Volume 8, Number 3 Sept. 2002
Message from the President
It has been a hot summer. Not only has the heat been the type that creates the distracting shimmering waves in your rifle scope at the range, but it has also been hot on the political scene relating to gun con control. The political heat has been caused by the rapidly increasing evidence that the Firearms Act is an even bigger sham than predicted.
Costs continue to soar and are officially nearing $1 billion. Violent felons continue to access and misuse firearms. Coast to coast, the police remain confused by the complexity and size of the Firearms Act. Firearms Center spokespersons continue to twist, untwist and then re-twist figures relating to the number of guns, owners and dollars spent on the program. Courts are beginning to rule portions of the law unconstitutional. The accuracy of the information in the registry continues to worsen. Honest gun owners continue to wait until the last minute before registering their firearms. Etc. etc. etc.
How the program continues to stand up under the mountain of evidence showing it is an utter failure defies belief! Keep the faith - don't be discouraged, this nightmare WILL end and we will eventually get good gun laws that punish criminals and not the law abiding.
While writing this I came across an news clipping from the Pope's summer visit to Toronto. It shows Prime Minstrel Jean Chretien presenting Jean Paul II with an Inuit soapstone carving. In view of Jean's penchant for using a similar carving as a weapon of self defense (remember the burglar incident?) it seems like a poor choice of gift to give a man who has devoted his life to spreading God's message of peace and hope. Too bad the RCMP did not arrest Chretch for weapons trafficking.
Please renew your TSCON membership. Your financial assistance helps us work towards restoring common sense.
Kindest regards to you all,
John A. Gayder
It is with great sadness that we report that TSCON Executive Director Max Goltz passed way on Friday, July 26, 2002 after a brief illness.
Since moving to St. Catharines from Northern Ontario in 1997, Max was very active as an executive director with "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara". Some fairly serious health problems never managed to slow Max down and he was always one of the first to pitch in and help, whether it was assisting with one of the presentations we make to local hunting or shooting groups, working at our information table at local fairs and sporting events or helping out at the club table at the TSCON gun shows.
A WW II veteran, Max also held the distinction of being one of the one of the founders of the modern National Firearms Association and remained an NFA Field Officer for the rest of his life. He was our main source of the NFA material which we distribute at our various functions. While only a relative newcomer to the Niagara area, TSCON members took an immediate liking to Max for his 'down home' charm and extensive knowledge of hunting and shooting. We are going to miss him a lot.
Our sympathies go to his wife Gloria and his children at this difficult time.
Gun Law Found to Violate Privacy Rights. We Told Them So!
The Ontario Court of Appeal has struck down a portion of the Firearms Act because it allows police to go on "wholesale fishing expeditions" in people's homes. In an important victory for homeowners' rights, the court declared section 117.04(1) of the Criminal Code unconstitutional by a 3-0 decision. The law gave police the right to conduct sweeping bodily or residential searches for guns or ammunition, even if they have no reason to believe or suspect the person has weapons.
Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver said the law suffers from "incurable overbreadth" and violates protections against unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "It allows for wholesale fishing expeditions in which the police are permitted to invade an individual's privacy in circumstances where they may have no reason to even suspect, let alone believe, that the person of concern has any weapons or other dangerous items in his or her possession," said Moldaver, writing for the other justices on the panel.
The feds now have six months to rewrite the law. Meanwhile, the court said police seeking search warrants to look for guns should follow suggested interim legislation, submitted to the court by federal and provincial counsel. It mandates police provide some evidence demonstrating reasonable grounds exist to believe that a person has a weapon or ammunition and that it isn't in the interest of public safety for them to possess it.
Toronto defence lawyers Adam Boni and William Trudell represented Kenneth Roy Hurrell, who had 12 firearms, two crossbows, 11 containers of assorted ammunition and a Firearms Acquisition Certificate seized when police entered his home in London, Ont., on Feb. 2, 2000. "What we tried to achieve in the Court of Appeal was to bring this legislation back in line with Canadians' high expectations of privacy in the home," said Boni. "This legislation made it very, very easy for the police to walk into anybody's home and rifle through it, pardon the pun, for firearms," he continued, adding that it could also be used as a justification for strip searches.
