As the new president of the Sporting Club Of Niagara, I would like to say greetings to all our members.
First, a big thank you to Gerry Gamble, the outgoing President. Without him this club would not run as smoothly as it does. He always did and still is putting an enormous amount of time and effort into the running of the organization.
The same should be said for our Secretary Verna LeGrand, Treasurer Ladi Plut, computer specialist and Gun Show Chairman John Orth and all the members who help at our shows and show up every week to our meetings.It has been an eventful time and I want to thank all the members of TSCON who spent great amounts of time and money to help bring the Conservatives into power. Without their help, this would not have been possible.
While we have done good work our goal has not yet been accomplished. Now comes the time when we must keep on reminding (even pestering) our elected Members of Parliament to honor their pledges to scrap the federal Gun Registry and bring back a system similar to that which existed before 1995.
This is not only because of the huge amount of money wasted ($2 billion plus) with few net benefits but also because of the failure of CPIC and the Firearm Registry to adequately secure confidential information. It now appears that these computer systems have been hacked on numerous occasions and no one is sure how much vital information is now floating around, possibly being used by thieves to strategically target the homes of law-abiding gun owners.
So let's get down to it. Write, call, fax or e-mail your MP and ask for the fulfillment of their promise to scrap The Firearms Act (Bill C-68).
This will free up millions of dollars that can be used to put more police on the streets and develop crime fighting strategies that target real criminals, not law-abiding gun owners.
Despite the fact that Parliament has not yet reconvened there has been considerable behind-the-scenes action on many fronts.
In early March, Past-President Gerry Gamble attended a meeting of firearms organizations in Saskatoon at which a comprehensive joint policy statement outlining where we would like the Conservative government go with respect to firearms legislation was developed. The complete text of the Joint Policy Statement is found later in the newsletter.
There has been considerable movement on other fronts as well. Some of the more notable ones are as follows:
- The 12/6 handgun court challenges have begun and several TSCON members are involved in these.
- The Bruce Montague case is progressing well and Bruce is anxiously looking forward to the first trial segment of his court challenge.
- Lastly, all parties are anxiously awaiting the release of the Auditor-General's latest report on the Firearm Registry.
All of these items are covered in greater depth in the newsletter.
Let me close by quoting advice given by none other than Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself: "We know what we have to do. We know what we want to achieve. We're going to need the active support and involvement of Canadians, our supporters and all Canadians right across this country. We're going to need all of them writing, e-mailing, faxing and telephoning their MPs to tell them to get on with the plan."
Let's take Mr. Harper at his word. The Conservatives promised to scrap the Firearm Registry. Let's hold their feet to the fire by writing, faxing and calling to make sure they do it.
Report from Gerry GambleThe week of March 6th, 2006 saw representatives from four grassroots firearm organizations meet in Saskatoon. Our purpose was to present a unified position to the new Conservative government from groups whose only reason to exist is the repeal of our current Firearms Act and return to gun laws that focus on miscreants. The groups - the Responsible Firearms Owners of Alberta (RFOA), The Sporting Clubs of Niagara (TSCON), the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA) and the Responsible Firearms Owners Coalition of British Columbia (RFCOBC) already shared similar views and ideals. (CUFOA's tactics go much further than the others and advocates civil disobedience and solutions via court actions.) The NFA and CSSA were also invited to attend the meeting but disappointingly both chose not to. This was truly unfortunate as a joint policy statement from six of the largest Canadian firearm organizations representing the majority of provinces and thousands of gun owners would certainly have caught the attention of the politicians concerned.
Canada's estimated 1.5 million gun-owners who have declined to participate in the government's licensing/registration scheme may wish to consider themselves represented by those organizations that did attend.
Four days of work yielded what we believe to be a concise, unambiguous policy that provides sufficient protections to the public-at-large while allowing law-abiding Canadians to pursue their interests without undue interference. Our Joint Policy Statement, together with a request to meet with our current Minister of Public Safety, Stockwell Day (with copies to Justice Minister Vic Toews, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and MP Garry Breitkreuz) was transmitted on March 13th, 2006. Our requested meeting has not yet occurred but we remain optimistic that our efforts will yield improvements to the current, unacceptable laws. Our "Joint Policy Statement" follows.
JOINT POLICY STATEMENT
Canada's current Firearms Act is not achieving the stated goal of improving public safety.
Historical government data indicate that compliance with both licensing and registration has been grossly overstated by the previous administration. Government statistics released in 1998 estimate the minimum number of gun owners to be 3.3 million. Estimates derived from other government data show the minimum number of guns to be 14 million. Other valid estimates are considerably higher. These minimal estimates show that at least one out of three Canadian gun-owners have chosen to remain unlicensed, and that a maximum of 50% of Canada's firearms have been registered.
As best stated by Professor Gary Kleck in his award winning book Point Blank, [The controls should be] "popular enough to be politically achievable and to not provoke massive disobedience and evasion, and sufficiently acceptable to criminal justice personnel that they will be enforced."
Gun owners' justifiable fear of firearm confiscation, as underscored by the recent Liberal scheme to ban lawful handgun ownership, ensures that proposals which include possession, licensing and registration will never succeed. It must be assumed that our positions on the licensing and registration issues are shared by those who have chosen to not participate in the current system.
Firearms legislation needs to be refocused towards the criminal use of firearms and away from the regulation of law-abiding citizens and their activities. Such laws should be supported by the best available evidence and subject to 'sunset' provisions.
For these reasons, the current Firearms Act must be repealed and replaced.
