial review.
The cards are wallet sized and laminated to withstand water damage and wear and tear. We are only asking for $1 per card to defray the cost of production.
Bill C-50 = Big Trouble
Are you a hunter, fisherman, farmer, aboriginal, scientist, or anyone else who works with animals? If you are then Bill C-50, the Liberal's latest misguided attempt at passing animal cruelty legislation could spell big trouble for you.
Under the bill's proposed wording, both domestic and wild animals will be taken out of the property section of the Criminal Code and now be seen more as "beings." The bill would also make killing an animal brutally or viciously illegal, regardless of whether the animal dies immediately.
The two words "brutally" and "viciously" are the problem because the government really doesn't define what the words actually mean. Even an animal killed instantly by a single shot could be deemed to have died "brutally" or "viciously", opening the door to criminal charges. Most people believe that they have a fair and moral understanding of the meaning of the words. However, to many in the animal rights community like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), brutal and vicious means catch and release fishing, hunting, penning animals, etc.
The fact that the bill proposes to define an animal as "any vertebrate" (i.e. has a backbone), other than a human" means fishermen are also affected. Having a hunting or fishing licence won't protect you from being charged.
Despite assurances from the Liberals that this will not happen (sure, we should trust their word), they significantly have refused to add any language to the bill that specifically exempts hunters or fishermen from prosecution and that should set off alarm bells.
MPs and Senators need to hear from all those who could be affected by this legislation. If you feel writing your own letter may be too difficult we have available a generic letter that anyone can use. You just need to fill in the name of the MP you want to send it to, add your signature and mail it. They will be available at the gun show.
Note: This issue affects anyone who reloads or possesses ammunition.
In the past several issues we have kept you updated on the reloading regulations situation. Natural Resources Canada officials have produced a working document, input from which will help form the basis of any new (if any) regulations.
If you reload or possess ammunition these new regulations will affect you. It is, therefore, vital that you reply to these new proposals as soon as possible.
Copies of the document as well as advise on making comments are available by calling TSCON or can be picked up at the gun show. If we do not address this issue ASAP it could mean reals problems for all gun owners whether you reload or not.
12/6 Handgun Owners
If you are a gun owner who legally purchased .25, .32 or short barreled handguns between Feb. 1995 and Dec. 1998, the government is refusing to grant you the grandfathered status you were promised when Bill C-10A was passed. This is clearly unfair and probably illegal. To rectify the situation CSSA is launching a class action suit to force the government to rectify the situation.
If you fall into this category contact Tony Bernardo at CSSA by e-mail (email@example.com), telephone (905-571-2150) or call toll free (1-888-873-4339) or fax (905-265-9794).
Under no circumstances should you turn in the firearms in question. You are currently covered by an amnesty till Dec. 31/05, by which time we hope to have further direction on this mess.
They Said It
Judy Sgro, Liberal MP York West: "I would actually introduce a motion to ban all handguns in Canada, if I thought I could get that somewhere."..."I think the faster and the easier we can do to eliminate handguns completely in this country, we will be far better off."
Of course this is the same Judy Sgro who agreed to speed up the immigration application of a Romanian stripper after the stripper worked on her election campaign. And she doesn't seem to be able to explain how a handgun ban would disarm criminals with handguns. After all, they aren't supposed to have them now but they do. As usual, the logic of the Liberals is to penalize the law-abiding because of the actions of lawbreakers.
This issue's award for dumbest firearm comment goes to writer Colin Freeze in the August 16 Globe and Mail. Mr. Freeze noted in his article "Die hard found with arsenal" that the accused...was in possession of a "12-gauge pump-action shotgun, a U.S. M-1 gauge rifle..." and "an M-1 carbine module rifle..." If we can't figure out what the last two are it's a good bet Mr. Freeze has absolutely no clue what he was writing about.
The following are some local pro-gun businesses which are worthy of your patronage.
The Buffalo Wings and Pizza Company
Unit 1 & 2
448 Welland Ave.
R&J'S Meats & Deli
Carlton Heights Plaza
595 Carlton St.
Hairstyling for Men
536 Carlton St.
Lakeshore Antiques & Treasures
855 Lakeshore Rd.
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.
The following people are on the Executive of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" for 2006 (Save for future reference)
President: Bodo Eichhorn
1st Vice-President: Bob LeGrand
2nd Vice-President: Carson Moore
Secretary: Verna LeGrand
Treasurer: Ladi Plut
Gun Show Chairman: John Orth
Past President: Gerry Gamble
Barry Devereux (Honourary)
All 2005 memberships expire at the end of December. Also, if your mailing label reads "04" or earlier you are not a paid up member for 2006. Please take the time to renew your membership your 2006 membership. Maybe even throw in a few extra dollars as a donation if you can spare them. Membership is still just $10 a year! Aren't your guns worth it?
Attention Gun Show Vendors!
3 Important Items
1. Table rental increase
For the first time since 1995 we have to raise our fees which currently are not even covering the cost of
the hall. Rental fees will now be as follows:
TSCON members - $7 per table.
Non-members - $12 per table.
2. Table PrepaymentTo reserve your tables for 2006 you must prepay for them at the December show. John Orth will be collecting the money at that time.
3. Late arrivals
If you think you are going to be late to the gun show you should call John ASAP at the Merritton Community Centre - 905-682-0098 so he can hold your tables. Otherwise, he may rent them to walk-in vendors after the 6:00 p.m. cutoff.
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. 9/05 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 2006 gun shows are:Feb. 17
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, 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.
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 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!
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.
Hata 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.
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. 12 #1 Jan. 15, 2006
Vol. 12 #2 Mar. 31, 2006
For Sale: 2 new Ruger 10/22 stocks, Hogue Overmolded with heavy barrel (.920") channel $85, Corelite synthetic with heavy barrel (.920") channel $50, call Gerry 905-685-4480For Sale: Winchester Model 12 pump, 2 3/4" 12 ga., 31" barrel,, full choke, reblued, excellent condition, $750 OBO Remington Model 10 pump, 2 3/4" 12 ga., 29" barrel, full choke, good condition, $350 OBO, Call David 905-664-6030
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
General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-562-7686
St. Catharines, ON
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.
Quote of the Month
"The difficulty, of course, is that we haven't yet come across any situation where the gun registry would have enabled us to either prevent or solve any of these crimes" Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino.
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 Peter Lyon, Stoney Creek TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Skip Francoeur, Beamsville Gun cleaning kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Thomas Packham, Smithville Pocket knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Dennis Wright, Mount Hope Free PAL Test (transferrable) Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)
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