The Sporting Clubs
Volume 8, Number 4 Nov. 2002
Message from the President
The Law says all guns must be registered by January 1, 2003. In the years ahead, will this date be looked back upon as a watershed moment in Canadian history? It has the potential.
If the government ever wanted to institute a ban on civilian ownership of firearms, the only true way to gauge the effectiveness of it is to know how many guns exist, who has them, what type they are and where they are kept.
Is the Canadian government currently planning a total ban? Probably not. But nobody, NOBODY can tell what the future may hold. Who will be in power 10 years from now? Will they "reluctantly" use the registry to ban and confiscate guns in Canada after another mental mutant goes on a rampage? Who will be in power 10 years after that? Will they raise the income tax to 95%? Will they try to round up and imprison homosexuals? Will they outlaw free elections? Again, probably not, but what would stop them from doing these kind of things if they did not fear the ultimate possibility of meaningful resistance?
Before you dismiss the idea of such drastic measures ever happening, let's pause to remember our own government's treatment of Canadians of Japanese ancestry during WWII, the Doukhobors, natives, and APEC protestors. As I write this, the radio tells me 14 Alberta farmers have been put into prison for selling their own wheat. Recent newspaper stories relate how our elected Members of Parliament are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of true democracy in our government.
Our Commonwealth cousins in Australia (who share our same British legal heritage) have already experienced a virtual ban on firearms. Ten years ago most Australian gun owners thought the idea of a gun ban was warrantless, ridiculous, absurd, irrational, alarmist and something only an "extremist" would worry about. Think of the misery and death that could have been prevented if more people had paid attention to the "senselessly paranoid worrywarts" in places like Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Algeria, Indonesia, Cambodia and Uganda.
I have had many people tell me that from a historical/political point of view they think it makes sense to keep a rifle or two unregistered, well oiled and well hidden in addition to the guns they register. These people tell me they are keeping these "rainy day" rifles on behalf of their grandchildren and for Canada's sake. Is keeping an unregistered firearm legally dangerous? Absolutely! If found, such a firearm could get you large fines, jail time and the loss of all of your firearms. As unpleasant as these potential penalties are, they are really nothing compared to the past sacrifices made by the veterans of our armed forces in order to hand us a free country.
As William Faulkner observed, "We are not free because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
A torch is being passed to you on December 31st. Will you carry it?
Kindest regards to you all,
John A. Gayder
The approaching Dec. 31/02 deadline for registering all firearms makes the option to loan rather than sell firearms much more attractive for gun owners.
Bill C-68 made loaning possible. However, many people simply chose to ignore the law and sell their long guns without bothering to officially transfer them. Since long guns were not registered this was quite simple to do and not terribly risky, especially when dealing with people you knew.
When all legal firearms are registered, however, this will no longer be an option as there will be a paper trail for the gun. In addition, once the government thinks it has all the guns registered, the $25 transfer fee will come back into force. While this might not bother you if you are buying a $10,000 Perazzi shotgun, how will you feel about paying a $25 fee to transfer a $25 Cooey single shot rifle? This is where loaning comes into play.
Firearms Act Section 33 allows for the loaning of firearms in all categories including restricted and prohibited.
By following a few basic rules most of the registration and transfer nonsense can be avoided.
A firearm can be loaned if the following conditions are met:
1. The borrower must have a *licence* for that class of firearm (you should check the licence to verify this). They then become the "holder" of the registration certificate for that firearm under CC s. 84(4)(b)(ii)].
**Note that a licence includes a PAL, FAC or POL (yes, a POL!)
2. If the firearm is loaned, the registration certificate must accompany it.
NOTE - This worries some people as they say "What will happen if I am stopped by the police or a conservation officer and I produce a certificate for someone else's gun. Even ignoring the fact that the loan is legal anyway, the certificates don't have the owner's name on them, so unless the policeman or CO has a computer immediately at hand to check (which they probably won't since you have a certificate), they would not even know that you didn't own the gun.
3. Do your best to determine that the person is not drunk, under the influence of drugs, does not indicate that they intend to use the firearm criminally and does not have any court imposed restrictions on owning firearms (very difficult to determine without access to police computers, but that is not your problem). As long as you see a valid licence, that is the government's assurance that the person is law-abiding.
