The Sporting Clubs of
Volume 17, Number 4 Dec. 2011
As I write this today with the impending demise of the long gun registry finally in sight I recall that it was almost exactly 17 years ago when a small group of people, led by Ron Penfound, Jim Finley (RIP) and Bill Wagner (RIP) and funded with some money from the St. Catharines Game and Fish Association organized a public meeting in the basement of a local restaurant to warn local gun owners of legislation the Liberal government was preparing to introduce to greatly restrict their rights, property and activities.
We were stunned by the turnout. Over 400 people packed the meeting room and many others were tuned away for lack of space. At the end of the meeting we collected names of volunteers who were interested in creating a formal organization to fight this threat. Some twenty people took up the challenge and in December 1994 we formalized the group as “The Sporting Clubs of Niagara”.
In late January of 1995 we organized what would be the first of several public meetings designed to inform gun owners of the dangers that lie ahead. Attendance at that meeting was incredible. More than 2000 local gun owners braved a cold January night to attend and more were again turned away due to space limitations.
What the crowd was treated to were lots of weasel words from then Liberal MPs Walt Lastewka and John Maloney which made it clear that they would not represent their constituents but would toe the party line and sell out honest, law-abiding gun owners.
The rest, as they say, is history. The Progressive Conservative Party was in disarray and the new Reform Party just getting organized so with little credible opposition, Justice Minister Allan Rock (spit) ignored huge public resistance and evidence to the contrary and pushed ahead to introduce and pass Bill C-68.
The next few years after that were rather grim. Gun owners were not organized, the public was uninformed and the Liberals were not above lying to hide the truth.
As the new century dawned, however, things began to change. The financial fiasco that was the Firearms Act became public knowledge, thanks largely to the unceasing efforts of MP Garry Breitkreuz and his assistant Dennis Young. Firearm crime saw little, if any decline. Gun rights organizations sprung up. Gun owners educated themselves on the issue and wrote literally tens of thousands of letters to newspapers and magazines debunking the lies of the anti-gun side. More and more newspaper writers began to question the cost and effectiveness of Rock’s scheme.
The end result was a gradual but huge shift in public support. When Bill C-68 was introduced, 70% of Canadians were in favour long gun registration. Now nearly 70% are opposed to it.
While opinions may vary, I see the 2004 election as a watershed mark. Paul Martin’s campaign was cruising along comfortably until he announced a plan to ban handguns in Canada. That seemed to wake up many heretofore unconcerned gun owners. The result was a loss of over 30 seats for the Liberals (mainly in rural areas and small urban centers) and they were reduced to a minority government.
Flash forward to recent times. Walt Lastewka and John Maloney both suffered crushing defeats and quit. Allan Rock (spit) was exposed for the liar he was and left politics in disgrace. The Conservatives ran on a promise to scrap the long gun registry and won a majority. The ranks of Liberal Party MPs are decimated. Gun control is no longer a winner as a political issue.
Have we won the war? Absolutely not. Even after the long gun registry is gone, much of The Firearms Act and its inherent injustices will remain and they need to be urgently addressed. We hope, however, that we have, to quote Winston Churchill, reached “...the end of the beginning.”
Lastly, before closing I must offer my sincere thanks to outgoing President Bodo Eichhorn. It is not an overstatement to say that without Bodo’s efforts over the past several years TSCON would have ceased operations. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Thank you again, Bodo.
Moving quite quickly to fulfil their campaign promise to scrap the long gun registry, the Conservatives have introduced Bill C-19. Under this bill, non-restricted firearms will no longer have to be registered. To transfer a non-restricted firearm, all that will be required is for the seller to believe in good faith that the buyer can legally acquire it. The easiest way to do this, of course, will be to see their Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL).
It is our understanding that if the seller has concerns they will still be able to call the Canadian Firearm Centre to verify that the buyer is legal but that will be an option, not a requirement.
