Greetings everyone and best wishes for the Christmas season. It is hard to believe but it is thirteen years ago this November that an information meeting organized by Ron Penfound and Bill Wagner and held in the basement of a local restaurant led to the formation of “The Sporting Clubs of Niagara”.
During that time we have seen some lows and some highs but one thing has remained constant - the objective of TSCON to see the Firearms Act repealed and replaced with fair and equitable legislation that does not harass or penalize law-abiding firearm owners. Thirteen years ago no one knew who we were and we carried no influence whatsoever but my, how things have changed. Today, aspiring politicians seek our endorsement, TSCON members sit on government committees and other firearm organizations are anxious to work with us towards common goals.
Yet very little of this could have been achieved without the help of you, our members. Because of your continued support we can honestly say to local politicians that thousands of votes will go for or against them depending on whether or not they support firearm owners. Strong TSCON support has resulted in potential defeats turning into narrow victories by local Conservative candidates in recent elections. They have taken note of this and it has only served to strengthen our influence. As the end of the year approaches and 2007 memberships expire please help us to continue to enhance our reputation by renewing your membership for 2008 and encourage your shooting companions to do the same. We are on the cusp of a breakthrough that could help gun owners for years to come and only through a strong membership can we get over the hump. There have been many significant occurrences lately on the firearms front which are elaborated on further in the newsletter and I ask you to read them to keep as informed as you can on the issues.
Lastly, I would like to offer my profound thanks to our outgoing President, Bodo Eichhorn. Bodo stepped up to take the job when it looked like no one else would and tackled it with great enthusiasm. While many people talk about what should be done, Bodo does it. For the past two years he has worked tirelessly on your behalf and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his efforts. Thank you, Bodo!
Dave Tomlinson R.I.P.
The Canadian firearms community lost a valuable friend when David A Tomlinson, President of the National Firearms Association, passed away on the evening of September 18th, 2007 after a short illness.
It goes without saying that Dave Tomlinson had a deep impact on firearm politics and legislation in Canada. On a personal level Dave was not always the easiest person to get along with. Playing politics was not his forte and he had little time or patience for those who did. However, when it came to dedication to the cause of lawful gun ownership he had few, if any, equals. His understanding of Canadian firearms law was encyclopedic and he was arguably the most knowledgeable individual in Canada on the subject.
One of his most clairvoyant moments came when he boldly predicted that if the Liberals or any government actually went through with the idea of "universal registration" the resulting costs and bureaucracy would be so immense that a national scandal on a scale seldom seen in Canada would result. He predicted that any such scheme could not be delivered on time, on target or on budget and he was proven correct in dramatic fashion as the Liberal Firearms Act is widely recognized as one of the most costly failures in the history of Canada.
Dave also had a unique ability to "think outside of the box" in regards to the legal and political challenges that firearm legislation posed and many of his gambits to ‘show up’ the incompetence of the bureaucrats who drafted it were classics. The tactic of completing firearm registration applications with “Unknown” in the information boxes was a strategy that the Canadian Firearms Centre has still not been able to deal with.
While Dave may be gone, his legacy of a massive legal library on precedent and guidance on defences against unwarranted Firearms Act charges lives on. Many unjustly accused firearm owners owe their innocence to this information which was routinely placed at the disposal of the firearms community, as was Dave himself.
He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.
Bruce Montague Update
Bruce Montague’s challenge to the Firearms Act was heard from Oct. 22-25, 2007 in the Kenora, Ontario Superior Court. The judge’s ruling on Nov. 6 acknowledges the right to firearms ownership, but then defers to parliament's history of infringing on our fundamental right to possess effective tools for the defense of human life. While we disagree with the ruling on the whole, this constitutional right will be the focus of the next stage of the Firearms Act challenge. In the process of appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada, this decision is a relatively small setback. In fact, it gives the Montagues a strong basis to refocus and represent arguments for consideration by the higher court. Besides the appeal to Canada's constitutional heritage, the challenge will emphasize the common law basis for self defense, and highlight the glaring ineffectiveness and pitfalls of the Firearms Act. As intended from the beginning, the next goal is to have portions of the Act struck down by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The biggest loss in the ruling is that Bruce and Donna will now be going into the criminal trial on Nov 13, 2007 with the crown seeking the full penalties of the current harsh, complex, and unreasonable sections of the criminal code which are enabled by the Firearms Act. Please remember that Bruce is fighting for the rights of all gun owners and requires as much financial support as 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
Ontario Provincial Election Recap
Despite the best efforts of gun owners to assist them, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives failed miserably in their bid to oust Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals from power. In what was surely one of the most poorly run political campaigns in recent memory, the PC’s gained no ground whatsoever in their attempt to defeat the government. The Liberals’ record was abysmal but their legacy of lies, broken promises and increased taxes was buried under some half-witted proposals by the PC’s, which completely distracted the public’s view from how little the Liberals had accomplished over the past four years. John Tory’s idiotic idea to fund faith-based schools was not only opposed by over 70% of the province’s population (don’t these people do any polling before proposing such hare-brained schemes?) but also by some of his own candidates. Most damaging, however, was the fact that it gave the Liberals the perfect tact to distract the public from their own litany of failures.
Locally, PC Tim Hudak was easily re-elected as were perennial favourites NDP Peter Kormos in Welland and Liberal Jim Bradley, despite the fact that Bradley hasn’t done anything noteworthy for St. Catharines in at least 15 years. Unfortunately, a very lacklustre campaign by PC candidate Bruce Timms virtually guaranteed Bradley’s victory. In Niagara Falls, PC Bart Maves appeared to have a good chance to defeat Liberal Kim Craitor but appeared to fall victim to Tory’s lame election platform. Faced with an anti-gun provincial government for the next four years it now becomes even more critical that the federal Conservatives remain in power for as long as possible, otherwise it will be open season on gun owners’ rights.
The silver lining
Despite the fact that the Liberals won the election, gun owners got a little bit of good news and ironically it came from none other than Dalton McGuinty when he announced changes to his cabinet. Former Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Monte Kwinter, who made the statement that “We in Ontario feel that there's no reason for anybody to have a gun unless you're a sworn officer..." was demoted to Parliamentary Assistant.
Better than that, Attorney-General Michael Bryant (whom McGuinty apparently sees as a threat to his leadership), probably the most anti-gun member of the Liberal caucus and a general all around lying pain-in-the-ass was moved to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs portfolio. We hope he has lots of fun in Caledonia and good riddance. The new Attorney-General is Chris Bentley, MPP for London West and about whom we know practically nothing. However, it is hard to believe that he could be any worse than Bryant.
Bill C-21 Dead (for real, this time)
Bill C-21 (the act to repeal the long gun registry) was finally and permanently laid to rest when Parliament dissolved and the new throne speech was read.
While any legislation to get rid of gun control is a plus, this bill had many serious flaws so its demise is not particularly lamentable. Worthy of note is the fact that in the Throne Speech the Conservative government pledged that “It will again ask Parliament to repeal the wasteful long gun registry." Our sources inform us that several things are at play here.
First, the Conservatives still think this is important enough to mention it specifically in the Throne Speech. Second, there are several opposition MPs who are agreeable to scrapping the registry and would vote for such legislation. Third, the revised draft of the bill is rumoured to eliminate some of the more objectionable parts of the original which would make it much more palatable for gun owners. We will, however, reserve judgement until we actually see what is on paper. Hopefully, by the next newsletter we will have something more definitive to tell you.
UN Gun Marking Scheme
The last newsletter detailed the hazards of Bill C10-A, in which plans by numerous countries (Canada included) to implement the United Nations’ useless gun marking scheme would force every country that imports firearms to mark each one with the name of the importing country. While this directive was originally intended only for military firearms it was expanded to include all firearms, even though conventional hunting and sporting arms are virtually never used by the military and play very little role in world conflicts. The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) and CILA/CSSA have been working diligently to either stop or greatly modify this plan so as to minimize its effect on Canadian firearm dealers and customers. More details to follow.
As noted in previous newsletters, 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.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.
Humane Society = Anti-Gun/Anti Hunting
Local gun owners and hunters should think long and hard before even considering donating any money or time to the Lincoln County Humane Society. Aside from being run like a 3rd World dictatorship (more information on this upon request) they are opposed to hunting as shown in the following correspondence from then Chairperson Julie Barker (yes, that’s her real name) at a Board of Director’s meeting: “the practice of hunting and sale of hunting dogs is in direct contravention of the Mission Statement for the Lincoln County Humane Society and the Code of Ethics of the Board.”
Remember that this is an organization that is run with money that comes out of your tax dollars. Calls to the Humane Society to tell them what you think of this policy might be in order.
Remember to wear red on Fridays to show your support for our troops.
The following people are the Executive of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" for 2008 (Save for future reference)
Gun Show Chairman
Barry Devereux (Honourary)
All 2007 memberships expire on Dec. 31/2007. If you received a 2008 membership card in this mailing or if your mailing label reads “07" or earlier you are not a paid up member for 2008. Please take the time to renew right now. Maybe even throw in a few extra dollars as a donation if you can spare them. The current minority government situation means an election could be called at anytime 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.
We have just received a new supply of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts, sweat shirts and hats. (Hats are now available in four colours.) 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 2008 gun shows are as follows:
Gun Show Location
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
If you want tables for the Dec. 14/07 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. 14 #1 Jan. 15, 2008
Vol. 14 #2 Mar. 25, 2008
For Sale: Naval cannon, British made-Danish, 3" bore, 42" long on steel carriage with steel wheels, sell or trade. Call Mel 905-201-1886
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: Browning Gold Edition Gun safe, 32 gun capacity with dehumidifier, like new. $1500. Call Bob 905-894-6663
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
"The most common manifestation of hoplophobia (fear of firearms) is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user." Lt. Colonel John Dean "Jeff" Cooper
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)