The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 1 February 2006


Post Election Observations

Success! After more than 12 years of bullying, scandals, corruption and ignoring the rights of Canadians, the Liberals finally got what they deserved and were voted out of power on Monday, Jan. 23, 2006.

While we were hoping for a Conservative majority that would not be hamstrung by having to make concessions to the other parties, a giant hurdle has been cleared as the combined Canadian Alliance/Progressive Conservative parties finally found their way out of the wilderness and became a force to be reckoned with in Canadian politics.

Stephen Harper has proven to be more resilient and adaptable than anyone was willing to give him credit for and conducted a masterful, nearly error-free campaign while Paul Martin and the Liberals fumbled and stumbled their way through what has to be one of the poorest run campaigns in recent history, one that ultimately cost Martin his political career. Excuse us, however, if we don't shed a tear for him. After his stint as a successful Finance Minister, even many gun owners were hopeful that he would use that same fiscal prudence and axe the firearm registry if for no other reason than the excessive cost. However, Martin proved to be no smarter than Jean Chretien, Alan Rock or any of the other mental midgets who allowed this whitest of white elephants to continue to exist purely for political reasons.

It was clear from his proposal in December to ban handguns that Martin had no grasp of the realities of gun crime or the level of anger among gun owners. We are still trying to figure out what he thought he stood to gain in announcing the ban. There were no Conservative seats for him to win in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver and the anger and fear that he stirred in gun owners in other parts of the country certainly cost him seats. In Parry Sound, for example, Liberal minister Andy Scott lost to Tony Clement of the CPC by 21 votes, a loss certainly caused by the handgun ban.

Local CPC candidates enjoyed great success. Pro-gun MPs Rob Nicholson and Dean Allison were returned with much larger margins of victory than in 2004. Despite losing in Welland, CPC candidate Mel Grunstein closed the gap to only 3500 votes, the only thing saving Liberal MP John Maloney's ass being a CPC-NDP split that allowed Maloney to win with only 37% of the popular vote.

The sweetest victory, however, came in St. Catharines where long-time anti-gun Liberal toady Walt Lastewka lost to the CPC's Rick Dykstra by a mere 246 votes. While Lastewka complained that he lost by one vote per poll, one TSCON member wryly commented that Dykstra won by one gun owner per poll.

Three of the four local ridings are now held by CPC MPs, a dramatic change from pre-2004 when all four ridings were held by Liberals. This marks a welcome change for local gun owners who often complained of the ignorant treatment they received at Liberal MP offices.

The Sporting Clubs of Niagara was heavily involved in all the local ridings. In addition to our Voter's Guide, we ran two well received ads in local newspapers, bought 40 radio ads on CKTB that ran in the last week of the election and distributed our "Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote" signs. Many TSCON members volunteered their time to put up signs, knock on doors, answer phones and generally make the campaigns run more effectively.

For the time being the Liberal loss has some immediate positive benefits: Bill C-50, the seriously flawed animal protection bill, died when Parliament dissolved. Martin's handgun ban is similarly dead (maybe now's the time to buy that extra .45)

Because the Conservatives did not get a majority their ability to push through legislation will be hampered somewhat. While they may have problems killing Bill C-68 outright, they have ways to minimize it's effect. If they do not provide funding for the Firearms Centre it will effectively be finished. They can also use Orders-in-Council and regulations to change things they cannot do in Parliament.

We suggest that as soon as Parliament reconvenes you call your MPs and politely remind them of their promise to scrap the long gun registry. If you worked on a campaign let them know you did so because of that promise. We have a wonderful opportunity to roll back twelve years of Liberal injustices to gun owners and it is not too soon to start. TSCON intends to request a meeting with the local CPC MPs as soon as they have settled into their new role as the party in power. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to forward them to us.


Bruce Montague

We want to remind everyone that Bruce Montague's fight against C-68 continues and the positive results of the election will not alter his situation significantly. You may have noticed Attorney General Michael Bryant cheerleading for Paul Martin's handgun ban proposal and his anti-gun bias is a major problem for firearm owners in Ontario. Get updated on Bruce's situation by going to:

http://www.brucemontague.ca.