Some other considerations which make this option particularly attractive are:
1. Nothing prevents you from asking for a damage deposit (for example, the value of the gun) which would be refunded only upon the return of the gun.
2. There are no time limits on loans. A gun could be loaned for 100 years.
3. If you loan someone a gun they may, in turn, loan it to others as long as the above conditions are met.
NOTE: We have been asked about your legal liability should the borrower use the gun to commit a crime. This is essentially the same as loaning your car to someone (which most all of us have done at one time or another). As long as the borrower has a valid driver's licence it is permissible. If they drive drunk or get a speeding ticket the responsibility falls on them, not you. Your legal obligation is limited to insuring that they are licenced and any insurance obligations have been met.
The government has made loaning a viable option to costly and time consuming sales and transfers. We suggest you use this option whenever possible.
Registering As "Unknown" (the saga continues)
Much debate has occurred about the strategy of registering firearms as "Unknown". Well it appears that the naysayers put too much faith in the efficiency of the government. A Sept./02 news release from our friend MP Garry Breitkreuz shows the following:
1. The firearm registry has accepted 71,072 registrations simply filled out as "Unknown"
2. They have also accepted 727,000 registrations with no serial number
3. A further 222,911 firearms registered have duplicate make/serial number combinations. With less than 5 million guns registered, this means that over 20% (about 1 gun in 5) cannot be uniquely identified by the registry. Given these numbers we are at a loss to explain how this registry is making people safer. Perhaps CFC mouthpiece David Austin or your local MP who voted for it can tell you. Why not call and ask them.
Given these developments we stand by our original advice. To avoid incriminating yourself by making an incorrect entry on your registration forms, enter "Unknown" in all the fields. If questioned why, simply reply state that you are not a firearm expert and are not willing to risk prosecution by filling in potentially incorrect information. State that the government can get the information by sending a verifier to check your guns. With the verifier system in shambles it is a good bet that you will be old and grey before anyone ever knocks on your door.
Grandfathered 12/6 Guns & Registration
If you purchased prohibited handguns between Feb. 1995 and Dec. 1998, once Bill C-15B (now renamed Bill C-10) passes (if it does) you will be "grandfathered" because it changes the "grandfathering" date from Feb. 14 1995 to Dec. 1 1998. Your firearm cannot be re-registered until C-10 passes, but you can continue to possess it under the amnesty. An application to register cannot be processed until C-10 passes and is proclaimed as law, but if you apply anyway, the application places you solidly within the language of the amnesty. It makes it extremely difficult for anyone to prosecute you for possession of a non-re-registered firearm. If questioned, simply state that you tried to re-register to comply with the law.
If you have not re-registered previously registered firearms you should do this ASAP. When filling out the forms put down only the previous certificate number and not the serial number. Also, if you write "Unknown" in the serial number space rather than checking the "Unknown" box this will require that the information be hand entered rather than computer scanned. Using coloured ink like pink or green (not blue or black) prevents scanning of the information and also requires hand entry.
A Tip from the NFA:
Print on the application itself: "CAUTION! Some of
the information printed on this/these registration certificate(s) may be in error!" (which is true).
If asked which data is in error, say "I have no idea. I only know that these registration certificates were issued at a time BEFORE the national standards published in the Firearms Reference Tables were available, so errors are PROBABLE."
Giving them ANY information from the old green certificate can get you charged with the offence of giving false or misleading information in an effort to get a registration certificate. Don't risk it. Let them use their own data, or send a verifier to your home to look at the firearm.
Firearm Possession Without a Licence (from CSSA)
We have had several calls from people who own firearms but their licence is expired. If you are in this situation here is what you should do.
1. Transfer your firearms to a trusted friend with a valid firearm licence immediately for "Temporary Storage" (remember location of storage does not constitute ownership). Ensure that the friend is entitled to possess firearms of the type transferred and that safe storage facilities for the types of firearms transferred are present. You will require an ATT to transport Restricted/Prohibited firearms (call 1-800-731-4000, pick option one to reach an extension and enter 7502 for the Firearms Office in Orillia)
2. Renew your licence (you may have to take the Canadian Firearm Safety Test if you have not already done so). Contact us for info if this is the case.
3. Upon receipt of your new firearms licence transfer your firearms back to your residence (with an ATT for restricted/prohibited).
Registration Certificates After Dec. 31/02
After Dec. 31, 2002 police or conservation officers can require that you produce a registration certificate for any firearm in your possession (including when you are hunting). We suggest that you carry photocopies and store the originals in a safe place. Apparently it is OK to laminate the certificates and and/or photo reduce them in size (as long as they are still legible). If you have not received your certificates (which is highly likely given the mess at the registry), carry photocopies of your applications, your registered letter receipt and your money order receipt to prove that you have tried to comply with the law.
Most firearm owners who have been calling the CFC's 1-800-731-4000 number are getting a message that says "sorry, due to higher than normal call volumes we can not answer your call". This has made it impossible for people to get forms to register their firearms. If you have had this happen, here is what we recommend you do:
If you cannot get through to the Firearms Centre, tell the CEO of the Canadian Firearms Centre about the problems you're having:
Canadian Firearms Centre
#720 10909 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, AB T5J 3L9
Fax: (780) 495-8089
As CEO he is responsible for all actions taken.
Lastly, contact the:
Chief Firearms Officer for Ontario
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, ON L3V 7V3
Tel: (705) 329-5522
Fax: (705) 329-5623
Ask him how you can comply with the law if you can't get the forms.
NOTE: If none of the above efforts produces the required forms, you still must protect yourself. If you have at least one of the bar-coded forms, make photocopies and send them in with a note that it is the best you can do since they can't provide what you require. If you don't have even one form, type up a list and send it in with a similar note. Minimal information like "3 shotguns and 2 rifles, please send forms or a verifier" is best. By sending something you are showing that you are trying to comply with the law.Airguns
The airgun fiasco continues to brew. Despite assurances from the CFC (can you take anything they say seriously) the RCMP continues to add airguns to the firearm list. This puts airgun owners in a very difficult position as no one seems to know what is going on. We suggest you:
a) call your local RCMP office and request a list of all airguns they have put on the firearm list. If they say they don't have it ask how you are supposed to know which airguns have to be registered. Tell them they are the ones who are reclassifying them.
b) if in doubt, register the air guns as "Unknown" in all categories, get a "stickie" for it and treat it like a real firearm. If they ever sort the mess out and it turns out that it is not a firearm you can request to de-register it the same as you would an antique firearm. Better to be safe than sorry.
It has just come to our attention that Chapters/Indigo Books is going to stop carrying firearm publications. While claiming it is an economic decision, all evidence points to an anti-gun agenda as the real reason. We suggest you cease all dealings with Chapter/Indigo and contact their head office to let them know what you are doing. This is the only type of response these anti-gun bigots understand.
More evidence about the level to which anti-gun dirtbags will stoop.
Professor Michael Bellesiles, whose book "Arming America" was hailed as proof that America had no well-rooted history of firearms ownership, has resigned his position at Emory University after a determination that he failed to carefully document his findings, failed to make available to others his sources, evidence, and data, and misrepresented evidence or the sources of evidence (he claimed to have used records which were later found to have been destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a neat trick). An independent review panel stated "Yet the best that can be said of his work with the probate and militia records is that he is guilty of unprofessional and misleading work. Every aspect of his work in the probate records is deeply flawed. Even allowing for the loss of some of his research materials (he claimed they were lost in a flood!), he appears not to have been systematic in selecting repositories or collections of probate records for examination and his recording methods were at best primitive and altogether unsystematic."
Our latest installment confirms the fact that despite never missing a chance to spout off about guns, many people in the media actually have little or no clue about firearms.
The October 31 st. 2002 Winnipeg Press tells how a young RCMP officer who was trapped in a building with some bad guys "fired his 9mm semi-automatic Smith and Wesson revolver into the ceiling to force his attackers to back off." Pardon? What the hell is a semi-auto revolver? Other than the commercially unsuccessful Mateba, we know of no firearm using such an action. Certainly nothing like that was ever issued to the RCMP. When we confronted the reporter about this error via email, he sheepishly replied that he was simply passing on what the RCMP had told him… Groan! It seems that the effects of removing firearms from the fabric of society have resulted in even the police knowing very little about guns. And we are supposed to trust them to knowledgeably enforce our gun laws?
2003 Gun Shows
New gun show regulations are supposed to come into force on Jan. 1/03. If they will or not remains to be seen as few of the firearm regulation deadlines have ever been met. The requirements are mainly stupid bureaucratic annoyances. However, most vendors only work gun shows as a hobby and this may well be enough to discourage some of them. We will run gun shows as long as we have vendors to fill the hall. For that reason we have booked our first show for Feb. 14/ 03. By that time we should know what is going to happen but at the moment we are in the dark. Watch the January newsletter for an update.
Still confused about firearm registration? If your organization or just a bunch of friends would like to become more informed, we would be happy to put on a presentation for your group. Just contact TSCON to make arrangements for a date and time. While we gratefully accept donations, the presentations are free of charge. So is the literature that we provide. Don't trust gun club gossip or BS from the local know-it-all. We do our best to provide you with honest, accurate, up-to-date information.
Registration Info Packages
Our extensive package of material with registration strategies are still available. Get them at the TSCON table at our gun shows, download them from our website or call a TSCON Executive member.
All 2002 memberships expire on Dec. 31/02. Complete the enclosed application 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 received a card but have already renewed, please accept our thanks and ignore the renewal. Even better, pass the card on to a non-member and convince them to sign up.
Sale!! Trigger Locks
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. Locks are now 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. Large quantities available!
Our popular "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts and sweat shirts are still available. Both are very good quality and available in the following sizes:
T-shirts XL $16 XXL $18 Sweats XL $20 XXL $22
Get yours at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.
Hats and Crests
Due to popular demand, TSCON hats and crests will soon be available. Check at the TSCON club table at the December gun show.
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
Our gun shows are at:
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave.
If you want tables for the Dec. 13/02 show contact Ted Valliere right away at 905-935-3893. Shows are usually sold out and often we do not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!
Gun Show Dates
The dates for our upcoming gun shows are:
Feb. 14/03 (tentative)
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 next newsletter:
>Vol. 9 #1 Jan.. 15, 2003
For Sale: Lee Load-All 2 shotshell reloader, complete with 12 gauge & 20 gauge bushings, 250 Winchester wads, shot, manuals plus extras, $150 or best offer, call Ken 905-563-7175
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: Colt New Frontier
revolver, 44-40, F-G,
Parker SXS, 12 ga , G, best offer on both, call Wayne 705-647-4848
For Sale: Ithaca Model 51 Featherlite
shotgun, 12 ga. semi-auto, 2 3/4", 30" barrel, vent rib, full choke, as new, $375 or best offer
Ithaca model XL 900 shotgun, 12 ga., semi-auto, 2 3/4", 26" barrel, vent rib, improved cylinder choke, recoil pad, with hard case, VG, $385 or best offer
Browning A-5 Light 12 shotgun (Belgium), 12 ga., semi-auto, 2 3/4", drilled for scope mount (base, mount & rings included), 3 barrels available (24" slug w/rifle sights, 28" vent rib modified, 30" vent rib full), sell as a package or gun and barrels individually, VG, 80%, slug barrel $225 or offer, modified or full barrel $175 or offer, package $775 or best offer
Stevens Model 311A, 20 gauge SXS, 2 3/4", recoil pad, double triggers, G, $250 or best offer
Winchester Model 94, manufactured 1912, .32 Spec., 26" barrel, hard case, F-G, $425 or best offer
Cooey Model 60, .22 long rifle, bolt action, tubular mag, small weaver scope, G, nice starter gun for a youngster, $65 or best offer, call Gerry 905-685-4480
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 905-685-4480.
General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-935-3893
St. Catharines, ON
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
John Thompson (Fonthill)
Stihl pocket knife
Frontier Gun and Sport
Free PAL Test (transferrable)
Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)
G u n S h o w
Friday, Dec. 13, 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave., St. Catharines