Volume 7, Number 2 April 2001
They just don't get it do they?
To show their new compassion??? for the concerns of gun owners, the government recently included in their Omnibus Bill (C-15) amendments to the Firearms Act that are supposed to make us all a lot happier. These include changes like staggering renewal dates for licences (brilliant!), shorter application forms and registration over the Internet (don't you just want to let every hacker in North America know you are applying for a gun licence?). And lucky us, it authorizes the appointment of a Commissioner of Firearms (i.e. another bureaucrat who will suck up a huge salary and do nothing but cause us grief with more regulations that will make no sense). And buried in the legal mumbo-jumbo is one very worrisome amendment which states that it will be "authorizing the making of regulations respecting the importation and exportation of firearms and parts and components designed for use in the manufacture or assembly of firearms. This could well mean that importation of any gun part, not just registered parts like the frame could be under their jurisdiction. Theoretically this means you could be prevented by regulation from importing a new stock, recoil spring, magazine or anything else for your gun should they need replacement, thus rendering the firearm useless.
In fact, the only apparently useful change is one which will alter the grandfathering date for 12/6 handguns from Feb. 14, 1995 to Dec. 1, 1998. That means that if you bought a prohibited handgun during that time period you will be grandfathered to keep it instead of having to turn it in. Before you start doing back flips over that one, remember that the only reason it is being brought in is because the government has no idea how to collect the 50,000+ guns involved or deal with the lawsuit that was sure to follow. And when you die they are still going to confiscate it from your estate with no compensation.
In fact, most of these changes are pure crap. They amount to little more than window dressing to try and convince us that they aren't such bad guys after all and that they just want to work with us. Notice that they still want you to have a licence, they still want to know what guns you have, they are still going to confiscate 500,000+ legally purchased firearms and they still allow warrantless searches of your home. In fact, most of the changes have been made to solve the problems they created with their own badly drafted law.
It should also be noted that at the same time these "good" things were happening, the Justice Department was forming a "gun Gestapo" called NWEST run by the same guy who previously headed the Ontario PWEU squad (and we know what friends they are to gun owners). It has also appointed Chantal Breton as a public relations director for the Canadian Firearms Centre. If you don't recognize her name, she was previously employed as one of Wendy Cukier's flunkies at the Coalition for Gun Control so you know she has to be on our side.
The bottom line is that Ann MacLellan and her Liberal cronies have absolutely no respect for you or your intellect. They think that a few cosmetic changes are enough to con gun owners into falling into line. We think you are smarter than that.
This government deserves no credit, no cooperation and the greatest amount of legal resistance possible. That is what they deserve and we hope that is what you will give to them.
People frequently ask us how C-68 affects the inheriting of firearms. Such inquiries are particularly valid because, like it or not, we will all be ultimately faced with the question of what will happen to our guns when we pass on. Most, if not all people we speak to have no desire to see the government get its grubby little fingers into their gun safes after they have died. A little preplanning can make sure that your heirs can take possession of your firearms with an absolute minimum of cost and aggravation.
The first thing is to see to it that anyone you want to get your guns has a valid licence (FAC, PAL or POL). Without this they cannot legally take possession of your firearms.
The next important step is to make sure that you do not register any guns that do not have to be registered (most handguns and some rifles are restricted and are already registered but virtually all sporting long guns you currently own do not need to be until Dec. 31,2002). You have nothing, repeat nothing to gain by registering your guns early unless you have some deranged desire to help the government screw you and your heirs. (See the article "Why You Shouldn't Register" later in the newsletter.)
If you do both of the above you then have nothing to worry about till Jan. 1, 2003. On that date all guns are supposed to be registered. It is suggested that at that time all the firearms involved be registered in the name of the sons/daughters/others who you want to get them after your demise. Then, as long as you have a valid permit to possess firearms (FAC, PAL, POL), you can borrow the guns back from the registered owner for as long as you like (the rest of your life, for example). When you eventually travel to the happy hunting grounds, the registered owner (son, daughter, etc.) simply takes the guns back (remember, they are the registered owner). No transfer fees, no paperwork, no nothing, and all legal.
The only thing that needs to be done once the gun is registered is to give the registration card to whoever borrows the gun.
This strategy should keep the government from gouging you out of a transfer fee for at least one generation or until more creative schemes can be devised.
Two recent stories illustrate very well why you should not register your guns any earlier than necessary.
The first appeared in the Toronto Sun recently. A woman's husband died, leaving behind sixteen long guns. She wanted to keep them but had no licence. He had, for some foolish reason, rushed out and registered them soon after C-68 came into effect. When the husband was still alive, the wife could have applied for a POL, claiming ownership of at least one of the guns. If the guns had not been registered when the husband died the wife could then have taken possession of all of them since there would have been no record of ownership and she could have claimed they were all hers. Total cost? $10.
But since hubby was a law-abiding Canadian and did everything the government asked, she could not do this. She had to take the PAL course and test ($120), buy a PAL ($60) and pay to transfer the sixteen guns at $25 per gun ($400). Total cost to get property she was legally entitled to? $580, and all because her husband wanted to be law-abiding.
The second story happened recently in St. Catharines. While walking his dog in his neighbourhood a retired local man was approached by a 16-17 year-old teenager he did not recognize. The teenager then asked him if he wanted to sell his two Remington Wingmaster shotguns as he knew someone who was interested in them. The man was, as he told me "flabbergasted". The guns were not for sale, he had never advertised or mentioned them as such, yet the teenager knew the make, model and gauges (12 and .410) of both. What the man had done, however, is register the guns. While we may be jumping to conclusions, it is a fact that no one in the civilized world but Ann MacLellan and her toadies seem to believe that the CFC computer database is secure. Just a week ago, MP Garry Breitkreuz revealed that there have been 156 known breaches of security to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), the police computer system on which firearm information is stored. As well, an additional 185 possible breaches are still under investigation. And these are only the ones the police have found out about. How many there have actually been are unknown because many breaches are never detected. The bottom line is that if 15 year old kids can hack into the Pentagon or CIA computers and send viruses to Microsoft they can find out what is in the gun registry database. Do you want your guns there any sooner than necessary? Think about it!
Most of our readers have heard of the anti-gun "Million Mom March" that took place last spring in Washington, D.C.. What you probably did not hear was that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (yes, our own CIBC), donated several thousand dollars to the march.
Perhaps we are incorrect, but it strikes us that spending the money of Canadian clients (some of whom are undoubtedly gun owners) on political activities in a foreign country takes a lot of gall and not much conscience. Perhaps those of you who still deal with the CIBC (I pulled out long ago because I think they are a bunch of heartless creeps) might want to ask yourself if you want your money in a bank that doesn't think you should be able to own your firearms. Just a little food for thought.
When it comes to firearms and firearm related issues, there seem to be as many rumours floating around as there are facts.. An excellent case in point involves what you can and can't import into Canada.
To help clarify your rights and responsibilities in this area
we obtained the following information regarding
importation of firearms, ammunition and components. We
should point out, however, that as one customs officer told
me "We get new information every day" so you might want
to check if you are planning to import something of
significant value or questionable status. Nevertheless, this
information should be a good starting point.
Firearms: You may legally import firearms into Canada by following the proper procedures.
To import a non-restricted firearm you will need to produce a valid FAC or PAL and pay any applicable duties and taxes. A good idea is to get a receipt from whoever you purchased or received the firearm from to prove its value.
To import a restricted firearm you will need to produce a valid FAC or PAL, have an Authorization to Transport (issued by the Chief Firearms Officer via the CFC) and pay any applicable duties and taxes. Again, a receipt is a good idea.
Ammunition and Components: You may import without a permit the following quantities:
We have other information regarding importing and exporting but don't have the space to cover it all. Call us if you have any questions.
As all gun owners should know by now, any firearms which you intend to permanently acquire by any means (purchase, gift, inherit, etc.) must be registered with the CFC before you take possession of them. This often involves a wait of several days and numerous phone calls to 1-800-grab-a-pillow in New Brunswick. Failure to follow this procedure can result in prosecution. Bear in mind, however, that it is only necessary to follow this process if you are going to permanently acquire the firearm. If you borrow it or lease it from the owner (in which case you are not permanently acquiring it) the registration requirement does not apply. It is also legal for the owner to ask for a damage deposit or lease fee of any amount on the gun (which could be, for example, the same as the purchase price). When leasing a firearm, a lease agreement should be drawn up (we know of some that are already prepared).
When borrowing a firearm the agreement can be verbal or written (forms are also available).
There should be a clearly stated understanding between the two parties as to the nature of the transaction e.g. "I am borrowing (or leasing) this firearm."
Now comes the tricky part. By Dec. 31, 2002, all firearms in your possession must to be registered for you to legally possess them. If you borrowed or leased a gun from someone they are supposed to register it. Unfortunately, we have heard of many cases where the borrower/lessee can't find the original owner as they have lost their phone number or leasing form with the necessary information on it. What these people might have to do is pretend the gun is theirs and register it in their name. This is not legal but since no one has a record of who owned the gun before Dec. 31, 2002, it would be difficult if not impossible to prove that it did not belong to the borrower/lessee in the first place. Note also that it is legal for you to borrow a gun even if you only have a "Possession Only Licence".
This article has appeared in previous newsletters. However, the option is still in effect for people looking to cheaper way to obtain a PAL so we are reprinting it for your convenience.
After some legal prodding the Chief Firearms Officer of Ontario is now allowing people to apply for an alternate licence to avoid having to take the PAL course. You are eligible if you meet the following criteria:
If you meet the requirements, here's how you apply:
We have also been able to glean the following information. The test is 30 questions of which there are some multiple choice, some true and false, and some for which you just give the correct answer. You must get 80% on the test and you can only try it once. If you fail it, you must do the regular test with an instructor. There is no fee to try the test. Currently, only about 5% of the people taking the test are passing it. Ann strongly recommends that anyone writing the test get the Canadian Firearms Safety Course book and study it thoroughly. Local instructors like Al Feor, John Kellaway and Gene Chambers should have them or call 1-519-369-5706. They cost about $13. We are not sure if there is more than one test but have determined that everyone is asked the 4 basic rules of firearm safety (and most get it wrong), and other questions like what is the legal age to purchase ammunition (18). We would very much like to hear from anyone who has taken the test and will pass on more "study information" as we get it.
Important Note There is no time limit for the test so take your time. Apparently some people have taken over an hour to do it. You might also want to have your study materials and/or an expert friend handy when you take it. Call TSCON if you need more information.
We now have available for sale our popular "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts and sweat shirts. Both are very good quality an are available as follows:
Pick yours up at the gun show or call any member of the Executive.
To keep you out of legal trouble "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has for sale trigger locks to help you comply with the safe storage laws. They aren't fancy and they take a few seconds to put on and take off but they are legal and, best of all, they are cheap, only $2.00 each. You won't find a better price anywhere! Pick them up at the club table at the gun show or call any member of the Executive. We can provide large quantities if you need them. Just call.
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative information are available on our web site:
Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686
Please note the new location for our gun shows:
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave.
2001 gun show dates are: April 20 Sept. 14 Dec. 14
If you would like tables at our next show (April 20, 2001), contact Ted Valliere right away at 905-935-3893 (please note Ted's new phone number). Our first show at this location was so successful that we did not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port Dalhousie.
When? Wednesdays, 7:00 pm.
Who? Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.
If you received a 2001 membership card in this newsletter you are not a paid up member for 2001. Isn't it worth a few dollars to join the fight to protect your rights!
General 685-4480 937-2301 Memberships 937-3579 Gun Show 935-3893 FAX 934-8039
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:
April - Call for Nominations to the Executive
Early May - Elections held
Late May - Elected Executive takes office.
We are, therefore, issuing an invitation to all year 2001 members to submit nominations for the 2001-2002 Executive. There are 29 positions to be filled on the Executive so you may nominate up to 29 current members.
Please mail your nominations by May 9, 2001. Nominations must be received in writing. They cannot be received verbally.
Address the nominations as follows:
THE SPORTING CLUBS OF NIAGARA
P.O. BOX 21047
ST. CATHARINES, ON
ATTN: EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS
Classified ads for shooting and hunting related items are free for members. Please call 685-4480 and submit ads by the following dates for inclusion in the latest newsletter:
Vol. 7 #3 August 1/01
Vol. 7 #4 November 1/01
Iver Johnson Trailsman Mod. 66 revolver, 8 shot, top break, 152 mm barrel, with case; $100; call Gerry, 984-3431
For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal of a name from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 685-4480.
The following members are winners in our latest draw. Please call Gerry at 685-4480 to arrange to pick up your prize.
Winner Prize Donated By Clark Jamieson TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Michael Mashford Stihl pocket knife Niagara Saw Ron & Cheryl Dastous Gun Cleaning Kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Ralph Martens Hunting Equipment Frontier Gun and Sport