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Team CSSA E-NEWS – November 27, 2014

Team CSSA E-NEWS – November 27, 2014

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COMMENTARY – BILL C-42 TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD: As expected, Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act has moved forward in the House of Commons as debate began on Second Reading of the bill. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney rose in the House to explain the nuts and bolts of C-42:

“For too long, gun control in Canada has been about disarming all Canadians. It was about making hunting and sport shooting so onerous, so filled with time-consuming paperwork, that no one would be interested in pursuing these Canadian heritage activities.

Many members around here have grown up on a farm or have parents or grandparents who have grown up on a farm. This was part of their life. This was part of their way of living.

Many of our friends and colleagues like hunting and sport shooting. They are law-abiding citizens. Why should they be ostracized because they are doing those Canadian heritage activities?

We have a common-sense firearm licensing regime to ensure that they are abiding by the law, but in the meantime we are cutting red tape. That is what this bill is all about. That is what we are seeking to achieve with this bill.

Earlier in my comments today, I alluded to decisions that created criminals out of law-abiding citizens overnight. Many Canadians were shocked to realize that some owners of legal firearms for years or decades were turned into criminals overnight. This is not acceptable. That is why we are addressing this issue in the bill.

The common sense firearms licensing act would end the ability of the Canadian firearms program to make a final decision on the reclassification of firearms without the oversight of an elected member of Parliament. We are doing this because the owners of the Swiss Arms and the CZ firearms are law-abiding citizens and should not be treated as criminals. This is why we are bringing this legislation forward for that specific part. Therefore, the government would have an oversight mechanism for decisions on the classification of firearms.

Let me once again be clear, these decisions would be made on the advice of technical experts who are knowledgeable about the workings of firearms. To that end, this is exactly what would happen to the CZ and the Swiss Arms family of rifles in order to have the original reclassification restored when the bill is proclaimed into law.”

Minister Blaney took the time to praise the CSSA’s Tony Bernardo for his assistance on the file but predictably, the NDP slammed the bill and worse, went out of their way to take a shot at the CSSA’s President, Steve Torino:

“Why else would the Conservatives have appointed a representative of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association as a member of the Canadian delegation at international arms treaty negotiations? A representative of the sports shooting association and a member of the Firearms Advisory Committee became part of the international delegation to debate the small arms trade treaty internationally. Now, at a time when 50 other nations have signed the arms trade treaty, why has Canada failed to do so?” asked Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, NDP.)

Duh, maybe because it’s a lousy treaty and the Harper government is smart enough not to saddle us with another UN turkey. And, of course, Mr. Torino is present as a resource because he is a world-acknowledged expert on firearms – something the NDP don’t recognize, having never seen one before.

The forward movement of C-42 is welcome news to our members. But wait, there’s more …

C-637: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE (FIREARMS STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION): Bob Sopuck, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, tabled Private Members’ Bill C-637: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Firearms Storage and Transportation).

“Bill C-637 proposes to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act to clarify that low-velocity rifles such as BB guns and air rifles should not be considered firearms,” said Sopuck. “They have an incredibly low muzzle velocity and the projectile does not use gun powder: it is literally not a ‘fire arm.’”

A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada (Dunn v. R) upheld an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that a BB gun should be considered a “firearm.” This exposed a gap in current legislation, since there are significant differences between actual firearms and BB guns and air rifles. Actual rifles using bullets that contain gun powder have a significantly higher muzzle velocity than BB guns.

“This is a common sense amendment that will clarify a current gap in Canadian law,” Sopuck said. “The Conservatives are the only ones who will ensure that safe and reasonable policies are put in place regarding firearms in Canada. To lump air rifles together with actual firearms is nonsensical.”

Bill C-637 proposes to amend Section 84 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Section 84 is the definitions section of the part of the Criminal Code relating to “Firearms and Other Weapons.” By adding this clause to Section 84, this Bill will also clarify Section 86 and related provisions of the Firearms Act that deal with how the Acts define “firearms.”

“The Liberals and New Democrats would bring back the long gun registry and needlessly criminalize millions of hunters, anglers, and sport shooters,” said Sopuck. “Just yesterday Liberal leader Justin Trudeau confirmed that they will oppose the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act.”



Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

1. Section 84 of the Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after subsection (3.1):

(3.2) For the purposes of section 86 and the provisions of the Firearms Act as they relate to the transportation and storage of firearms, a barrelled weapon is deemed not to be a firearm if it is proved that the weapon is not designed or adapted to discharge

(a) a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules; or

(b) a shot, bullet or other projectile that is designed or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or an energy exceeding 5.7 Joules


“Allan Rock said he came to Ottawa with the belief that only the police and military should have firearms. I believe that firearms ownership is a right, but a right that comes with responsibilities.” – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety



SOME GUN OWNERS FEEL TAKEN FOR GRANTED AS FIREARMS BILL FALLS SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS: To the Coalition for Gun Control, the Conservative government’s bill to overhaul Canada’s gun licensing rules is more evidence that the party panders to gun owners.

