The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Volume 19, Number 4
By the time this message reaches you another moose and deer season will be almost finished. I hope that those of you who participated had a successful hunt. For those who didn't harvest an animal I’m sure it was still an enjoyable time in the woods. And for the rest of you who didn't hunt I trust you are enjoying this beautiful autumn season.
Regarding the High River situation in Alberta , many questions still remain unanswered. The RCMP conducted systematic searches and seized firearms from hundreds of homes, many of which weren't even in flooded areas. A number of homes suffered considerable damage due to these searches as well as having firearms taken from them. Ammunition was also seized and burned (up to 7,500 pounds!). Why did this happen in High River and not in other communities that were impacted by flooding? The RCMP claimed it was for "safety" reasons but they had the entire town surrounded by military and police personnel. The situation was under control so the claim about safety makes no sense to me.
Another question is who ordered these searches? Alberta Premier Allison Redford denies ordering them. As well, no search warrants were ever issued. Many of the firearms were returned to their rightful owners but not in their original state. In other words many of them were damaged in the seizures..
What happened in High River has just increased the mistrust the public has in the police both there and across the country. I have reason to wonder if this was not a test run for future situations of this nature. What do you think?
Regarding the spring bear hunt, there has been some movement favoring the return of the hunt in Ontario. Unfortunately it is very limited in scope. The plan is that in the spring of 2014 and 2015 a bear hunt will take place. However it is limited to Wildlife Management Units in and around Thunder Bay, Timmins, Sudbury and Sault St. Marie, is limited to Ontario residents only and no outfitters so this does not help the financial situation of outfitters who used to rely on this hunt.
At the Progressive Conservative convention in London this fall, policy was passed to reinstate the full spring bear hunt in Ontario so at least one party is moving in the right direction on this issue.
The provincial Niagara Falls riding lost Liberal MPP Kim Craitor who stepped down this past summer so a by-election must be called by March of 2014. Niagara Regional counselor and former PC MPP Bart Maves has stepped forward as the candidate in this by‑election. He has already opened a campaign office in Niagara Falls. Let’s hope that he wins the riding and sets the stage for a change of government in Queen's Park as well.
In closing, I would like to wish all TSCON members and their families a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year.
In late October the federal Conservative Party of Canada held it’s policy convention in Calgary. Several firearm related motions were considered and two made it to the convention floor for a vote.
The first motion put forward by the Cambridge (ON) riding association was a proposal to rescind the current Firearms Act and replace it with legislation that "recognizes the right to own firearms unless that right is removed through due process of law on an individual basis."
Unfortunately it did not pass, being narrowly defeated by 500 to 477.
The second motion put forward by Portage Lisgar (Manitoba) was a proposal to tweak the existing text to make it clear the party's goal is now to prevent the resurrection of the long gun registry, while adding a line that confirms the Conservative government "recognizes the legitimacy of private ownership of firearms and will resist any domestic or international pressure to the contrary." That motion did pass which was significant because it indicates that people do not want external organizations like the UN telling Canadians what gun laws should be in place.
So what are we to make of these motions and the other firearm related ones that did not get to a vote?
The first obvious conclusion is that despite the Firearms Act being passed eighteen years ago, the firearm issue remains a hot button topic for many Canadians. Second, it appears that some Conservatives still don’t realize how seriously many citizens take their firearm rights. Perhaps that is not surprising given that a lo are from Toronto or Quebec and have had their opinions about firearms shaped by anti-gun Liberal governments and left wing newspapers.
On the plus side, the very fact that a motion to completely scrap the Firearms Act only failed by 23 votes out of 977 should drive home to the Harper government that his Conservative base is not satisfied with just scrapping the long gun registry and expects a lot more action on this front. Let’s hope he gets the message before the next election.
CSSA Legal Action
Boy, if you ever needed proof that the saying “The wheels of justice turn slowly.” is true here’s a classic example.
As you may know, CSSA Executive Director Tony Bernardo has started legal action against the Ontario Chief Firearms Office (CFO) because of the games they have been playing regarding Authorizations to Transport (ATTs) and visiting clubs you are not a member of.
On Sept. 18 Bernardo and CSSA lawyer Ed Burlew were back in court for a third time. And for a third time the court deferred it’s decision as to whether this case should be heard in provincial or federal court.
This might actually be funny if it weren’t for the fact that this circus is pissing away tens of thousands of taxpayer and CSSA member dollars trying to come up with an answer.
Let’s call the CFO into account. Ed Burlew is currently gathering evidence for the next 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 are still needed. To help defray the mounting legal costs, please contact the CSSA at: “ATT Challenge”, 116 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke ON, M9W 4Y6 or call the CSSA at 416‑679‑9959, fax 416‑679‑9910, or toll free 1‑888‑873‑4339.
Bruce Montague Update
As we prepare to go to press, Bruce is getting ready for his next court appearance, this time at the Ontario Court of Appeal on Nov. 15 in Toronto.
At stake is over $100,000 in personal property which Bruce had seized when he was initially arrested. The government is trying to make the case that Bruce’s property constitutes proceeds of crime. They can do this because in Ontario the government is permitted to initiate legal action to confiscate private property merely because that property may have been involved in an illegal act.
If that sounds reasonable to you consider this: Imagine you rent an apartment to someone who uses it to grow marijuana without your permission or knowledge. In some Canadian provinces, you risk forfeiting and losing your apartment because the renter committed an illegal act on the premises despite the fact that you are completely innocent and have done nothing illegal.
And it's not just rental property that's at risk. Your business, your car and even your family home are all on the table.
These laws were intended to allow the government to confiscate the illegally gained property of drug dealers and organized crime bosses. Now, the provincial Liberals are perverting the law to go after ordinary citizens like Montague because they don’t like the fact that he had the gall to challenge a bad law in court. Remember that Bruce caused no one any harm, committed no violent acts and made no money.
For that he got 18 months in jail (far more than many drug dealers or even people convicted of manslaughter), lost his livelihood as a gunsmith and now risks losing all his property including his family home.
Space prevents us from detailing more of this injustice so we suggest you visit:
We are very grateful to the Canadian Constitution Foundation for taking on Bruce’s case and ask you to seriously consider making a donation to them. 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:
1830 ‑ 52 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2B 1N1
Mandatory Gun Sentences Struck Down
On Nov. 12 the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that mandatory minimum sentences for gun possession enacted by the federal Conservatives as part of their law‑and‑order agenda are "cruel and unusual punishment" and therefore unconstitutional.
In all honestly my initial reaction was “Here we go again.....more lefty pinko judges being soft on criminals”.
However, after some sober second thought (hey, maybe I could get a Senate appointment. I know there are some vacancies.) I came to the conclusion, painful as it was, that for once in a rare while the judges actually got it right.
Trust me, I’m the last guy in the world to sympathize with career criminals carrying guns and the longer they are put in jail the happier I am. The problem with the law as written, however, is that it’s not just violent drug dealers that would get three years in the gray bar hotel.
Let’s say, for example, that you forget to renew your PAL and your current one expires. Presto, you’re illegally in possession of firearms (a criminal offence) and that’s three years in the slammer. Or maybe you go for breakfast on the way to the range and a cop stops you, decides you aren’t taking a “reasonably direct route” to the gun club and charges you for illegally transporting your revolver.
When you go to court and are found guilty (and technically you probably are), because the sentence is MANDATORY the judge has no choice but to give you three years.
And to those who say “Oh, the police would never charge you or the Crown would never prosecute you” I just have two words: “Ian Thomson”. He shouldn’t have been charged either, but he was and even though he was found innocent it still cost him some $60,000 in legal fees.
The government may appeal to the Supreme Court and we find very troubling Justice Minister Peter Mackay’s comment that the government will ".. continue to defend the constitutionality of mandatory prison sentences for serious criminals." Since when would the above two examples involve “serious criminals”?
Most of this could have been avoided had the Conservatives simply fulfilled Stephen Harper’s promise to scrap the Firearms Act and replace it with legislation that respects the rights of law abiding gun owners while focusing on REAL criminals. But of course they haven’t, choosing instead to cater to political police chiefs and latte sipping Torontonians while ignoring the legitimate concerns of some of their most faithful supporters. And trust me, that faith is wearing thin.
Lever Lock Follies
Just when you thought the firearm storage laws couldn’t get any more confusing along comes this piece of horse dung.
Lever action firearms are just about the only ones that cannot be satisfactorily secured with a trigger lock because when the lever is moved the lock goes with it, exposing the trigger. Some people use cable locks but many don’t like them because the cables can scratch the wood on the firearm. As a compromise the police and CFO have generally allowed the use of zip ties. These are one way fasteners which, when used on a lever gun prevent the gun from being cocked and if it can’t be cocked it can’t be fired. Zip ties are considered secure enough that they are frequently used to disable firearms that are present in courtrooms as evidence.
But recently the Alberta CFO decided that zip ties did not meet the definition of a secure locking device as described in The Firearms Act so therefore they were not satisfactory for firearm storage.
This begs the question, if trigger locks and zip ties are no good and cable locks mark the gun, what can be used?
So what is a gun owner or gun show vendor supposed to do to secure lever action firearms?
Until a better solution comes along our suggestion is to use a trigger lock (since it meets the legal definition) AND a zip tie which prevents the trigger lock from moving with the lever.
Yes, it’s incredibly stupid but as the late and sorely missed Dave Tomlinson used to say “It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s the law.”
Please remember to wear red on Fridays to show your support for our troops.
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:
December Newsletter - Call for Nominations
January 8/14 - Election meeting held
January 22/14 - Elected Executive takes office.
All year 2013/14 members may submit nominations for the 2014 Executive.
Nominations must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2013 and 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
If you received a 2014 membership card in this mailing you are not a member OR your membership expires on Dec. 31, 2013.
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.
New TSCON Meeting Schedule
TSCON has just celebrated its nineteenth year of operation so to give the Executive a break we have reduced our weekly meetings to twice a month. We now meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. A complete meeting schedule for 2014 will be posted on our website. Newsletters and gun shows will still continue as before.
Your Rights are in the Cards!
Our laminated wallet-sized printed cards declaring your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer when you are stopped by the police 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. 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
TSCON now has 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.
We also have “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers and “Long Gun Registry Gone, More Bad Gun Laws Next” stickers available for sale for $2. Get them at the TSCON table at the gun show.
Gun Show Dates
Dates for our 2014 gun shows are as follows: Feb. 28, May 2, Sept. 5, Dec. 12
Walk-Ins With Guns
If you are bringing guns to the gun sow to sell we insist that the following procedure be followed:
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.
We hope that you will agree with this policy as we must make safety our highest priority.
Notice to Gun Show Vendors
If you can’t make it to a gun show DO NOT call the Merritton Community Centre unless it is the day of the show. There is seldom anyone at the hall to answer the phone and your message WILL NOT BE PASSED ON TO US IN TIME.
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 Dec. 13, 2013 show contact John Orth right away @ 905-562-7686.
THIS SHOW IS NEARLY SOLD OUT SO IF YOU WANT TABLES, CALL EARLY!
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. 20 #1 Jan.30, 2014
>Vol. 20 #2 April 5, 2014
Remember that you have to call each time you want the ad to run. It WILL NOT be repeated without your confirmation.
For Sale: Lever action hammer locks: Easy to install and use locks fits most lever action & single hammer guns. $5.00 each
Cable locks: 15" lightweight cable, $8 ea., 15" heavy cable, $10 ea.
Stevens Model 124C shotgun, 12 ga. manual shotgun, plain barrel, improved choke, brown tenite stock & forend. Manufactured between 1947 & 1952, EX condition$275.00
Call Lorie 905‑295‑8364
Gun Show 905-562‑7686
St. Catharines, ON
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in St. Catharines in Port Dalhousie
When? 2nd & 4thWednesday of each month at 7:00 PM
Who? Members and non‑ members alike are welcome to attend.
TSCON Web Site
Comments or suggestions?? Call Vlad at 905-892‑3445 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 905‑685‑8826.
"We are told not to judge all Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics. But....we are encouraged to judge all gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics." Forwarded by our friend D.Y.
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
Dave Gaudreau (Niagara Falls) TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Bill Severin (Niagara Falls) 2014 TSCON membership The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Karl Gravitis (Beamsville) Pocket Knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Paul Brittain (St. Catharines) Free PAL Test (transferrable) Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)
>>G UN S HOW<<
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, 6:00-9:30 pm
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave.
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”