The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

 Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 3

August 2013

 

President’s Message

 

What have the Conservatives done for us lately?

 

Two short years.  That's all the time they have left before the 2015 federal election.  Can the now "conservatives‑in‑name‑only" usher in enough legislation over the next two years to satisfy their base voters?  I'm going to say no for one simple reason: Bill C19, the legislation that ended the long gun registry says it all.

 

The Sporting Clubs of Niagara is a grass roots, pro‑gun organization and along with hundreds of thousands of gun owners across Canada, we wanted the Conservative Party of Canada to end the Liberal gun control agenda, codified in Bill C68.  That's why we supported them.  However, legislation to end or modify Bill C68 has never come up in a Throne Speech. Instead, the CPC allowed two courageous MP's to bring forward private members bills (Bill C301 and Bill C391) to address some aspects of gun control legislation.  Both private members bills went down to defeat.

 

Hamstrung in the past as a minority government, a newly elected majority CPC government in 2011 could (should!) bring in new, audacious legislation to address Bill C68 and then coast to an easy victory in 2015 with the support of gun owners. Or so we thought.

 

Instead, the CPC hid behind the failed private members bills and reluctantly pushed through Bill C19 that ended the high spending, completely ineffective long gun registry.  It took them 18 months to accomplish that.   Bill C68 was ignored or sidelined.

 

Instead of a bold, gusty conservative agenda, the now "conservatives‑in‑name‑only party" has frittered away two years and become the party that they bitterly complained about in opposition in 2005.  What happened to ending corporate welfare handouts and subsidies?  What happened to ending "supply management" schemes?  What happened to de‑funding the CBC,  privatizing the EDC, CDC, FCC, CMHC and a host of other government  agencies that Canadian taxpayers shouldn't have to support?  What happened to eliminating the federal deficit and tax reform to lower the taxes Canadians are forced to pay?

 

And what happened to the CPC promise to kill Bill C68?  Is it possible to end Bill C68 and rewrite something that will make gun owners happy in two years? Doubtful. 2015 will be a legislative washout due to electioneering, fundraising and showcasing their record to voters.  That leaves what's left of 2013 and 2014.  Sticking to their roots and core voters, the CPC might have had an easy go of it in 2015.  They had the time and the votes to do it. But the now "conservatives‑in‑name‑only" have alienated so many core conservatives that not only will these same CPC party supporters not give any money and campaign support for the upcoming election, these fine core conservatives could pull a Mitt Romney and just not show up at all at the voting booth in 2015!

 

Can Harper and company afford to ignore gun owners?  Do they have the guts to make it right?

 

So again, what have the Conservatives done for gun owners lately?

 

Allan Rostic

 

Ivan Chamberlain

 

Sadly, TSCON lost one of our  founding Executive members when Ivan Chamberlain passed away on May 5, 2013.

A veteran of WWII, Ivan served as an anti‑aircraft gunner on the Corvette "HMCS Lindsay" and also saw service in the North Atlantic on the Frigate "Swansea".

 

After the war he became a police officer and as he was an excellent marksman eventually served as the Firearms Instructor for the Niagara Regional Police Service.

 

He was very involved in many community organizations including sitting on the Executive of the St. Catharines Game and Fish Association.  Ivan was the TSCON Treasurer for several years as well as an Executive Director and until his health began to decline regularly attended our weekly meetings.

 

A no nonsense type of guy, Ivan could always be counted on give you  straight answers but he also had a good sense of humour and I enjoyed dealing with him and having our long chats whenever I dropped over to his house.  He was also as honest as the day is long and when he was the TSCON Treasurer we always knew our finances were in capable hands.

 

Good, solid Canadians like Ivan don’t come along often enough and we are going to miss him a lot.

 

Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Marnie, sons Ted and Dave, daughters Janis and Laura and the other members of his family.

