Volume 8, Number 1 Feb. 2002
Message from the President
Over the past month I have received no less than ten phone calls from members of two area shooting clubs regarding their respective club executive's comments about TSCON. Historically, I have had about thirty similar ones over the last several years. Up to now I have chosen to remain silent about these calls, but the recent, rapid increase has forced me to respond. All calls have been to inform me that the two presidents (and a few members of their executive) think the views and advice put forward by TSCON are "alarmist", "off base" or "extreme".
They say these two club presidents think we are either factually wrong on matters of law, and/or that we should at least "tone down" our message. They say we are "bringing too much heat upon the shooting sports" and that if we were just more polite and less argumentative then the government would see that gun owners are really just nice people with a wholesome hobby and leave us alone.
I'll not comment further on the fact that the members who called to relate their president's positions also thought they were ass wipes for a variety of reasons beyond their opinion of the behavior of TSCON.
These two President's opinions contrast sharply with the moral and financial support given to TSCON by the Presidents and Executives of many other clubs, both local and further afield. Our sincerest thanks go out to them for their belief and trust in us.
The Sporting Clubs Of Niagara was originally conceived to provide current and accurate information about gun laws to local clubs and individual shooters. Our Executive includes retired and currently serving members of the law enforcement community, as well as other highly respected professional disciplines. Those members of the TSCON executive that have access to the Internet examine approximately twenty Canadian newspaper and governmental releases specifically regarding gun control EACH DAY. The activist and protective tactics we disseminate are 100% legal and have been gleaned from the sharpest legal staffs of national and international pro-gun organizations. If we are basing our alarmist, off beat and extreme views on this array of talent, experience and information, what resources are the two presidents who bad-mouth us basing theirs on? And where has their strategy of being humble, polite and acquiescent to the government gotten the shooting fraternity in the last twenty years?
In defense of the "Ostrich Presidents", I'll acknowledge that running a gun club these days is a very difficult, time consuming proposition (ironically due to the same government they think we should be sucking up to), and that doing so has perhaps left them with little time to stay informed about the insidious yet very real forces seeking to destroy their ranges and their sport. None the less, I must challenge them (or somebody they delegate) to attend one of our WEEKLY meetings to learn the facts about the relentless forces that seek to see civilian gun ownership eradicated.
Spring is just around the corner. Time to buy that target rifle you always wanted and be ready to hit the range when the grass gets green.
John A. Gayder
This edition's example of media incompetence comes from the Staff Reporters of the Nova Scotia Chronicle-Herald and appeared on page A3 of the December 7, 2001 edition. They reported that a police search of a Hell's Angels member's home netted a ".223-calibre Muzzlelite assault rifle, and a .30-calibre M1 carbide assault rifle and a silencer." What or who the hell is a Muzzlelite? And isn't CARBIDE just a little too brittle to make a rifle from? Even if ignoring the obvious misspelling of carbine, exactly what is a "carbine assault rifle"?
The technical credibility of this story was not further strengthened when Sgt. Doug Brown of the Truro RCMP was quoted as saying, "These are weapons that can do major damage," he said. "They are fully operational and capable of being muzzled. These are not the kind of weapons used for deer hunting." How about a leash to go with that muzzle, Sgt. Brown?
Our thanks to the sharp eyed "Niagara Vintner" who snagged this beauty off the web and forwarded it to us.
Seen an obvious example of media ignorance of firearms? Send it to us and if it is chosen for publication we will send you a free TSCON shirt!
Firearm Forum 2001 a Big Success
On Thursday, Nov. 30, 2001, The Sporting Clubs of Niagara hosted "Firearm Forum 2001". Designed to present firearm owners with strategies to deal with the upcoming firearm registration, this latest in a series of information meetings was a huge success. Over 600 people jammed the Merritton Community Centre to listen to the speakers, ask questions and pick up information packages. Thanks to all who attended. We hope the information provided was useful to you. Remember, contrary to the misleading government ads that have run on TV, radio and in the newspapers, you do not have to register your long guns or re-register your restricted firearms until Dec. 31, 2002. Also, the $18 registration fee for long guns is a flat fee which covers all the long guns you currently own so whether you register 1 gun or 100 it will only cost you $18. There is no charge to re-register previously registered restricted or grandfathered prohibited firearms.
Bill C-15 Update
(An update of our previous update). As was noted in the December newsletter, Bill C-15 (which should resolve some of the grandfathered handgun problems for several thousand Canadian gun owners) is currently stuck in a parliamentary committee. It was originally supposed to be law by the end of November, 2002 but the September 11 terrorist attacks and some serious concerns raised about some of the other provisions of the bill have delayed its passage.
And exactly as we predicted, the government has now extended the amnesty on these firearms till Dec. 31, 2002. Therefore, if you own one or more prohibited handguns, any of which were purchased between Feb. 1995 and Dec. 1998, you just have to sit tight until the law is finally passed, hopefully some time in 2002. At that time you will become a grandfathered owner and can retain possession of the guns.
We should note, however, that it is still unclear whether you will be entitled to acquire additional grandfathered prohibited firearms or will simply be able to keep the ones you currently possess. Also, it has not yet been established what will happen to people who turned in their guns when they received the threatening letters from the RCMP. For example, will they be compensated for their loss since they could have kept the gun? Will they be able to regain the grandfathered status that they would have been entitled to had they not turned the guns in?
Many of these questions remain unanswered but we will pass the information on to you as soon as we have it. If you still have concerns or questions about this issue, give us a call.
Editor's Note - this is a perfect example of why you should never be in a hurry to comply with any aspect of the gun law. It is very conceivable that the people who will lose the most in this case are the ones who gave in to government pressure and turned in their prohibited guns when, in fact, they didn't have to.
Magazines or Not Magazines?
(Thanks (again) to Dave Tomlinson of the National Firearms Association for another priceless tidbit of information that might keep your backside out of jail).
While we are sure that none of our members need to know this information we publish it for the benefit of others who may not be aware of the laws regarding high capacity magazines
Recently the following letter came into the office. "Last week I purchased several boxes of reloading components at an auction. In the bottom of one of the boxes were 6 brand new AR-180 20 round .308 mags, 10 M-14 .308 20 round mags, 12 Mini-14? 30 round mags and 15 AK-47 30 round mags.
From the bill of sale that was still with the mags it appears they came across the line from Idaho in 1987, none appear to be used. What is the scope from a legal standpoint? Can I sell them stateside as pre-ban items, or by the simple act of possession am I breaking the law?"
Answer. This situation is rather odd. If you are in possession of complete magazines, those magazines are defined as "prohibited devices" by CC s 84(1) "prohibited device" (d) and you can be sent to prison for being in possession of them without the appropriate licence - which only a dealer can get.
In you are in possession of DISASSEMBLED magazines, however, you are apparently not in violation of any law. That is based on an old case, Regina versus Ross. Mr. Ross was caught in possession of a complete but disassembled silencer, which was at that time a "prohibited weapon" and is, today, a "prohibited device(c)". As the judge pointed out, no part of a silencer is still a silencer when the silencer is disassembled. That differs from the situation with a firearm, because no matter how far you disassemble a firearm, the "frame or receiver" is still a "firearm". Ross was found innocent, because he did not possess a silencer, and would not be in violation of the law UNLESS he assembled the parts INTO a complete silencer.
In R v. MacDonald, the police seized an AR-10 rifle and held it for several years. MacDonald eventually proved that it had left the factory as a semi-automatic rifle, and had never been capable of full automatic fire, so it was not a "converted automatic". It was a semi-auto and therefore a non-restricted firearm, not a CA (converted auto) firearm.
However, the magazine had become, during those years, a "prohibited device" that could not be returned to him. Acting on NFA advice (the situation had been foreseen), MacDonald's lawyer pointed out that if the magazine was disassembled before being returned, the return would be legal under the concept set forth in R v. Ross. The judge agreed.