Remember, if Bruce wins we all win. 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


12/6 Handgun Update

On Dec. 31, 2005 the amnesty for non-grandfathered owners who bought 12/6 handguns between Feb. 1995 and Dec. 1998 ended. If you are one of the people affected, by now you have probably received a registered letter telling you that you are illegally in possession of such handguns. However, you have thirty days from the date you received the letter to file an appeal in provincial court. For more information on this go to:

www.twelvesix.ca

We urge anyone in this situation to file an appeal. It costs nothing and you do not need to hire a lawyer. Once the appeal is filed the police cannot seize the firearm until the case is heard, which could take many months. By that time we are hopeful that the Conservatives will address the issue and may institute another amnesty. At the very least it ties up the courts and wastes more money.

If you lose the case or decide not to go to court you should be aware that you have the following options which you can exercise as well:

  1. Surrender the gun to police for destruction (this is the least desirable choice).
  2. Deactivate the firearm and keep it.
  3. Sell or give it to a grandfathered 12/6 owner (This option may not be available if the gun itself is not grandfathered).
  4. If the firearm is not .25 or .32 calibre it can be rebarreled with a 106 mm or longer barrel. Have it verified and register it as a restricted firearm.
  5. Strip the gun down and keep all parts except the frame (Note that if the barrel is 105 mm or less it is a prohibited device and must also be destroyed). However, even barrels in .25 or .32 calibre do not have to be destroyed if they are OVER 105 mm.
  6. Once the barrel of a semi-auto or single shot is gone, or the barrel and cylinder of a revolver is gone, it has NO calibre and NO barrel length, so it does NOT meet the definition of "prohibited handgun." It becomes a "restricted handgun" which can be verified and registered.

Note also that the law does not require anyone to"surrender" the property. It is enough to destroy it. If the police query you about this you should state that the frame and/or barrel were destroyed. If you are unsure about any of the above call TSCON before taking any action.


Your Rights are in the Cards!

There are many laws which allow police officers to stop you, ask for certain paper work and even conduct a search of you or your belongings 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 police 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. He may mock or insult you. However it is more likely he will recognize that you will not (unlike most people) be pushed into making the job of convicting yourself easy. That means he will be left with having to do the investigation himself, and in view of the previously mentioned complexity of the law, he will likely leave you alone.

If he does 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. If you want a card mailed to you please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request.


The Myth of 50%

Recently there has been lot of press given to statements from Toronto Mayor David Miller that 50% of handguns used in crime are stolen from those who he disgustingly referred to as "so-called law-abiding gun owners".

Well, as is so often the case with "facts" presented by anti-gunners, this one, too is much bull-droppings.

Here's how the "50%" number was arrived at (with thanks to MP Garry Breitkreuz, Toronto Sun columnist Mark Bonokoski and Prof. Gary Mauser). On Dec. 1, 2005, Dr. Mauser filed an access for information request with the Toronto Police Service.

The file Dr. Mauser analyzed (and Mayor Miller used to invoke the fear factor, consisted of a review of the 214 handguns which fell into the hands of the Toronto Police Guns and Gangs task force during 2004. Of those guns in police possession, 82 were confirmed as traceable to the United States, 26 were not registered (meaning they had not come from legal gun owners), 6 were deemed "too old to trace," and 65 were categorized as "unknown status, serial (number) removed." That's 179 of the 214 guns seized. The remaining 35, or 16%, had been reported stolen, as required by law, by law-abiding citizens who had legally purchased and registered their weapons.

So how did Mayor Miller, through this report, come up with "almost half" the crime guns in this city as coming from domestic break-ins? Well, the 6 guns supposedly "too old to trace" were given Canadian origins, as were the 26 "not registered," as were 36 of the 65 guns supposedly deemed to have an "unknown status" because they had their serial numbers filed off. Add to that the 35 legally-registered handguns that responsible and law-abiding collectors or target shooters had reported stolen, and its adds up to 103 guns. That's how Miller got his "almost half", by using the Toronto Police Services Board's report and giving Canadian citizenship to 68 weapons of dubious or uncertain origins when, in fact, only 35 of the 214 handguns seized in total can be honestly traced to being stolen from a legitimate handgun collector or target shooter.

Without those 68 weapons, however, there is no fear factor to trigger, and therefore no self-serving politics to put into play as part of an election platform. And so the stats found themselves getting skewed. It should also be noted if a registered firearm is stolen from a law-abiding citizen there is no need to remove the serial number since even if the gun is recovered it can only be traced back to the registered owner. However, a smuggled gun needs the serial number removed so that it cannot be traced back to its original source, likely in the U.S. This fact makes it even more likely that few of the guns with the serial numbers removed were registered in Canada.. As we well know, however, anti-gunners are never hesitant about "massaging" the truth when it suits their purposes and this case is no exception.


Beretta CX-4 Storm

Not that anyone needs more convincing of the stupidity of the bureaucracy of the Firearms Act but this one possibly reaches a new high (low?) even for them.

The Beretta CX-4 Storm is a semi-automatic carbine which is restricted because it has a barrel less than 470mm (18") long. However, even though it is classified as a centrefire rifle, because it was manufactured to use Beretta 92 pistol magazines it is legal to use a 10 round magazine in it, despite the fact that nearly all semi-auto rifles are limited to 5 round magazines. This is because the classification of a firearm magazine depends on the type of firearm the magazine was designed to be used in, not the type of firearm it is actually used in. Got it so far?

It turns out that some genius at the Firearms Centre has discovered that CX-4 Storms are now being manufactured with magazines that are marked as CX4 Storm. Because they are stamped as being for that rifle they may only be legally possessed if they are limited to 5 rounds. So if you have a Beretta 92 magazine you can load it up with 10 rounds and use it in the CX-4 Storm. However, if you have the exact same magazine but it is stamped CX-4 Storm it must be limited to 5 rounds. What's the difference? Well, the CFC considers a 10 round CX-4 Storm magazine a "prohibited device", the possession of which can get you 10 years in jail. So depending on what is stamped on two otherwise identical magazines you can go from being within the law to facing a 10 year jail term. To quote a famous Liberal ad, "We're not making this up". And no one has come up with an answer as to what happens if you grind off the "CX-4 Storm" stamp from the magazine. Is it then a legal 10 rounder or not?

With people being shot at daily in Toronto, this is the kind of stuff the CFC bureaucrats are wasting their time on. And people can't figure out why the Firearms Act has cost $2 billion dollars so far. Hopefully once the Conservatives take power this nonsense will stop.


Pro-Gun Businesses

If you own, work for or know of a local business which is supportive of the rights of firearm owners let us know. We will be happy to list their names and addresses in the next issue of the newsletter.


2006 Memberships

All 2005 memberships expired on Dec. 31/05. Therefore, if your mailing label reads "05" or earlier you are not a paid up member for 2006. Please take the time to renew your membership right now. Help us to be financially prepared by renewing 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 Prepayment

To reserve your tables for the remainder of 2006 you must prepay for them at the February 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

All gun shows are held at:
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines

If you want tables for the Feb. 17/06 show, contact John Orth right away at 905-562-7686. Shows usually sell out and often we do not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!


CORRECTION Gun show Dates

A few sharp eyed members noticed that the dates for our September /06 and December /06 gun shows were incorrect: The correct dates are shown below. Confirmed dates for our 2006 gun shows are:

Feb. 17
April 28
Sept. 8
Dec. 8


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 an organization that includes gun owners or just know the location of some public bulletin boards?

If 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.


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.


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 #2 April 7, 2006
Vol. 12 #3 Aug. 15, 2006


Classified Ads

For Sale: Hogue Overmolded Ruger 10/22 stock, with heavy barrel (.920") channel $85, call Gerry 905-685-4480

For Sale: Colt 1911 Mark IV, 45 ACP caliber, mint condition, includes case and some accessories. PAL required, $575, call Ken 905-732-9417


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 Enquiries

General 905-685-4480 or 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.


Quote of the Month

"That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." novelist George Orwell


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

Barry Ravenek - Fonthill         TSCON T-shirt                           The Sporting Clubs of Niagara 
John Kirkby - NOTL               Gun cleaning kit                        The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Tom Fleming - Beamsville         Pocket knife                            The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Bev Bryant - Stevensville        Free PAL Test (transferrable)           Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)


G u n S h o w

Friday, February 17, 2006 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave., St. Catharines

ADMISSION $4


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