Perhaps even more important than this simplification of transfers (and something that pleasantly surprised us), is that the bill mandates that all registration records will be destroyed. This is critical because when the Conservatives are defeated (we know this will happen eventually) and another party takes power it means that instead of being able to resurrect the old records as the starting point for a new registry they would have to start at square one with no prior information.
While this has sent the opposition parties ballistic it is vital because as many people have noted, the data IS the registry and if the data remains the registry does too. Currently the bill has passed 1st and 2nd reading and is currently in Committee where amendments can be made, although we don’t see that happening. After that it goes back to Parliament for 3rd reading and is voted on. Once it passes 3rd reading it goes to the Senate where it is also voted on. Assuming it passes the Senate (which also has a Conservative majority) it receives Royal Assent and becomes law.
Some optimists are predicting passage of the bill before Christmas and we would love to see that happen but a more realistic date is probably the end of January 2012.
We also want to caution everyone that while there is a 99% certainty the bill will pass IT IS NOT YET LAW. There is an amnesty in place to protect owners of unregistered long guns but the police could still confiscate such guns if you are caught with them. We have also heard from reliable sources disturbing information that some police forces have been instructed to give people n this position a hard time so if this happens to you, call us ASAP.
As soon as Bill C-19 was introduced the anti-gun propaganda machine went into high gear. We knew it would be bad but it has exceeded perhaps even our expectations. Claims that assault weapons would be delisted (whatever that means), that we could now buy high powered sniper rifles (whatever that means) and that there would be a rush of smuggled non-restricted guns coming into the country are just a few of the doozies that they have trotted out.
In fact, gun owners will still require a licence, all restricted and prohibited firearms will remain so and safe storage, transport and display laws will not change.
Just remember when you read this stuff to keep your BS meter turned on high.
TSCON Position Paper
As previously noted, while repealing the long gun registry is a good start, there are many other harmful aspects of the Firearms Act that need to be altered or eliminated. While the government is currently only moving on the long gun registry we are encouraged that some MPs including Candice Hoeppner are acknowledging that other problems exist and may be addressed. To that end, TSCON has drafted a set of recommendations regarding the most serious of those problems and sent them to all Conservative MPs. We realize that some people will feel they don’t go far enough and that others will think they go too far. However, we had to be realistic and tried to strike a balance between what we really want and what the government might be willing to give. We have also reviewed recommendations by other pro-firearm groups and have tried, to the best of our ability, to be consistent with them so as to present what appears to be a united front regarding changes we would like to see made.
Please note that to save space in the newsletter this is an abbreviated version of the recommendations. The complete version is available on our website.
1. Combining Possession Only Licences (POLs) and Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs) into a common certificate
Rationale: There is no statistical difference in the rate of firearm accidents between PAL and POL holders.
2. Institution of a Lifetime Firearm Licence or Certificate
Rationale: All gun owners are currently subject to RCMP continuous eligibility screening meaning that they are essentially monitored and vetted to determine their eligibility to own firearms on a daily basis. This system negates the need for the a periodic (currently 5 year) license renewal system.
3.Eliminate Authorizations to Transport (ATTs) for restricted and prohibited firearms
Rationale: ATTs are currently issued by the Chief Firearms Officer in each province and are issued for time periods up to five years. All current license holders applying for an ATT have already been security screened and are meeting all the safety standards required by law so the ATT is essentially redundant.
4. Repeal Firearms Act Sections 12(2) to 12(7)
Rationale: These are purely arbitrary reclassifications of huge numbers of common firearms which were previously restricted or non restricted. It also created multiple levels of grandfathering (a form of delayed confiscation without compensation), multiple classes of firearms ownership and a denial of the basic property rights desired by Canadians.
5. Repeal the UN Firearms Marking Regulations
Rationale: The proposed UN marking regulations will very likely result in the collapse of a multi million dollar Canadian industry. Even worse, there is nothing in the UN proposals that will accomplish anything that the current Canadian system does not.
