The Sporting Clubs
Volume 9, Number 1 Jan. 2003
Message from the President
"Upon the plains of hesitation are the bleached bones of countless millions, who on the threshold of victory sat down to wait, and in waiting they died." ~ author unknown
Canada's ruling Liberal Party came close to falling due to the Firearms Act. It still might. Countless foul ups and delays along with the Liberal's gross underestimation of the number of firearms (and the peaceful, patient resolve of their owners) has forced the flaws which we have known existed in the system out into the daylight for the non gun owning public to see. Thanks to Auditor-General Sheila Fraser's scathing report about the gross expense and inefficiency of the system, and the mendacity of the people running it - the entire gun control debate has been rekindled. In fact, it has become a political bonfire! The A.G.'s report caused such a stir the Liberals withdrew their request for $72 million in administrative funds needed for the Firearms Act from a year-end spending bill. They did so for fear of losing passage of the entire bill. Had the bill not passed, it would have been seen as a vote of non-confidence and forced an election!
Coupled with financial and ethical woes came the dogged determination of brave resistors who forced an embarrassing extension of sorts to the governments previously "carved in stone" January 1 registration deadline by waiting until the last minute to submit their forms. This brinkmanship (albeit some of it unintentional) resulted in the Rube Goldberg "Letter of Intent to Register" scheme.
With its funding cut, the Justice Department must now administer the law using the same underhanded "cash management" methods (secretly switching money from other law enforcement programs) that got them into trouble with the AG in the first place. It is only a matter of time until they get in even more trouble for this. Also, the plan to have the HUGE pile of waiting registration and licencing forms handled by a private company has been put on hold. The explanations given for this are murky, but I suspect it secretly involves cold feet on the part of the company that signed up for the task - what sane businessperson would want to entangle their firm in a program that has become so embattled and had it's funding cut?
The Liberals are terrified of any further fallout from the Firearms Act. They have admitted that at least 20 Ontario ridings are now at risk in the next election because of it. Many media outlets, which were previously friendly supporters of the Firearms Act have admitted they were hoodwinked!
The gun control program is now being watched from all sides with mostly hostile scrutiny. More audits are coming. Justifying its future funding will be difficult, if not impossible - even for it's most ardent supporters.
If there was ever a chance for victory in this struggle it is now. But you (that means YOU - the one holding this newsletter) must be prepared to personally put in a couple of hours effort to help push the Firearms Act over the edge. You must write every Members of Parliament and tell them that enough is enough. Call us and we make it very easy for you to do this. We will help if YOU step forward. We have the technology. If the Lieberals know that this issue is still infuriating a lot of people - they will be more likely to dump it and replace it with something sensible.
Press onward! Keep Moving!
John A. Gayder
A "Conspiracy Theory" No Longer
On occasion we gets complaints (usually from non-members) that we are 'too radical' or are 'fear mongering' and should be 'more cooperative' so the government will view us in a more favourable light. Well, for those who subscribe to these weak-kneed platitudes, the Auditor-General's report had a few things to say that don't make us look like wild-eyed anarchists after all. Writing in the Nov. 24 issue of "The Globe and Mail" just after the report was made public, columnist John Ibbitson observed the following:
"At the heart of this deception, however, was >an anti-gun attitude within the program itself. The registry was initially supposed to focus on a small minority of gun owners who posed a risk to society. Instead, by the department's own admission, the focus changed "to excessive regulation and enforcement of controls over all owners," making it "difficult for owners to comply with the program." And here is the sentence justifying every conspiracy theorist who argues the purpose of the registry is ultimately to confiscate the nation's firearms.
"The department said the excessive regulation had occurred [in part] because some of the program partners believed that the use of firearms is in itself a 'questionable activity' that required strong controls."
So what is the lesson we have learned here? Basically it means that no matter how much you kiss the government's ass, they won't trust you because you are a gun owner. Not because you are a crook, not because you are a child molester, but because you own guns!
New Poll Results
What a difference a report makes. The Liberals have always loved to trot out the old "80% of Canadians support the firearm registry". Well that support dried up faster than water on a hot gun barrel after the release of the AG's report.
Ten days after the "billion dollar boondoggle" was made public, an Ipsos-Reid poll showed that 53% of Canadians wanted the Registry scrapped compared to 43% who still supported it. While a 10% spread is significant enough by itself, what makes this poll even more shocking is the fact that in 10 days the support fell some 37% . When was the last time you heard of support for anything dropping that fast? Subsequent polls have continued to show Registry support plunging like a rock. Look for Liberal spin doctors to avoid references to the polls like they are a live grenade.
Rock Won't Run
Speaking of rocks, our friend Allan has pulled out of the Liberal leadership race, commenting that it was clear he couldn't win. Oh really! Call it a delicious coincidence but the same day he bailed out a report was released stating that he knew the Registry was going to be a money pit but he pushed ahead with it anyway. Why not drop him a note and express your condolences to:
c/o Parliament of Canada
New Deadline for Registration Certificates
Despite maintaining that there would be no registration extensions, in mid-December Justice Minister Martin Cauchon announced that as long as firearm registration applications had been submitted by Dec. 31/02, the owners would not be required to produce the registration certificates till June 30, 2003. So if you sent in your registration forms but have not received your certificates, you have till June 30/03 before you legally require them.
Letters of Intent
Cauchon had barely digested the hearty meal of crow he had to eat on the registration certificate extension when the chaos at the CFC forced him to announce that gun owners would not actually have to send in registration forms as long as they submitted a "Letter of Intent" by Dec. 31/02 in which they promised to register their guns by June 30/03. We have heard from a reliable source that in the five day period between the announcement and Dec. 31 the CFC received about 500,000 Letters of Intent. It is such a mess there that they were accepting applications well after the deadline. We suggest that if you have not already done so you submit a letter now. This will cover you in case you come upon a gun you had stashed away and forgotten about when you completed your registration applications. If you date it December 31/02 it is highly unlikely anyone at the CFC will even notice. We will have these available at the gun show. All you have to do is fill in your name, address and licence number.
Storing Firearms, Lending Firearms and Carrying Firearms Licences and Registration Certificates
On October 31, 2002 the lawyers in the Parliamentary Research Branch of the Library of Parliament, provided the following background information in response to the following questions from MP Garry Breitkreuz' Assistant Dennis Young but warned that their responses did not constitute legal advice (a bit odd since they are lawyers)
Must a person carry firearms licences and registration certificates with their firearms?
"There does not appear to be any positive requirement to carry a licence and registration certificate when in possession of a firearm. The legislation requires that a person be a holder of such documents to avoid being in contravention of the legislation. There may be negative consequences, however, if a person is not carrying the proper documents. Section 117.03
of the Criminal Code provides that a peace officer who finds a person in possession of a firearm and who fails to produce proper documentation at the peace officer's request may seize the firearm unless its possession by the person in the circumstances in which it is found is authorized by the legislation. The firearm would be returned if the person claims the firearm and produces the proper documentation within fourteen days."
Must firearms be stored at the address listed on the owner's firearms?
"With respect to a restricted or prohibited firearm, section 17 of the Firearms Act states that such a firearm may only be possessed at the dwelling-house of the individual, as indicated on the registration certificate, or at a place authorized by a CFO. There is no such requirement for non-restricted firearms."
Must the lender or borrower of a firearm inform the government of such a transaction?
"In general, there is no requirement to inform the government regarding a lending transaction in relation to firearms. Section 33 of the Firearms Act requires that, in most cases, the person also lend the registration certificate for the firearm to the borrower. It should be noted, however, that in the case of a restricted or prohibited firearm, the borrower would have to obtain an authorization to transport and therefore make an application to the proper government official. In addition, the transaction must be a true lending transaction and not a disguised transfer."
This last sentence raises the question: Just how can the CFC or police determine that the transaction is "...a true lending transaction and not a disguised transfer"? The answer is that it is virtually impossible to prove unless the lender or borrower says so. Thus, prudent advice would be to always state clearly that "This is a loan, not a sale".
(This next one is good)
While we intend to check this out further, it also appears that there is no legal requirement for the lender to keep a record of who they loaned the firearm to. While you might want to write down pertinent information about the borrower (licence number, address, phone number, etc.) for your own records, there seems to be no legal requirement that you do so. Your main legal obligation is to verify that the borrower has a valid firearm licence (FAC, PAL, POL) at the time of the loan.
If you have looked at the new firearm registration forms you will quickly realize why loaning firearms is an attractive option. Why? Well, so far very few firearms have actually been verified since that was only a requirement for new firearms up till Jan. 1, 2003. Since that date, however, any firearm which is sold or otherwise transferred (for example, given or willed) must first be verified if it has not been already. But this is nearly impossible as the verifier system has virtually collapsed and there are few verifiers left. Thus, while a gun can't be sold unverified there are almost no verifiers available to do it. The result - no transfer. We called the CFC and spoke to a clerk who was incredibly evasive about this. To the question "How can a gun be verified if there are no verifiers?" her response was "It has to be verified". To the question "How do we solve the problem" she said "Call your MP". And Martin Cauchon says the system is working well. Loaning, anyone?
Letter Writing Campaign
In the "President's Message" mention was made of writing letters to all MPs to keep up the pressure, and where better to start than right in your own riding. Included in this mailing is a form letter which you can send in to your local MP. All you need to add is your name, address, signature and, if you wish, additional comments. All we ask is that if you add comments, please keep them civil and polite in tone. While we understand your frustration, the pressure on MPs to dump this mess is growing daily and firm but constructive comments will do our cause a lot more good than insults.
Remember that postage is free. Just address the letter as follows:
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Also feel free to make photocopies of the letter and send it to other MPs as well. We have almost a thousand members in TSCON. If each one sends ten letters it can have a major effect.
Chapters Saga Update
In the last edition we notified you about Chapters/Indigo bookstores' intention to stop carrying firearm magazines in a move that appears to be purely politically motivated. Once again, we strongly suggest you avoid shopping at Chapter/Indigo. If you are looking for hunting and shooting magazines you can probably find what you are looking for at the following location:
Smokers Plus Inc.
278 Bunting Rd.
St. Catharines, ON
They carry a very wide range of publications of interest to the gun owner/outdoorsperson and, unlike Chapters/Indigo, they seem interested in attracting our business. If you are aware of any other businesses who value gun owners as customers rather than engaging in political games let us know and we will list them here.
While the deadline for registration of all firearms has effectively been extended till June 30, 2003, the necessary forms still need to completed. This means calling the Firearm Centre and waiting the usual 60 plus minutes to speak to someone (if you can get through at all).
Some ways to avoid this are as follows:
1. If you already have at least one of the official forms (the one with your name and bar code on it that was sent out a couple of times over the past year or so), just make photocopies of it and use them.
Note: The CFC doesn't like this because the photocopied pages don't function well in their scanners and they often have to process them by hand. That is their problem, however, since it is their fault they haven't been able to produce the required forms.
2. Call your MP and insist that they get you the required forms. Since virtually all Ontario MPs are Liberals who voted for this mess, tell them that it is also their responsibility to help you comply with the law, since they want it so badly.
3. TSCON has generic registration forms available which do not have your name or licence number on them, but are complete in all other respects. Again, the CFC cannot scan them so they must be hand processed, but they are still acceptable and you don't have to spend half your life on the phone to get them. They will be available at the TSCON table at the gun show.
Shotgun Magazines - A common modification to shotguns (especially for action shooting competitions or, dare we say it, home defence) is to add an extended magazine tube to the gun. Remember, however, that tubes holding over 5 rounds are only legal on guns that are not semi-automatic. Semi-auto shotgun magazine tubes are subject to the same 5 round legal limit as semi-auto rifle magazines and must not be able to hold more than 5 shells (not counting the one in the chamber) Don't get caught with a high capacity magazine by accident.
Sight Adjustment - Ever had a problem trying to figure out which way to move your sights to adjust for point of aim? If so, a simple solution is to remember the term FORS. This stands for "Front Opposite - Rear the Same" and tells you which way to move your sights to adjust the point of impact. For example, let's say the bullet is striking 2 inches right of the bullseye so you want to move point of impact to the left. If you adjust using the front sight you would move it opposite (FO) to the desired point of impact, or to the right. If you wish to make the adjustment using the rear sight you would move it to the left (RS). It sounds a little confusing at first but once you get the hang of it you will waste a lot less ammo sighting in your firearm, which can be especially beneficial when shooting some of the big expensive, magnum cartridges.
2003 Gun Shows Are a Go!
Unable to get their act together (again!), the feds announced that the gun show regulations have been put off (again!), this time till Jan. 1/04. This means that our highly successful shows will continue to run for at least another year. See the following items for details regarding the gun shows.
Gun Show Location
Our gun shows are at:
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave.
If you want tables for the Feb. 14/03 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 Flyers
The money that funds the work "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" does on your behalf comes from two main sources: membership dues and gun show revenue. We feel that our growing membership reflects the support and confidence of our members, for which we are extremely grateful. The success of our gun shows, however, depends mainly on people knowing when they are taking place. The best way to accomplish this is by advertising, and we spend several hundred dollars advertising each show. Now you can also do your part to spread the word. If you own or work at a business that employs gun owners, if your customers own guns, if you attend out of town gun shows, if your sports club, church group or service organization includes gun owners or even if you know the location of some public bulletin boards, you can help by posting or handing out our gun show flyers. If you are willing to do this, please contact us and we will make sure that you get flyers to distribute. Also feel free to photocopy and distribute flyers as widely as possible. We appreciate all the help we can get in this endeavor.
Gun Show Dates
The dates for our upcoming gun shows are:
2003 Memberships Are Now Due!!!
All 2002 memberships expired 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.
While the Dec. 31/02 registration deadline has come and gone, with all the nonsense about registration certificates, Letters of Intent, etc., confusion still reigns supreme. 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.
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
Also due to popular demand, TSCON hats and crests are now available. Prices are as follows:
Hats with crest - $16 Crest only - $ 5 Hat with crest & one additional Crest - $20
They are available at the TSCON club table at all the gun shows or from any member of the Executive.
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
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 dates listed for inclusion in the next newsletter:
Vol. 9 #2 Mar. 15, 2003
Vol. 9 #3 Aug. 15, 2003
Vol. 9 #4 Nov. 15, 2003
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 or Loan: Boito (Brazilian) Coach Gun, 12 ga., 20" barrels, IC/M chokes, EX, 95%+, asking $335; call Gerry 905-685-4480
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.
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.
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 claim your prize.
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Stihl pocket knife
Frontier Gun and Sport
Free PAL Test (transferrable)
Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)
G u n S h o w
Friday, Feb. 14, 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave., St. Catharines