Volume 6, Number 1 Feb. 2000
You will notice that this issue of the newsletter has a slightly different look to it. Rather than the usual 6 page format we have cut back to 4 pages in order to include a very special insert dealing with the upcoming licensing regulations.
Over the past two or three years various Executive members have made several presentations to interested groups and the one thing that has been obvious over and over again is the total confusion that exists among gun owners regarding the new requirements for licensing and registration. We have included the accompanying insert in the hope that it will clear up some of the misunderstandings and outright falsehoods regarding your rights and responsibilities under the Firearms Act (Bill C-68).
We suspect that the government has deliberately caused some of these problems by declaring and then changing many of the different implementation dates.
For example, long guns do not have to be registered until Dec. 31, 2002 so many gun owners think that date also applies to firearm licences. In fact, every gun owner is supposed to possess a licence to own those guns by Dec. 31, 2000.
The issue has been further confused by revised dates for confiscation of short barrelled .25 and .32 handguns and implementation of the new gun show regulations.
When in doubt about what you are required to do, and when, don't take chances. Don't turn in or destroy any firearms (even prohibited ones) until you have checked with us. Read the enclosed insert before applying for a licence and if you are still unsure about what to do, call us. When you contact the TSCON Executive we will either give you the correct answer or connect you with someone who can. The whole Firearms Act is a giant trap just waiting for you to fall in. Stay informed and don't be a victim!
Supreme Court Case Dates
The new dates for the Supreme Court to hear the court challenge to Bill C-68 have been set. The case will be heard on Feb. 21-22, 2000. While it could be some time before the court's decision is known we will keep you posted with information as it is forthcoming.
How About Some Doctor Control
From time to time various groups of doctors have come out in favour of stronger gun control laws. However, a recent study done in the United States makes one wonder if this isn't a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
The study reports that an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths are caused yearly in the U.S. by what they politely term "medical misadventure", or, more bluntly, doctor screw ups. In fact, it is the 8th leading cause of death and kills far more people than firearms. If one extrapolates these numbers to Canada (about 1/10th the size of the U.S.) it results in 4,400 to 9,800 deaths caused by doctors. Compared to these numbers, the 151 firearm homicides in 1998 is a drop in the bucket. Despite all the anti-gun hand-wringing by some doctors it appears your are a lot safer at a gun show or the target range than you are in the hospital. Maybe these guys should worry more about themselves than people with guns.
The Spies Who Shag Us
As mentioned in previous editions of our newsletter, 1998 saw some pretty ugly episodes visited upon local gun owners by the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit. Although it would be improper to give specific details at this time, suffice to say that our inquiry into the conduct of the PWEU squad vis-à-vis Freedom of Information Act is ongoing and we hope to have more details in time. Some of the ugliest PWEU squad episodes involved their use of paid informants who apparently helped manufacture circumstances in which otherwise innocent people were ensnared into criminal situations and then charged accordingly. Even uglier was the fact that some of these paid informants came from within the shooting community itself.
Ugliest of all was the behaviour of the local firearm community. The presence of a genuine spy/agent provocateur creates a natural breeding ground for rumours and false accusations. Stories fly about phones being tapped and ranges being covertly monitored. Later, after the spy's cover is blown, people who were unknowingly friendly to the spy are themselves viewed with suspicion. People who simply admit to never having liked the spy in the first place are said to have known about the spy's activities but stayed silent. It is extremely important to be able to separate hard evidence from innuendo and hearsay. Police informants are usually people who have gotten into legal troubles themselves. Not serious trouble, as in hurting somebody else or stealing something, but stuff like getting caught with registration slips with the wrong address on them, or showing up at an emergency room with an accidental gunshot wound to their own leg. Rather than being charged with careless use of a firearm, or for failing to change their address, police ask the person for information about other shooter's "indiscretions" in exchange for going free. In a worst case situation, an unethical or lazy officer will ask the informant to help engineer criminal situations involving others. The informant feels there is no escape. He thinks that if he stops helping the police he will face the original charges. The domination of his life and soul is now complete. He will answer his handler's commands as eagerly as any trained poodle.
Not only do such activities give the police a bad reputation, it can also lead to serious problems for the informant. At a recent trial in the Niagara area, a police informant who had previously been an active and well-known member of the shooting community, was perhaps so fearful of his personal safety that he felt the need to disguise himself with a wig and dark glasses. He has since moved from this area.
The lessons of this sad chapter are simple: Obey the law. Never even gently bend it unless in the company of known friends you trust. If ever asked to be a rat - don't. Although it may seem an easy way out, it leads to the sale of your soul and much personal turmoil. If you ever suspect someone of being a rat because he continually asks you to do illegal things, tell others to give him a wide berth. Anyone who would entrap a fellow citizen for paperwork infractions is bad news on all accounts, and there is no telling what depths of depravity he/she may sink to, like screwing your dog.
"The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" now has its own FAX number. You can send information to us via FAX by calling: 1-905-934-8039
TSCON gun shows for the year 2000 are:
If you would like tables at our next show (Feb. 18, 2000), please contact Ted Valliere right away at 905-937-7813.
"Canadian Access to Firearms" Free Subscription Discontinued
Unfortunately the publisher has discontinued the free subscription to the "Canadian Access to Firearms". With many firearm businesses falling on hard times, a decline in advertising revenues has forced the paper to eliminate costly items like the free subscriptions. This publication offers a very valuable service to the firearms community and we urge you to consider buying a subscription to help ensure that this the paper continues to publish.
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish building next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port Dalhousie When? Wednesday evenings, 7:00 pm. Who? Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.Web Site
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative information are available on our website. We can be found at:
Comments/suggestions?? Call John at 562-7686
All 1999 memberships are now expired. You will find enclosed in this issue a year 2000 membership card for The Sporting Clubs of Niagara. Detach and keep the wallet size membership card. Fill in the information section and send it in with your dues. If you have renewed for 2000 we thank you for your prompt response. Please pass this card on to a friend or relative and encourage them to join.
General 937-2301 685-4480 Memberships 934-6882 Gun Show 937-7813
Free Classified Ads for Members
Classified ads for shooting and hunting related items are free for members. Please submit ads by the following dates to appear in the latest newsletter:
Vol. 6 #2 April 15/00
Vol. 6 #3 August 1/00
To place your ad call 685-4480 by the dates shown.
Moved, Address Changes, Etc.
For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal of a name from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 685-4480.
>FOR SALE: Norinco .223 ammunition, three 1600 round cases, 55 gr. FMJ, brass cases, boxer primed, $530/case or best offer; call Jim 354-9715
DRAW PRIZE WINNERS
Congratulations to the following members who are winners in our latest draw. Please call Gerry at 685-4480 to arrange to pick up your prize.
Winner Prize Donated By Brian Boar TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Tom McAvoy Stihl pocket knife Niagara Saw Domenic Baroni Gun Cleaning Kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Bruce Tidd Hunting Equipment Frontier Gun and Sport
***NOTE***If you are a previous draw winner and have not claimed your prize would you please call 685-4480 so we can arrange for you to receive it.