6. Re institute the Firearms Experts Technical Committee
Rationale: In recent years the RCMP has seen fit to bestow upon itself the power to arbitrarily reclassify firearms which they deem unsuitable for Canadian citizens to possess. Often these reclassifications seem to be based on nothing more than physical appearance or nomenclature. To eliminate this process of unaccountable reclassification, TSCON agrees with the reestablishment of the Firearms Experts Technical Committee which would advise the Minister regarding the classification of all firearms manufactured in or imported into Canada.
7. Regular Cost Benefit Analysis Reports on Firearm Programmes
Rationale: TSCON believes that any government programme, especially ones like The Firearms Act which involve huge sums of money, need to be regularly reviewed to find whether they are accomplishing their stated goals. If they are not they need to be revised or discontinued.
At a recent meeting of Niagara Regional Council they voted to close the Niagara Regional Police Revolver Club. This was the original Regional Police handgun range before they built a new one in Welland.
While the club still has police members, many others are civilians. The Region refused to allow the club to see the report which recommended closing the range. We do know that they have not done any environmental studies, club relationships with the neighbours are generally good and the Region is getting $6500 a year in taxes so there is something else at play here. At the moment the club is exploring avenues of appeal but it may come down to simply getting as many local gun owners as possible to lean on Regional Councillors to reverse this poor decision. We hope to have a lot more information in the Feb. newsletter. We will also post updates as available on our website.
This is the third local gun club closed due to some level of government interference a trend which we see as very disturbing.
Bruce Montague Update
Bruce is currently in court trying to secure the release of all the goods which were seized when he was originally arrested. Ironically, anything he gets back may then have to be turned over to the Ontario government because incredibly, it has put a lien against all his property, and that issue will be dealt with in a separate hearing in December.
This long battle has depleted Bruce’s legal fund and the Montagues could really use some financial assistance. You can help by donating online at:
or make cheques payable in whatever amount you can spare to:
"Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund" c/o Roger Nordlund, Trustee
RR#2, Site 211, Box 7, Dryden, ON P8N 2Y5
The following people are the Executive of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" for 2011-2012 (please save for future reference)
Gerry Gamble 685-4480
1st Vice President
Bob LeGrand 892 3445
2nd Vice President
Al Rostic 685-0750
Vlad Bjel 892 3445
Ladi Plut 937 2163
Gun Show Chairman
Gerry Gamble 685-4480
Bodo Eichhorn 934 2532
Barry Devereux Honourary
Sam Arnold 646 2242
Ivan Chamberlain 934 6882
Ken Durham 957 7279
John Gayder 937 2301
James Houlden 934 4250
John Kellaway 984 4189
Paul Kovacs 562 7159
Verna LeGrand 892 3445
Jerry Lemick 562-5378
Robert Lockhart 358 8923
Al McKie 682 7498
John Orth 562 7686
Ron Penfound 934 0844
Gilbert Pinney 937 3579
Peter Rempel 688-5221
Richard Stewart 309 4403
Steve Turner 685-8826
Ted Valliere 935 3893
Jack Warner 937 8397
If you received a 2012 membership card in this mailing or if your mailing
label has no date or reads
“11” or earlier YOU ARE NOT A PAID UP MEMBER OF TSCON.
Non-members receive only one newsletter a year. Can you afford to be uninformed about the firearm issue? Not if you care about your guns, you can’t!
Please take the time to renew right now. Maybe even throw in a few extra dollars as a donation if you can spare them.
Gun Show Dates
Dates for our 2012 gun shows are as follows:
Typically all the tables at our gun shows are sold out. However, some of our older vendors are calling it a day and have stopped renting tables. We want to continue offering gun show attendees good value for their admission so we are seeking new vendors to fill those spaces. If you or anyone you know would like to be a vendor please call 905-685-4480 for more information.
Sell Your Stuff
Speaking of gun show vendors, we would like to remind our readers that anyone who has items to sell can rent tables at our show. You don’t need to be a regular vendor or in the shooting/hunting business. If you have surplus guns, parts, extra reloading components or any other items around the house that you are not using why not rent a table at the gun show and convert them to cash.
Tables rentals are currently $1/foot for members and $15 per table for non-members. The only conditions are that the majority of goods on the table must be shooting/hunting/firearm related and are legal.
New Gun Show Vendor Info
To deal with a few problems that have cropped up with gun show vendors in the past, TSCON has made a few rule changes to help the gun shows run smoother. We have sent this information to all past vendors and will be giving out additional copies to all vendors at the Dec. 2011 show. If you are a current vendor and did not receive the new information call Gerry at 905-685-4480 for a copy.
Gun Show Location
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
If you want tables for the Dec. 9, 2011 show contact Gerry Gamble right away(905-685-4480). 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 Gerry Gamble ASAP at the Merritton Community Centre (905-682-0098) so he can hold your tables.
Otherwise, they will be rented 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. 18 #1 Jan. 27, 2012
>Vol. 18 #2 April 10, 2012
Remember that you have to call each time you want the ad to run. It WILL NOT be repeated without your confirmation.
Hunters Wanted: established family hunt camp looking for dedicated hunters to join us for moose & deer hunting in Parry Sound area
Call Bill 905-894-4660
For Sale - Winchester Model 61 rifle, 22 S,L,LR, tube feed, hammerless, mfg. 1952, one owner, EX, Asking $1000 or best offer
Call Ken 905-991-0707
For Sale: Meade spotting scope. 20x-60x power, brand new with case, $60
Call Stan 905-734-3393
For Sale: Winchester Model 12 shotgun, 12 ga., 30" plain barrel, full choke, EX
Asking $350 OBO
Call David 905-664-6030
For Sale: Custom hand made knife with leather sheath by knife maker Rick Todd, 3 1/4" fixed stainless blade with 4" ebony & burl handle. Never used $325
2 hard sided gun cases, 34"x9"x3", $30 for both
3 soft sided gun cases, 50" long, $10 for all 3,
1 gun sock, 50"L, $5,
12 plastic 44 or 45 cal. ammo boxes, $1 each,
2 nylon stock ammo pouches (1 shotgun, 1 rifle), $5 for both,
12 Master trigger locks, keyed alike, $75,
5 cable lock's, 3 keyed alike, 2 keyed alike, $25 for all
I’m willing to negotiate a trade on any of the above for a 20 ga. pump shotgun, preferably with a synthetic stock. Shotgun must be in good condition.
Call Mike 905 945 1961
For Sale: Buckmaster Jennings compound bow, with release, quiver, 12 arrows (3 with lighted nocks), broadheads, sight, hard case and soft case $500
3 VHS radios Model RCI-7010, each with charger, DC cord, earphones and hard case $50 ea.or $140 for all,
Call Bob 519-824-3472
Please remember to wear red on Fridays to show your support for our troops.
General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-685-4480
St. Catharines, ON
TSCON Web Site
Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686
Where?St. Catharines Game and Fish Building,
next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in St.
Catharines 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.
" The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" - George Washington
DRAW PRIZE WINNERS
The following members are winners in our latest draw. Call Gerry at 905-685-4480 to arrange to claim your prize.
Winner Prize Donated By
Berndt Meyer (Niagara-on-the-Lake) TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Ross Chambers (Welland) Gun Cleaning Kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Patrick Collins (Virgil) Pocket Knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Terry Buckland (St. Catharines) Free PAL Test (transferrable) Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)
Friday, Dec 9, 2011, 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
Buy, Sell or Trade, 100+ tables of Antique and Modern Firearms, Knives, Hunting Accessories and Gun Parts
For tables or information call Gerry @ 905‑685‑4480
“Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote”