Volume 3, Number 4 November '97
Message from the President
Many thanks to those who answered the call for support in our last newsletter by joining or renewing your membership. Your continued support of TSCON has been an overwhelming inspiration. Without this support we could not have continued the fight to bring sanity back into the debate over gun control.
In this newsletter I would like to outline one of the ways in which gun owners often act against their own interests. To begin with, I would like to remind you that there is absolutely nothing dirty about wanting to own a firearm. However, with constant media efforts aimed at stigmatizing gun ownership, it can become all to easy to fall into the trap of feeling you must constantly justify your existence as a firearms enthusiast.
The stage is set for a classic example of this when a criminal breaks into a person's home, unlawfully removes the rightful owner's firearm, then commits a misdeed with it. The trap is sprung when the home owner, who is a victim of crime himself, gets linked to contributing to gun violence by the police and the media. Baloney! The criminal alone is responsible. If somebody steals your wife's jewellery, then buys heroin with it, can your wife be reasonably held responsible for contributing to the illegal drug trade? Not likely!!
Gun owners often help buttress this backward thinking. We brag about elaborate security measures; the 6" thick solid steel gun vault, the alarm system, the locks, the window bars etc. Don't get me wrong. If you want a defense tighter than the law requires because you sincerely want to protect your firearms from loss by theft - great. But the person who goes to extremes to "help keep guns off the street" adopts the propaganda of the anti-gunners by unconsciously agreeing it is guns themselves that cause crime, not the twisted morality of the criminals who steal them.
Gun owners must stop apologizing (especially in advance) for problems which are not their fault.
On a separate note, let us not forget that November is the time in which we remember our Veterans who fought against tyranny and oppression. If you love your freedom, thank a Vet! Remember to keep their sacrifice in your hearts not just on November eleventh, but always. The best way to honour them is to actively resist any erosion of the freedoms they secured for us. Stay informed and get active!
Ladies, keep in mind that nothing says you love him like a new firearm under the tree at Christmas.
John A. Gayder
Bill C-68 Court Challenge
As many of you are already aware, the province of Alberta, supported by Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon filed a legal challenge to Bill C-68. This challenge was heard by the Alberta Supreme Court on Sept. 8-12/97. The wheels of justice do grind slowly and to date there has been no word as to how the challenge played out. This process will probably go on for some time for no matter what decision is rendered there will likely be an appeal by the losing side all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Please note, however, that three of the provinces have notified Ottawa that regardless of the outcome of the court challenge they will not enter into an agreement to administer the Act. This action is permitted under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Regrettably, Ontario is not one of the three. To change this write, phone or fax your MPP. Thank them for supporting the court challenge. Tell them not to cave in if the challenge is unsuccessful. Ask your MPP to appeal to the Hon. Robert Runciman to refuse to enter into an agreement to administer the legislation.
If Ontario, by far the largest province involved, boycotts this Act it is doubtful that the federal government will be able to afford the personnel to administer it.
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative material are available on our web site. We can be reached at:
For comments or suggestions call John at 562-7686
Gun Show Clampdown
The Federal government, in its never-ending battle to make life in Canada safer has now focused on another hotbed of crime; gun shows! It has come to our attention that new and potentially onerous regulations pertaining to the operation of gun shows are about to be implemented. Although we have not had a chance to fully review how these new regulations will affect our show, the initial examination is not encouraging. Our intent for starting gun shows was to revitalize the firearms community in Niagara which had not seen a show since the 1980's. Our shows have been extremely popular and we feel they have been a huge success in this respect. We will keep you posted. Just one more reason to support TSCON.
Steel Shot Advisory
Early reports from field testing indicate poor penetration of steel shot and the requirement for an increased forward point of aim due to the different ballistic characteristics of steel vs. lead shot. Stories of the new shot bouncing off birds are not uncommon. Sadly, this may result in increased getaways/cripples.
If concern for the welfare of waterfowl was the motivation behind implementing mandatory use of steel shot, we now see this was yet another example of the road to misery being paved with good intentions.
The past 3 years have been critical for gun owners. The Sporting Clubs of Niagara has worked hard to keep you informed about the many changes to legislation which adversely affects the shooting sports. The impact of these changes was so great that we felt it was imperative to keep Niagara area gun owners informed and active regardless of cost. It has been our pleasure and is our intention to continue serving as your watchdog in this area of ongoing debate. Unfortunately, with a mailing list of 3,000 households financial pressures no longer allow us to continue sending these materials free of charge. If you have enjoyed our newsletters and wish to continue receiving them please remit your $10 or $20 membership payment along with the completed membership application (enclosed).
If you have already sent your membership payment for 1998 disregard this notice and thank you for supporting "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara".
1) a quarterly newsletter with the latest updates on the firearms issue
2) "members only" draw prizes
3) free classified ads (see this issue for more information)
4) discounted table rates at our gun shows
5) room discounts at the Days Inn hotel in Kingston
6) a free 3 month subscription to the "Canadian Access to Firearms" newspaper
All monies raised by "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" are used locally to protect the interests of local sporting citizens.
Voices of Common Sense
Those of you who wish there was more common sense in today's media should check out these sources:
The Michael Coren Show Weeknights at 7:00 pm on Toronto's CFRB AM Radio 1010. Conservative viewpoints. The host dislikes gun control.
The G. Gordon Liddy Show Weekdays from 1 to 3 pm on Lockport, New York's WLVL AM Radio 1340. Guns and self-defense are frequently discussed in a positive light. Well worth listening to despite WLVL's sometimes weak signal.
The Next City Magazine Conservative/Libertarian analysis and solutions to problems facing Canadian society. Published quarterly. Call 1-800-263-2784 ext. 555 for subscription info or: www.nextcity.com on the Internet.
Address Changes duplicate or additional mailings
Moving, receiving duplicate mailings, want your name removed from our mailing list or know someone who would like to receive our newsletter? If so, please drop us a note at our postal address or call 685-4480 so we can keep our mailing list as current as possible.
NEED TSCON INFO?
Our popular "Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote" T-shirts with "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" logo on the front are still available.
Now on sale extra cheap at $5.00 each! Get yours at our next gun show or by calling any member of the Executive.
NFA Gun Registration Advice
In previous newsletters "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has, for numerous reasons, advised against registering any currently non-restricted firearms until the very latest date possible (currently in 2003). The following is a brief summary of the approach the National Firearms Association is advocating when you finally have to register.
You should be aware that you alone are responsible for any errors made on the registration card, whether they are accidental or not. Should you write down the "Model" where the "Make" should be entered, misplace a number or letter in the registration number, measure the barrel length incorrectly or make an error when guessing at the magazine capacity (how many mags are supposed to hold 5 shots but you can squeeze in 6???), you are setting yourself up for a fine, a possible stay in jail, a criminal record and the loss of your firearms and related equipment. For these reasons the NFA advises that you do the following:
Do not provide details on any registration form re: calibre, barrel length, make, model, manufacturer or number of shots. In each space where the information is required simply write the word "unknown". This prevents you from providing some bureaucrat with information that could later be used as the basis for criminal charges. This also puts the onus on the local law enforcement agency to check the firearm themselves and fill in the information. In that way, any errors made will be their responsibility and not yours, making charges much more difficult to lay.
There is more material available on this matter which a lack of space prevents us from writing in this newsletter. For more detailed information we suggest you contact the NFA at the following address:
National Firearms Association
Box 4384, Station C
While you are at it, a yearly NFA membership is only $30, a small price to pay to have them guarding your firearm ownership rights.
Gun Loss Advisory
Over the past few months The Executive of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has been in regular contact with Mr. Edward Burlew, a lawyer from Thornhill, Ontario who specializes in firearms law. Mr. Burlew is also an active shooter who is concerned with protecting gun owners from abuses of police power while trying to ensure sure that they are complying with current laws. He has kindly provided us with several "Gun Loss Advisory" bulletins which we will be printing in upcoming newsletters. The following is the first in the series.
Many gun owners have all the guns they need or think they will need. They do not have an FAC and are not worried. This leads to some future problems that many gun owners may not anticipate when facing a weapons related criminal charge.
The conviction of any type of weapons charge under the Criminal Code or even a finding of guilt and a conditional or absolute discharge can lead to the loss of ability to obtain an FAC in the future. The gun owner who does not worry about this today, when he is advised to plead guilty to a lesser charge is only delaying the loss of his firearms.
Under the Firearms Act, Bill-C68, there is the requirement of having a Firearms Possession Certificate. This is vastly different from today's FAC. Under the present law you only need an FAC to purchase a firearm. Ammunition purchases are not restricted and are provincially governed by the Ammunition Act in Ontario. If you have a non-restricted or non-prohibited gun, you don't need any paperwork to own it.
Under the Firearms Act you will need a Firearms Possession Certificate. To obtain it you must apply to the Federal government. There will be an investigation of your appropriateness to own a firearm. It is clear that if you are today ineligible for an FAC you will be ineligible for a Firearms Possession Certificate. In the future if you do not have a Firearms Possession Certificate you will not be able to possess a firearm or purchase ammunition.
Keep this in mind when you are facing a potential criminal act that may lead to a charge. Keep this in mind when you have been charged with a weapons offence and you are being offered a plea bargain. Remember that you want to preserve your right to enjoy shooting.
Free Classified Ads for Members
Members can now place free classified ads for shooting and hunting related items. The following conditions apply:
1) if space is limited the ads should be a maximum of 30 words including phone number
2) available space may limit the number of ads so "First come, first served".
3) ads must be submitted by the following dates to appear in the most current newsletter:
<Vol. 4 #1 Jan. 15/98
<Vol. 4 #2 April 23/98
To place your ad call 685-4480 by the above dates.
Gun Registry Cost
Well here's a surprise. Briefing notes from the Justice Department obtained recently under the Access to Information Act indicate that the gun registry cost will be higher than the $85 million dollars originally predicted by our friend Allan Rock. A government spokesman couldn't put a final price tag on the registry and is quoted as saying "At this point there's an understanding it's going to be higher. We don't know yet and we won't for a while." That's funny because nearly everyone else in the country knew it would be higher as soon as it the number came out of Rock's mouth. And politicians wonder why people have no faith in them.
The Ostrich Syndrome
Did you ever wonder why gun owners have had a hard time working together as a group to achieve their goals? A blatant example of why occurred recently when a member of the TSCON Executive was speaking to two directors of a local gun club who felt our organization and other gun owners were being paranoid regarding the possibility of raids by police on gun-owning citizens. After all, they had broken no laws so why would the police want to bother them? Apparently they didn't read the article in our last newsletter about the Halton Police force harassing members of the Burlington Rifle and Revolver Club for minor paperwork infractions.
Or perhaps they should ask John St. Amour of Marstar Trading in Vankleek Hill. He was raided by the police, had submachine guns pointed at him and his employees and had his business trashed as they searched for "evidence".
The end result? All charges were dropped just as the case was going to court. The comment from the prosecutor was that they really didn't have anything to proceed with in the first place.
In the past year there have been 15,000 (yes, that's thousand) gun charges laid in Ontario. The vast majority of these were not against murderers and bank robbers but ordinary citizens who happened to own guns. Why, you ask? The facts are that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police have made a lot of noise about their support of gun control. Wouldn't they look awfully stupid if, after all their hand-wringing about the gun problem there were very few charges laid? Since real criminals are a lot harder to find (remember, they didn't register their guns) it is a lot easier to just look up your address and come after you. Anyone out there who thinks we are just fear-mongering, give us a call. We have lots more examples where these came from.
FOR SALE: Mod. 1895 Mannlicher Carbine, 8x56R, exc, $100; Russian Nagant w/sling, 7.62x54, vg, $65; Russian Nagant, 7.62x54, vg, $60; Olympic Arms AR-15, 20" heavy barrel, .223, as new, less than 100 rds. fired, $600; open to offers, call Gerry 905-685-4480 after 4:00 P.M.
FOR SALE: Ruger Blackhawk, .357, $250; Walther P38, 9mm, $350; Tanfoglio Targa, .25 ACP, $75; Smith & Wesson Mod. 14, .38 Spec., $250; Cooey .22 rifle, $75; Italian manufacture .50 cal. muzzleloader, $250; Belgian Fabrique Nationale hunting rifle w/scope, .270, $400; Enfield P-17 target rifle, .308, heavy barrel, bedded, $325; call Don 905-684-8846