 

CSSA Legal Action

 

We have been updating the legal action being brought by CSSA Executive Director Tony Bernardo against the Ontario Chief Firearm Office (CFO) because of the games they have been playing regarding Authorizations to Transport (ATTs) and visiting clubs you are not a member of.

 

And as is typical of the Canadian justice(?) system the case is moving at glacial speed.

Bernardo and senior firearms lawyer Edward Burlew made their second appearance in court in Oshawa with the CFO on May 28 and for the second consecutive time, the courtroom echoed with jurisdictional wrangling to determine which court should hear the case.

 

This debate over which jurisdiction is involved reflects the enduring lack of clarity about where CFOs fit into Canada's pecking order of authority. But one thing is clear–the federal government is reluctant to rein in the CFOs when they step out of line. If the feds that appoint CFOs aren't their boss, then who is?

 

The CFO was represented by a lawyer on special assignment from the Guns and Gangs Unit of the Attorney General of Ontario. She told the court that the case should be heard in Divisional Court because firearms laws are federal. You can see where this is going. It's the same hot potato that firearms owners have been complaining about since the Firearms Act made CFOs the new bullies in town nearly two decades ago.

 

The case has been remanded until September 18 for the arguments on jurisdiction and we can only hope the case is heard during the course of the participants' natural lives. Want to get involved?  Edward Burlew  is currently gathering evidence for the upcoming hearing. If you have experienced any difficulties with complying with the new invitation requirements of the ATTs he wants to hear of any and all occurrences (eg. announcements of competitions, difficulty issuing invitations, etc.).

 

You can help build this case by providing your own hard evidence.  Please write it down, sign it and send it to:

Edward Burlew LL.B. , Barrister & Solicitor

16 John Street

Thornhill ON L3T 1X8.

 

Donations to help Tony Bernardo stand up for all gun owners in court are essential to success and gratefully received. To help defray the mounting legal costs, please contact the CSSA at: “ATT Challenge” 116 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke ON M9W 4Y6. Call the CSSA at 416‑679‑9959, fax 416‑679‑9910, or toll free 1‑888‑873‑4339.

 

In the meantime, to protect yourself you should do the following:

1.      Check the conditions printed on your ATT to see if the new ones apply.

2.      Carry your club membership card(s) with you at all times when going to the range.

3.      Call your local MP and demand that the CFOs be stripped of the power to arbitrarily impose ridiculous rules like these. The time has come to get rid of provincial CFOs and the more pressure that is put on the Conservatives to do this the faster it can be accomplished.

 

Let's get rid of these anti‑gun bureaucrats once and for all.

 

New Public Safety Minister

 

In the Conservatives’ latest cabinet shuffle on July 15,  Stephen Harper appointed Steven Blaney as the new Public Safety Minister, replacing the retiring Vic Toews.

 

At first blush this does not look particularly good for us.  Blaney is from Quebec and Quebec politicians have a long history of screwing over gun owners.  On the plus side, he agreed almost immediately to meet with CSSA reps so there is some promise that he at least has not immediately shut the door to listening to our concerns.

 

As for Toews’ departure, shed no tears for his loss. With the exception of scrapping the long gun registry (which was a long standing Conservative campaign promise and not a Toews initiative) and getting rid of the gun show regulations (which even the Liberals hadn’t acted on in eleven years), he likely hurt us as much as much as he helped us. He allowed the RCMP to continue to arbitrarily prohibit random firearms without justification, ignored most of the recommendations of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee and then shafted three pro-gun members of the committee by replacing them with anti-gun police, allowed himself to be pushed around by CFOs like Ontario’s Chris Wyatt and  did nothing to improve the firearm licencing system.  In short he was a giant flop.

 

Now we wait and see how his replacement fares.

Bruce Montague Update

 

We sadly noted in the last newsletter that Bruce’s lawyer, Doug Christie, had passed away after a long illness and that Bruce’s case was in limbo.

 

Well it appears that every cloud really does have a silver lining because on  April 17, 2013 the Canadian Constitution Foundation announced that they would be taking Bruce on as a client.  Even better, the CFF is handling the case for free which is fortuitous because Bruce’s financial reserves had just about run out.

 

One of the lawyers involved in Bruce’s case is CCF litigation director Karen Selick.  For those of you not familiar with that name, Karen Selick has been a long time supporter of lawful Canadien gun owners and opposes much of the unfair  legislation contained in the Firearms Act so we are thrilled that she has become involved in this matter.

 

The CCF does some great work defending cases involving individual and property rights and does most of it at no cost to the defendants.  However, no one can work for free so they are dependent on donations to continue their efforts and we strongly encourage you to send them a donation.  Since the CCF is a registered charity all donations are eligible for a tax refund and the CCF issues receipts for all donations of $25 or more. 

 

Be sure to note that you are donating to the Bruce Montague case at:

CCF

1830 ‑ 52 Street SE

Suite 240

Calgary, AB  T2B 1N1

Quebec

 

When the long gun registry was finally scrapped in April 2012, the province of Quebec started legal action to prevent the destruction of the registry data, claiming that it helped reduce crime (of which there was no proof) and that Quebec was entitled to it’s share of the registry as it had paid for it through federal tax dollars.

 

However, two recent court decisions have thrown a giant wrench into Quebec’s plans to continue it’s share of the registry.  First, in a 5-0 decision the Quebec  Court of Appeal ruled that Quebec has no right to federal gun registry data.  Best of all, the court also ruled that Quebec would have to pay all the court costs for the case (ha, ha).

 

Quebec Justice Minister Bertrand St‑Arnaud said Quebec would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada and sought a safeguard order ensure the Quebec data would not be destroyed by the federal government and would remain accessible, pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

 

But in another blow to Quebec’s game playing Appeals Judge Pierre Dalphond denied the request for a stay, saying Quebec’s argument that it would be costly to start its own registry from scratch was not strong enough to suspend the court ruling.

If they so desire, the federal government could now unilaterally destroy the Quebec data and render the Supreme court case moot as there would be no data left to retrieve.  Sadly, given the feds’ penchant for butt-kissing Quebec we suspect they won’t have the stones to do it and will wait till after the Supreme Court decision.

 

And it’s nice to know that Quebec, which is running a huge deficit and routinely sucks up billions in transfer payment dollars from the western provinces has lots of extra cash to pour into this frivolous exercise.  Hopefully this sad excuse in political posturing and money wasting will soon be put out of it’s misery.

Firearm Legal Defence

 

We have all heard the horror stories about gun owners who are wrongly charged with firearm offenses, go to court, are found not guilty but still end up with a huge legal bill nonetheless. Ian Thompson’s case immediately comes to mind but there are many other local cases that we are also aware of.

 

Now you can minimize the financial damage should you find yourself in a similar situation.

An organization called Firearm Legal Defence pays  legal fees, court costs and time off work in case of court action as well as providing unlimited access to confidential legal advice from a qualified lawyer through their toll free Legal Advice Helpline.

More information is available on their website:

 

http://www.firearmlegaldefence.com

 

The cost for a year of protection is $95 (plus tax where applicable) and you can get a $10 discount if you are a CSSA member or use Code RC001 when applying.

 

For those of you who have ever worried about being caught in such a situation it is worth investigating.

 

Please note that TSCON is in no way affiliated with Firearm Legal Defence and receives no financial remuneration or other benefits from the company.  We are simply forwarding this information as a public service to people on our mailing list.

Red Fridays

 

Please remember to wear red on Fridays to show your support for our troops.

 

2014 Memberships

 

If you received a 2014 membership card in this mailing 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.

 

Your Rights are in the Cards!

 

Our extremely popular 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 still available.  With the nonsense going on with the Ontario CFO it is more critical now than ever that you be aware of your rights when dealing with the police.  At a cost of only  $1 per card to defray the cost of production it is the cheapest legal protection you can get.  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 Decals and Bumper Stickers

 

Thanks to the efforts of our Secretary Vlad Bjel we now have several styles of multi-coloured TSCON decals for sale.  They are available with adhesive back to stick anywhere or static cling design for car windows or other smooth surfaces.  The price is only $1 ea. so get yours for your car, gun box, etc. at the gun show.

 

Because of numerous requests we also have “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers and “Long Gun Registry Gone, More Bad Gun Laws Next” stickers available for sale for $2 each.  Get them at the TSCON table at the gun show.

 

 

Walk-Ins With Guns

 

We frequently get gun show attendees who bring firearms and other shooting items to the show to sell privately.  We have no objection to this practice and, in fact, encourage it. However, for both legal and  safety reasons we  insist that the following procedure be followed:

 

When you bring a gun into the show it must be checked by the TSCON member at the admission gate to ensure that it is in a safe condition and unloaded.  The firearm must also have a trigger lock (available for purchase) or zip tie (also available) and the action must be open.  Anyone not complying with this procedure will not be allowed to bring their firearms  into the show.

If there was ever an accidental discharge at a show not only would it endanger the attendees but we would be immediately closed down (perhaps permanently).  We hope that you will agree with this policy as we must make safety our highest priority.

 

Gun Show Dates

 

Dates for our 2013 gun shows are as follows: Sept. 6, Dec.13

 

Notice to Gun Show Vendors

 

Late arrivals - If you are going to be late on the day of the gun show you should call John Orth 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.

Gun Show Location

 

Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines

If you want tables for the Sept. 6, 2013 show contact John Orth right away @ 905-562-7686.

THIS SHOW IS NEARLY SOLD OUT SO IF YOU WANT TABLES, CALL EARLY!

 

Vendors Wanted

 

If you or anyone you know would like to be a vendor please call 905-562-7686 or 905-685-4480 for more information.  Anyone who has items to sell can rent tables.  You don’t need to be a regular vendor or in the  shooting/hunting business.

 

Free Classified Ads

 

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. 19 #4 Nov. 5, 2013

>Vol. 20 #1 Jan.30, 2014

 

Remember that you have to call each time you want the ad to run.  It WILL NOT be repeated without your confirmation.

 

Classified Ads

 

For Sale: Lever action hammer locks.  Easy to install and use locks fits most lever action & single hammer guns. They fit through the lever around the neck of the rifle and behind the hammer, preventing the hammer from being cocked and the lever from being cycled.  Quantities available  $5.00 each

Call Lorie 905‑295‑8364

 

TSCON Inquiries?

 

General       905-685-4480

Membership 905-685‑8826

Gun Show   905-562‑7686

Mail     TSCON, Box 21047, St. Catharines, ON, L2M 7X2

 

TSCON Meetings

 

Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in St. Catharines in Port Dalhousie

When? 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM

Who? Members and non‑ members alike are welcome to attend.

 

TSCON Web Site

 

http://www.thesportingclubsofniagara.com

 

Comments or suggestions?? Call Vlad at 905-371-1563 or John at 905-562-7686

 

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.

 

Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."

Theodore Roosevelt, May 13, 1903

 

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

 

Larry Boffo (St. Catharines)                        TSCON T-shirt                             The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Hans Apking (St. Catharines)                       Gun Cleaning Kit                          The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Anton Van Hooydonk (Vineland)                   Pocket Knife                              The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Ron Buchholz (Port Colborne)                 Free PAL Test (transferrable)  Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)

 

>>G UN  S HOW<<

 

Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 6:00-9:30 pm

Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave.

 St. Catharines

 

ADMISSION  $5

 

Buy, Sell or Trade, 130+ tables of Antique and Modern Firearms, Knives, Hunting Accessories, Militaria, Books and Gun Parts

 

For tables or information call John @ 905-562‑7686

 

Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote”