Hi Everybody. It's August already and while Parliament has not been sitting for several weeks, quite a few things have happened since the last newsletter.
In May, the long gun registry amnesty was extended for another year and Bill C-21 was brought back before Parliament but has not moved beyond the first reading stage. More details are provided later in the newsletter.
Perhaps the biggest story has been the continued shootings in and around Toronto. The problem is so bad that at the present rate they will exceed 2005's "Year of the Gun" total and there seems to be little the police have been able to do about it.
High profile gang busts to stem the shooting have turned out to be just that - busts. In one particularly ironic case several gang members were arrested but the government was so slow processing their bail hearings within a reasonable amount of time that they were released with a $2000 bonus of taxpayer money. One must question why the government, which knows in advance that these raids will occur and that the system will be overloaded, can't provide additional judges or hold night courts to give arrested individuals their right to bail hearings on time.
Two particularly high profile shootings, one inside a high school and the other of an 11 year old bystander at a party, sent the politicians into panic mode and in their search for a scapegoat they focused on - you guessed it - lawfully owned guns. In a farce that would do the Three Stooges proud, Toronto Mayor David Miller, Attorney-General Michael Bryant and Premier Dalton McGuinty solemnly announced that they wanted Ottawa to enact a total ban on handguns including those that are legally owned. As usual, their "logic" ignores some indisputable facts.
First, gun bans have been tried many times before (Britain, Australia, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Chicago, New York City, etc.) and the result has always been NO reduction in firearm violence (in fact in most cases gun violence INCREASED).
Second, the number of registered handguns stolen is such a small percentage of the total used in crimes that even if legitimate handgun ownership was banned the reduction in gun crime would be negligible. Michael Bryant's claim that 30-50% of crime guns are stolen from legitimate owners is a complete lie. In fact, no statistical evidence collected anywhere since 1995 is even 20%, and the truth is typically 10% or less. This is the classic Liberal approach to any problem - when they can't solve it, shift the blame to someone else.
Fortunately, judging by the number of 'Letters to the Editor' and the editorials in most newspapers, very few people are buying into Bryant's line of crap. Most of the public is not stupid enough to think that disarming the law-abiding is going to have any effect on the actions of criminals. But what else can you expect from an Attorney-General who's solution to any problem (gun crime, pit bulls, fast cars, etc.) is to ban the object but do nothing about criminal behaviour.
Keep up your letters to the Editor and calls to your MP's and MPP's. It is making a difference. Lastly, as this is my final President's Message I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the members who helped me out during the past two years. It was greatly appreciated.
Bruce's long delayed case appears to finally be moving forward. A four month hiatus was granted for Bruce to find a suitable replacement lawyer and he has retained well-known counsel Doug Christie. The case is set to resume in the Kenora Superior Court on Oct. 22, 2007 with the hearing expected to last the entire week. We will keep you informed of any new developments. Bruce still requires all the financial support he can get so please send a donation in whatever amount you can spare. Make cheques payable to the:
Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund
RR#2, Site 211, Box 7
Dryden, ON P8N 2Y5
More information on Bruce's court challenge is available at: http://www.brucemontague.ca
Firearms Amnesty Extended
On May 16, 2007, the Minister of Public Safety announced a one-year extension of the amnesty period for owners of unregistered, NON-RESTRICTED firearms who hold a valid firearms licence, or who had a licence that expired on or after January 1, 2004. During the amnesty period, licensed or previously licensed individuals are protected from criminal liability for unauthorized possession of an unregistered, non-restricted firearm, provided they are taking the necessary steps to comply with the law. As set out in the amnesty order, their options for complying with the law are as follows:
If they dispose of a firearm that was previously registered, they need to notify the Registrar. They may do this by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to P.O. Box 1200, Miramichi, NB E1N 5Z3
A few points to note........
The amnesty lasts till May 16, 2008. During the term of the amnesty period, individuals cannot incur criminal liability for unauthorized possession of a non-restricted firearm under section 91 or 92 of the Criminal Code.
Restricted and Prohibited firearms are NOT covered under this amnesty. Those who have never had a Firearms licence (i.e. PAL or POL) - are NOT covered under this amnesty. An FAC is NOT a substitute for a Firearms Licence. Unregistered guns may be confiscated until they are registered to a licenced individual. Please forward this information to all your gun-owing acquaintances. If you have questions or concerns please contact TSCON.
The 12/6 handgun situation continues to drag along. Local cases were supposed to be heard in early July 2007 but have now been delayed till Feb. 2008. One must question why, if these guns are so dangerous, that it is taking the government over a year to get the issue resolved. When you are talking to your MP remind them that you don't appreciate the government that is supposed to be a friend to gun owners trying to confiscate their personal property.
Bill C-21 Lives
Just when we thought that Bill C-21 (the act to repeal the long gun registry) was dead it seems to have risen (at least temporarily) from the grave to haunt both pro and anti gun groups alike. The anti-gun groups fear it because it will kill one of their most sacred cows. Pro-gun groups dislike it because it give far too much power to provincial Chief Firearms Officers.
Why it has mysteriously reappeared is not clear. However, given the nature of politics, here is our take on it. If the Conservatives bring C-21 to a vote and it is defeated they can blame the opposition parties for screwing gun owners and blocking one of their campaign promises. If they take it to a vote and it passes they can claim they have fulfilled their promise to scrap the long gun registry. In either case they come out looking good.
Despite it's serous flaws the passage of C-21 would be more good than bad. Once the registry is gone, the spectre of the financial disaster of Bill C-68 would be a major deterrent to any government trying to revive a registry. Hopefully a lot of the more objectionable parts of the bill could removed or revised in committee so the final version could be a lot more acceptable to gun owners. We do know that there is a lot of behind the scenes activity trying to convince some 40 opposition MPs who do not like the Registry to vote with the government to scrap it. Also, if the Conservatives really want to play "chicken" they could also make the bill a confidence motion, the defeat of which would trigger an election, something none of the parties want.
As developments continue we will keep you up to speed.
Stock Stands His Ground
It is not often we give politicians much credit (and they seldom deserve it) but we must acknowledge the courage shown by Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day. Despite being put under enormous pressure to 'do something' after the Dawson College shootings and the recent shootings of two children in Toronto he has steadfastly refused to cave in to the knee-jerk bleatings of the Liberals and NDP to enact any sort of gun bans. As he correctly noted on the July 27 edition of CTV Newsnet "We have looked at other jurisdictions that have put in bans on handguns, and it has not reduced crime with firearms, crime with handguns..."What does reduce crime with firearms, what is effective, is to have more officers on the street, which we are funding at the federal level - a more aggressive approach to gun-smuggling."
It's nice to know that when it comes to tackling crime, at least one person gets it. Send a note of thanks to:Hon. Stockwell Day
(No postage required.)
Unfortunately, for every Stockwell Day there are also spineless bureaucrats ready to play political games and Bill C10-A is a perfect example. While some consider the United Nations a staunch supporter of freedom (we don't), many of their efforts have adverse effects. From the Moncton Times & Transcript On July 12 the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) published an alert on the likely implementation on Dec. 2, 2007 of Bill C-10A. This Bill will require all firearms imported or manufactured in Canada to be stamped on the firearms frame or receiver with either the word "Canada" or the letters "CA." This is an effort by the Canadian government to comply with a UN protocol dealing with the illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.
While this appears to be well intended, it will, according to the CSAAA, place an additional burden on firearm manufacturers, their importers, and, finally on the buyer of the firearm in the form of higher prices that may potentially add as much as $200 to the price of a firearm.
In 2005 Canada imported some 135,000 firearms. While we may consider this a significant number, in terms of world sales, this number hardly makes it onto the charts. The potential cost to firearms manufactures will require a significant outlay of cash to set up the tooling to properly stamp all the firearms receivers or frames exported into Canada. Added to that will be the cost of the extra man-hours required to take specific firearms off the production line, properly stamp the receiver or frame while ensuring that this does not damage the firearm, and then return the firearm to the shipping room. The most worrisome factor is that a large percentage of firearm manufacturers have already stated that since Canadian sales are such a small percentage of their total sales, it would not be worth the effort, and thus they would no longer ship or sell their firearms in Canada. The only option would be for members of the CSAAA to import unmarked firearms into Canada, and then stamp the firearms themselves. The problem is that no members of the CSAAA presently have the facilities to do this, and it would be very expensive if they were to attempt to set up such facilities. Plus, in doing so, it would probably invalidate the firearm manufacturer's warranty.
The bottom line is that with the implementation of Bill C-10A, many makes and models of firearms will no longer be available in Canada, or, if available, would cost considerably more that present prices.
The only reason for this implementations is that it's an effort by the Canadian government to comply with U.N. pie-in-the-sky ideas that seldom have any concrete results in reducing armed conflicts in the world. A call to your local Federal MP expressing your concerns is a first step in preventing the implementation of this on December 2. Apparently this part of Bill C-10A was only added after second reading of the Bill, and was then passed before people became aware of its full implications.
Support Our Troops Rally
A rally in support of our Canadian troops in Afghanistan is being tentatively planned for the first week in October in St. Catharines. While we do not have all the details at the moment we will know by the Sept. 7 gun show and will have information flyers available.
In the meantime, remember to wear red on Fridays in support of our troops.
Ontario Provincial Election
Ontario voters go to the polls on October 10. This will be our chance to get rid of Dalton McGuinty, Michael Bryant and all their brain-dead associates.
Please see the enclosed "VOTER'S GUIDE" for more information.
Call for Nominations
As per The Sporting Clubs of Niagara constitution, elections for the Executive shall be held each year. The timetable to be followed is outlined below:
August Newsletter - Call for Nominations
September 12 - Election meeting held
September 19 - Elected Executive takes office.
We are issuing an invitation to all year 2007/08 members to submit nominations for the 2007-2008 Executive. Nominations must be postmarked by Sept. 5, 2007. Nominations must be received in writing. They cannot be received verbally.
Address all nominations to:
THE SPORTING CLUBS OF NIAGARA
P.O. BOX 21047
ST. CATHARINES, ON L2M 7X2
ATTN: EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS
If your mailing label reads "06" or earlier or you received a 2008 membership card with this mailing you are not a paid up member. Please take a few minutes and send it in right now! With the current minority government an election could be called anytime in the next six months and we want to be financially prepared. Our main revenue sources are memberships and the gun shows, and the short time before a possible election reduces our income potential. Help us to be financially prepared by taking out your 2008 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?
We have just received a new supply of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts, sweat shirts and hats. They are good quality and available in a variety of sizes and designs. Get them while the supply lasts. Available at the following prices:
T-shirts M-XL $16
T-shirts XXL $18
Sweats M-XL $20
Sweats XXL $22
Hats w/TSCON crest $15
TSCON crest alone $6.
Buy them at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.
Your Rights are in the Cards!
We continue to hear horror stories of police abusing their powers when dealing with firearm owners including one incident where a police officer parked outside a gun club and pulled over a member leaving the club for no reason except that there might be firearms in the car (after all it was a GUN club). 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.
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
Gun Show Dates
Confirmed dates for our 2007 gun shows are as follows:
Gun Show Location
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
If you want tables for the Sept. 7/07 show, contact Carson Moore right away 905-934-6469 or 905-650-7414 (cell). Shows usually sell out and often we do not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!
Notice to Gun Show Vendors
Late arrivals - If you think you are going to be late to the gun show you should call Carson Moore 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.
Free Classified Ads for Members
Classified ads for shooting 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. 13 #4 Nov. 1, 2007
Vol. 14 #1 Jan. 15, 2008
For Sale: Bear Whitetail Hunter II compound bow, quiver, 6 XX75 Easton arrows, 6 broadheads, 6 field tips, arrow sights, bow case. $150 firm. Call Ken 905-563-7175.
For Sale: Lee 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotshell reloader, includes all powder and shot bushings, crimping tools and some Winchester field wads. Asking $150. Call Ken 905-563-7175
For Sale: Excalibur Wolverine crossbow, 150 lb. pull weight, 15 years old, excellent condition (only used a few times). Accessories include Tasco Propoint scope, extra blades, 1 dozen bolts, safety harness, screw in steps, bolt on removable steps and others. Asking $450. Call Richard 905-309-4403
Trigger Locks for Sale
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!
General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-934-6469
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.
To notify us of address changes, duplicate mailings, to be removed from the mailing list or to request a copy of the newsletter call 905-685-4480.
Quote of the Month
"A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny guns to the bourgeoisie" - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1917.
Buy, Sell or Trade, 100+ tables of Antique and Modern Firearms, Knives, Hunting Accessories and Gun Parts
For tables or information call:
Carson @ 905-934-6469 or 905-650-7414 (cell)