Copies of the R v. Ross and R v. MacDonald decisions are available from the NFA National Office.
In recent years dealers have successfully imported over-capacity magazines in the form of disassembled units, each comprising all necessary parts for one magazine in a plastic bag. Such "kits" can then legally be reassembled if they are converted to legal capacity BEFORE being reassembled.
However, do not be surprised if some local police or CFO authority charges you with an offense for possession of parts. Many officials do not know about R v. Ross and R v. MacDonald, so they misinterpret the law.
If you do run into trouble, call on the NFA for assistance and DO NOT answer ANY questions at all about ANYTHING until you have your lawyer present., and until you are satisfied that your lawyer has been thoroughly briefed by the NFA, and that he has read the two cases.
Our last newsletter contained information on the strategy of dual/multiple registration of firearms by the Dec. 31/02 deadline. This clever approach eliminates many of the hassles encountered with inheritance and sharing of firearms between friends and relatives.
Unfortunately, due to the short notice upon which this information was received a few of the instructions needed more complete explanation and hopefully this addendum will do that.
If you wish to have other relatives or friends register one or more of your firearms in their name do the following: either you or they can call the CFC and indicate that the transfer should be started. Usually the clerk will ask who the "buyer" or "purchaser" is. Your response should be "It is being transferred to..." This statement protects you from their unwarranted assumption that there is a "buyer" or "purchaser". A second or subsequent registration certificate will then be issued in the name of your relative or friend but yours will still be valid since you did not sell the gun and therefore also retain ownership.
A second strategy (our thanks to member DR for this one) is to simply fill out and mail in the registration application(s) for your gun(s) to the CFC. The CFC will then issue the appropriate registration certificates. Then your relative(s) and/or friend(s) can send in registration applications for the same gun(s) and they will be issued different registration certificates. Thus, there will be multiple certificates for each firearm and all of them are perfectly valid.
If each application is sent in marked "Unknown" it is even less likely that anyone at the CFC would ever challenge the fact that what appears to be the same gun was registered to more than one person.
This approach may seem a little complicated but it's a great way to avoid the bureaucratic hassles that can be encountered when two or more people share a firearm.
If you have questions about this, please contact us.
Registration Information Packages
If you were unable to attend Firearm Forum 2001 you can still get a copy of our extensive package of material dealing with registration strategies. They are available at the TSCON table at our gun shows, can be downloaded from our website or can be obtained by calling any member of the TSCON Executive
If attendance at "Firearm Forum 2001" was any indication, there are a lot of people out there who are still very unsure about how they should approach the upcoming long gun registration. If you are a member of an organization (gun club, hunting and/or fishing club, service organization, church group, Legion branch, veterans group, trapping association, etc.) or just have a bunch of buddies who would like to become more informed, The Sporting Clubs of Niagara would be happy to put on a presentation for your group. Just contact us to make arrangements regarding a date and time. While we gratefully accept donations, the presentations are completely free of charge. So is the literature that we provide. Don't trust the gossip you hear around the gun club or BS from the local know-it-all. We do our best to provide you with honest, accurate, up-to-date information. Just give us a call.
CSSA/CILA at Club Roma
On Wednesday, Feb. 13/02, representatives from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action will be presenting an information session to update gun owners on the current state of firearms legislation. The location is Club Roma on Vansicle Road in St. Catharines and the time is 7:00 pm. All are welcome.
New Registration Slips
Those of you who have received firearm registration slips recently were probably surprised to find that they are no longer plastic cards but ordinary pieces of paper run off on a computer printer. This is another indication that the firearm registration system is having big money problems. Not only are these slips extremely easy to counterfeit but they are also easily damaged and since you must carry them with you when transporting guns for any purpose (including hunting) they are bound to self-destruct in short order. They also contain little useful information, omitting, among other things, the model and number of shots. Can you spell DESPERATION.
If you received a 2002 membership card in this mailing your membership has expired. Why not take a minute to fill out the card and send it in with your cheque. Help us continue our work by supporting TSCON with a membership. Just $10 a year! Aren't your guns worth it?
If you receive a card but have renewed, please accept our thanks and ignore the renewal. Better than that, why not pass the card on to a non-member and convince them to sign up.
We still 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:
T-shirts XL $16 XXL $18 Sweats XL $20 XXL $22
They are available at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.
To help you comply with the safe storage laws The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has trigger locks for sale. They aren't fancy and they take a few seconds to put on and take off but they are legal and, best of all, are cheap, only $2.00 each! 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.
TSCON Web Site
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative information are available on our web site: http://www.vaxxine.com/scon
Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686
Gun Show Location
Please note the new location for our gun shows:
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave.
If you would like tables at our next show (Feb. 15/02) you should contact Ted Valliere right away at 905-935-3893. Our shows are usually sold out and often we do not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!
Gun Show Admission Increase
After several years of holding our admission fee at $3 (probably the cheapest in Canada), rising costs for hall rental, advertising, newsletter postage, etc. have finally forced us to raise the gun show admission price to $4. This is likely still the lowest admission around but we hope it will not cause anyone any undue financial burden. When you have to reach for that extra loonie we ask you to please remember that we are a strictly non-profit organization, everyone involved in our organization is an unpaid volunteer and all the money we raise goes directly into the fight to preserve your right to own and use firearms. We thank you for your understanding and, we hope, your continued support.
2002 Gun Show Dates
The dates for our 2002 gun shows are as follows: Feb. 15/02 April 19/02 Sept. 13/02 Dec. 13/02
Free Classified Ads for Members
Classified ads for shooting and hunting related items are free for members. Please call 905-685-4480 and submit ads by the following dates for inclusion in the latest newsletter:
Vol. 8 #2 March 20, 2002 Vol. 8 #3 Aug. 15, 2002
For Sale: Smith & Wesson Mod. 57 handgun, .41 magnum, EX, $350; Smith & Wesson Mod. 52 handgun, 38 Special, w/Aimpoint red dot, EX, $700; Beretta 686 Onyx Sporting Clays shotgun, 12 ga., 28", 3½" chamber, ported barrels, adj. comb, w/chokes, EX, $1300; Merkel O/U shotgun, 12 ga., 28", VG, $1400; Liberty Arms Stagecoach shotgun, 12 ga. SxS, 20", VG-EX, $350; offers considered on any or all; Hornady reloading equipment (all brand new); dies: 6.5X55, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, 7.62X39, $25 ea.; case trimmer w/10 pilots, $65; steel dial caliper, $50; powder measure w/rifle & pistol chambers, $75; case care kit, $25; also Chrony chronograph, used, good condition, $70; call Gerry 905-685-4480
For Sale: parts and stocks for Beretta 303 (640 series); parts for Kreighoff Mod. 30; stocks for Husqvarna 9000 and Tikka 55 & 65 (schnabel forend);call Joe 514-621-5888
Wanted: compound crossbow, 150 lbs. at a reasonable price. Also looking for hunting clothes 2XL or larger; call Haynes 905-641-1397
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.
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.
General 905-685-4480 905-937-2301 Memberships 905-685-4480 Gun Show 905-935-3893 FAX 905-934-8039 Mail TSCON Box 21047 St. Catharines, ON L2M 7X2
DRAW PRIZE WINNERS
The following members are winners in our latest draw. Please call Gerry at 905-685-4480 to arrange to pick up your prize.
Winner Prize Donated By Geoffrey Virag TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara Chris Prest Stihl pocket knife Niagara Saw Richard Pyrce Hunting Equipment Frontier Gun and Sport Andy Jansen TSCON 2002 Membership The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Gun Show - Friday, Feb. 15, 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
For tables call Ted @ 905-935-3893