**Editor's Note - Many of you are aware of the case of Yukon resident Allan Carlos who was charged with unsafe storage of a firearm and twice acquitted. The Crown appealed to the Liberal appointed Supreme Court justices?? who then promptly found Carlos guilty. Ironically, police obtained their now illegal search warrant which led to the charges against Carlos under the very section of the Firearms Act that has now been found unconstitutional. Carlos now has to go back for sentencing before the same judge who earlier found him innocent.
We'll keep you posted on this mess as it unfolds.
CGI and First Service's Inc.: Enablers of Tyranny
Two private Canadian firms have been given contracts to run the technical and customer service side of the gun registry and licensing.
CGI will build the electronic solution and BDP will develop the business processing functions related to the Firearms Act. "Key features of the secure multi-channeled solution, which leverages the advantages of component-based architecture offering advanced workflow capabilities and customer-centric servicing, include compliance with program requirements, program access, enhanced client service and consistency with international obligations related to the transportation of firearms," says the new release. The contracts are for a nine-month period and are worth $36 million. It has the potential to be renewed for up to 15 years.
CGI's shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). They are included in the TSX 100 Composite Index as well as the S&P/TSX Canadian Information Technology and Canadian MidCap Indices. First Service shares are listed on the TSX (FSV) and NASDAQ (FSRV). Keep this in mind when investing.
NRP & Registration Certificates
Due to the abysmal wording of the Firearms Act, it is possible that people who submit their firearm registration applications by the Dec. 31/02 deadline could still be charged with possession of unregistered firearms if they do not have the certificates in hand by Jan. 1/02 (a feat even the ultra-efficient Canadian Firearms Centre is unlikely to be able to accomplish).
Thus, this poorly written law will create thousands of instant criminals on Jan. 1/03. To address the potential disaster, TSCON President John Gayder recently contacted Niagara Regional Police Chief Gary Nicholls regarding our concerns. The following excerpt is from a letter from Chief Nicholls dated 2002 06 21.
"It is the (NRP) Service's position not to lay charges, as long as the person has made application to register his/her firearm. This would only apply to persons who made application up to and including December 31, 2002. Staff advises me that the R.C.M.P. are in agreement to this approach...".
Please note that it is still up to you to prove that you have applied to register your firearms. For that reason our previous advice regarding correspondence with the CFC is doubly important. Remember to:
Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act
Outdoor heritage recognized. New law fulfils pledge to hunters, anglers.
Ontario's outdoors heritage and the province's highly successful fish and wildlife programs have finally been Recognized with the passage of Bill 135, the Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act. The act fulfils the (Conservative) government's commitment to anglers and hunters across the province to introduce legislation that legally recognizes the right to hunt and fish in accordance with the law. At the same time, it ensures that the government can continue to manage fish and wildlife resources in a sound, sustainable manner.
"With the passage of this legislation, we are fulfilling a commitment that we made to anglers and hunters across the province," said Natural Resources Minister Jerry Ouellette. "I have been an outdoorsman all my life, and this act will help ensure that future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy hunting and fishing that I did."
The Heritage Hunting and
Fishing Act will also establish the Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission
to provide advice to the minister about a variety of fish and wildlife initiatives
and to promote increased public involvement in recreational hunting and fishing
and other fish and wildlife activities.
In April 2002, John Gayder and Gerry Gamble of TSCON met with Tony Bernardo and Rick Morgan of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. CSSA has become one of Canada's most influential pro-gun organizations and we look forward to developing a close working relationship with them. To encourage TSCON members to join CSSA they have offered a $10 discount off the $35 yearly membership. Some of the CSSA benefits include:
To receive your $10 discount, when you fill out your application, include a note that you are a current member of TSCON.
This warning from CSSA.
If you are currently grandfathered for any of the prohibited classes of firearms (short barrels, prohibited rifles, etc.), and have not applied to re-register these firearms, you should do so immediately! The reason is that the way the law is written (again, poorly). It states that the individual, 12(6)(c) "beginning on the commencement day (Feb. 14, 1995) was continuously the holder of a registration certificate for one or more of those handguns."
All current registration certificates for restricted and prohibited firearms issued prior to Dec. 1, 1998 will expire on Dec. 31, 2002. If you do not have your certificates issued by Dec. 31, 2002 you will not be in 'continuous ownership' and your "grandfathered status" will cease. This means you will no longer be legally entitled to own your own firearms.
If you have any questions about this, call us right away!
If you have registered firearms and, as we suggested, entered "Unknown" in any of the information fields, you have likely received from the CFC a "sticky" tag along with a registration certificate for the gun. Basically the "sticky" is just an adhesive tag with a number on it that you are supposed attach to the firearm in a prescribed location. The number on the tag matches the number on the certificate.
If you need further evidence that the government has given up on accurate registration, this is it. While the gun is technically registered according to the "sticky" number, there is no actual physical description of the gun in the registry. How that helps the police or anyone else to uniquely identify the gun is beyond our comprehension..
Originally all guns registered as "Unknown" were supposed to eventually be inspected by government verifiers who were to determine exactly what the gun was and enter the information in the Registry. However, the verifier system is now in a shambles and the number of verifiers has declined to the point where inspecting each "Unknown" gun is going to be virtually impossible.
Obviously this is going to be an ongoing headache for the Firearm Registry. How adhesive tags are supposed to stick to well-oiled, well waxed or rusty guns being dragged through the brush by deer hunters or dropped in the water by duck hunters is unclear. Lost or damaged tags will obviously have to be replaced since it will be illegal to have guns without the "sticky" attached to them. It is expected that many careless or overzealous oilers and waxers may have to apply for several replacement "stickies" each year, placing an additional burden on an already overloaded system.
If you have any questions or are confused about the "stickies" give us a call.
Annual General Meeting
To bring the date of our yearly elections into line with our Annual General Meeting, May elections have been postponed until the AGM on September 5, 2002. All paid up 2002 and 2003 members are eligible to bring forward nominations and vote for candidates. Take this opportunity to come on out and exercise your member rights. We are also looking for interested persons to serve on the Executive. Come out and help us in our battle to preserve you firearm rights.
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.
While the deadline for registering all firearms is only about four months away, judging by the number of phone calls we are getting there are a lot of people out there who are still very unsure about how they should deal with 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.
If you received a 2003 membership card form in this mailing you are not a paid member. Why not fill it in 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.
And Now, Hats and Crests
Due to popular demand, TSCON hats and crests will soon be available. Check at the TSCON club table at the September gun show.
Trigger Locks on Sale!
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 now, even better news. They have been reduced in price to only $1.00 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:
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 (Sept. 13 /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!
2002 Gun Show Dates
The dates for our 2002 gun shows are as follows:
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 #4 Nov. 15, 2002
For Sale: Smith & Wesson Model 14 revolver, 6 shot, 6" heavy slab barrel, Wichita Supreme 4 position sight, Pachmayr grips, honed action, hard cover carry case, trigger lock, asking $400 or best offer; call Ivan 905-934-6882
For Sale: Remington 870 Wingmaster, 12 gauge, 30" plain barrel, full, VG, $250: Browning Auto-5, 12 gauge, 28" VR, modified, EX, $550: consider offers on all; call Gerry 905-685-4480
For Sale: Lee Load-All
2 shotshell reloader, complete with 12 gauge & 20 gauge
bushings, 250 Winchester wads, powder & shot, manuals plus extras, $150
or best offer.
Moved, Address Changes, Etc.
For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal of a name from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 905-685-4480.
General 905-685-4480 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-935-3893
St. Catharines, ON
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.
Remember C-68 When You Vote!!
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.
||The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
||Stihl pocket knife
||Frontier Gun and Sport
||Free PAL test (transferrable)
||Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)