Replacement firearms law must address the following issues and concerns:
Gerry Gamble, Past-President
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Ed Hudson, Secretary
Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association
Jerrold Lundgard, President
Responsible Firearms Owners of Alberta
Kevin Staines, President
Responsible Firearms Owners Coalition of British Columbia
1. Estimated Number of Firearms, Owners, and Households With Firearms in Canada, 1998. Firearms Research Unit, Canadian Firearms Centre - September 1998
2. 11,186,000 - Special Bulletin, Statistics of Estimated Gun Ownership and Use in Canada - Statistics Canada, Justice Statistics Division, May 1977. Plus, 2,444,837 - Firearms Statistics, Department of Justice 2006
Note: The policy statement may appear to be overly brief but this was done out of necessity. The longer and more cumbersome a document becomes the less likely it is to receive serious scrutiny from those we are trying to reach. If you have any questions about our intent in any of the statements please feel free to contact us for clarification.
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.
Bruce's Constitutional Challenge of the Firearms Act will be formally submitted to the courts by April 30th/06.
In an effort to make sure as many areas of concern as possible are covered Bruce is soliciting input from firearm owners. He wants to make sure that he is truly speaking on behalf of all firearms owners in this country, and welcomes your input. He also encourages you to pass this request on to any pro-firearm rights or shooting associations that might have some valuable information on this important issue as well and wants to make sure everyone has a chance at input before the clock runs out. Check out the challenge at:
This court challenge will likely cost in the $300,000 range so 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
The 12/6 handgun court challenges have begun. In St. Catharines alone we are aware of at least 10 individuals who have filed challenges and understand that there are several more in the region. To date the cases have only progressed as far as the ‘full disclosure' stage. From there court dates are assigned and the individual cases will be heard. We have been made aware that the government has been stalling in order to prepare for one case that will set the precedent for all the others. Please call Justice Minister Vic Toews (pronounced Tays) 613-992-3128 or Fax: 613-995-1049 and insist that the government put another amnesty in place to stop this travesty. Remember, Bill C-10A that guaranteed 12/6 grandfathering was passed by Parliament. It is because of foot-dragging on the part of Liberal appointed bureaucrats that the regulations were not in place before the Dec.31/03 deadline for re-registering these guns. Honest gun owners should not have to suffer because of the incompetence of the chimps the government allows to run the Firearm Registry.
If you have questions about this, call us. More info at: www.twelvesix.ca
Auditor General's Report
The Auditor-General was supposed to table her latest report on the Firearm Registry in February but that was delayed when the election was called. She is now scheduled to report in May and we are waiting anxiously to hear what she has to say. While we do not have any concrete dollar figures, after a preliminary look at the Registry books (remember, the Liberals had refused to open them up for public scrutiny) Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day was quoted as saying Canadians will be "shocked" by the huge cost We have heard a number of upwards of $3 billion being kicked around. If this is true it will be the perfect time for the Conservatives to announce that they are dumping the registry. With a cost overrun more than 3,000 times its original projected cost, even anti-gun Liberals, NDP and Bloc MPs will have a hard time opposing its termination. This could be a pivotal point in the battle to tank the registry.
New Proposed Reloading Regulations
It is quite obvious that the pressure brought to bear on Ministry of Natural Resources bureaucrats over the original revised reloading regulations had an impact. Revisions of the revisions have been brought out and while still far from perfect they are a considerable improvement over the originals. For example, the maximum number of loaded cartridges allowable is now 50,000 and smokeless powder possession limits have been raised from 10 kg to 20 kg. While this is a change for the better, 20 kg is not a lot of powder for a serious shotgunner or rifle shooter or someone who reloads a wide variety of calibres and gauges. Also much less impressive are requirements that if you live in a multi-unit dwelling you can only have 1 kg of black powder (barely enough for an afternoon's shooting). Also, only the person who reloads can have access to their reloaded ammo. In other words, if a father reloaded ammo his son could not have access to it even if he had a POL or PAL. This obviously is unacceptable and more pressure needs to be exerted to remove some of these silly requirements. The complete list of revised proposals is available online at:http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/explosif/pdf/pl_part8_draft17_e.pdf
In addition we will have printed copies available at the gun show. They need to again be flooded with letters letting them know they while they are on the right track this latest round of regulations still places too many restrictions on an activity which has never had any serious safety problems.
Outdoor Caucus Formed
MP Garry Breitkreuz has come up with a novel concept to help protect the rights of hunters, fishermen and others who enjoy the outdoors by forming a bi-partisan Outdoor Caucus of like-minded MPs from all parties. Their aims are, among others, "to increase awareness of the economic importance of outdoor heritage activities to Canada's economy, and to support the growth of outdoor activities, heritage businesses and jobs."
Despite just starting up, as of March 31, 32 MPs and 3 senators had signed on. Interestingly, 5 are Liberals, 2 are NDP and 2 are Bloc. They might prove very useful if legislation to scrap the firearm registry comes before Parliament.
Your Rights are in the Cards!
Our laminated wallet-sized printed cards declaring your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer when it appears that the police are overstepping their authority when questioning you in dubious circumstances are proving extremely popular (which is a little scary when you think of it).
We are only asking for $1 per card to defray the cost of production. If you want cards mailed to you please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request. More info on this is on our website in archived copies of newsletter Vol. 11 #4 and Vol. 12 #1.
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 the remainder of 2006 you must prepay for them at the April 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 April 28/06 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:April 28
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!
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 #3 August 15, 2006
Vol. 12 #4 November 1, 2006
For Sale: 12,000 Excel 255 gr. FP cast bullets for 45 Long Colt, $35/1000. Good for cowboy action call Gerry 905-685-4480
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
"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 Ron Lavell (Niagara Falls) TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Jeff Leslie (Grimsby) Gun cleaning kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Wayne Callender (St. Catharines) Pocket knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Ben Pace (St. Catharines) 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