“The gun lobby has bragged about its access to the prime minister, and this is the latest evidence of their influence,” it says in a recent statement. But, in fact, the good feelings between gun owners and the Conservative Party are being tested by Bill C-42, the common sense firearms licensing act, which many say falls far short of what they had hoped for.

Bill C-42 was scheduled to be debated on Oct. 22, the day that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed Parliament. When Parliament returned, Bill C-42 seemed to have disappeared from the agenda. Inquiries to Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and to government House leader Peter Van Loan went unanswered. Tony Bernardo, president of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and a close collaborator of the government on firearms legislation, says the bill is still alive and will return.”

After the shooting, the government had several terrorism-related bills they needed to move urgently on,” he says. “You can’t do everything, and something had to give. It’s a question of priorities.”

But a bigger issue for the government may be the consensus among people in the shooting sports that C-42 is better than nothing, but not much. And some party stalwarts say they’re starting to feel taken for granted.

Dennis Young is a former RCMP officer who was the Reform Party’s regional coordinator for Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the 1990s and then spent 13 years in Ottawa as an aide to Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz. Recently, when called by a Conservative fundraiser at his home in Airdrie, Alta., Young told him not to bother calling back until the public safety minister responded to his letter about Bill C-42.

Young said he was “miffed” that after all his work for the Conservatives, he had received no real answer to his questions. “It all leaves us feeling a bit like we’re just being used for fundraising,” he said. “If they have that attitude they’re going to be disappointed. People now want to see some action on Stephen Harper’s promise from 2002, which he made again in the 2004 election, to repeal Bill C-68.”Bill C-68 is the 1995 legislation that now forms the basis of Canadian firearms law.

Conservatives reforms just ‘tinkering’

Bill C-42 contains some changes to rules that put law-abiding gun-owners at risk of serious criminal charges over omissions in paperwork.

Those changes are welcome, said James Brake, operations manager at a Prince Albert gun store and president of the Prince Albert Pistol and Rifle Club. But that’s as far as it goes.”

It doesn’t address the core concerns. It’s addressing poll-watchers who are weighing just how much they have to give in order to get a certain number of votes.”

Brake, who is originally from Florida, said he appreciates “the good things about Canadian laws,” such as the system of checks to keep people with mental problems from acquiring guns. But he said the rules penalize law-abiding people and complicate his job with red tape that doesn’t make people safer. And he said the Conservatives are doing little to change that picture.”

I do believe they’re the best of the worst,” he said. “That’s about it.”

Be careful what you wish for. Bernardo acknowledges he’s heard more anti-Conservative sentiments lately from shooters and hunters, but says “they should be careful what they wish for.”

“The firearms community has been disappointed with the Harper government. It could have been done a lot better. On the other hand, this is a step forward. As long as they’re moving forward, we have to look at the alternatives.”

Bernardo said Justin Trudeau has been “more slippery than an oiled eel” on the topic, and gun owners should remember that “the Liberals’ track record is not good.”

He said he’s confident most of his group’s members will still vote Conservative. “This is probably the last government bill on this before the election, but we hope to see more after that.”

Not feeling the love

But the country’s biggest gun owners’ group is less optimistic. Sheldon Clare is president of the National Firearms Association, with 75,000 members across Canada.”

In my view, this is neither about common sense, nor even really much about firearms licensing. It’s more about giving the appearance of doing something when, in fact, nothing much is being done.”

Clare said the Conservatives have been careful to be on the side of gun owners when there’s controversy, such as when the RCMP entered homes in High River, Alta., following floods and seized hundreds of legally held guns without a court order or the owners’ permission.

But Clare said law-making is where the rubber hits the road, and the Conservatives’ legislation has not matched the rhetoric.”
There’s been a lot of lip service paid,” said Clare. “But this part of the base — and they certainly seem to think we are part of their base and that we have no other place to go — I’d really like to remind them how firearms owners stayed home in droves after Kim Campbell brought in Bill C-17. There was a penalty to be paid by Conservatives for turning their back on firearms owners.”

“I would say firearms owners right now aren’t really feeling the love.” (By Evan Dyer, CBC News Posted: Nov 23, 2014 5:00 AM ET)


MOOSE MADNESS: This week, the Canada in the Rough crew heads to Quebec in search of a bull moose! Keith Beasley will be alongside John Mock of Stoeger Canada and Kari Kuparinen from Sako International. With lots of moose sightings the boys finally get to pull the trigger on a gorgeous bull moose!

See more at:


SCC WON’T HEAR CASE OF EX-GUNSMITH WHO WANTED TO STOP FIREARM SEIZURE: TORONTO – Canada’s highest court has said it will not hear the appeal of a former gunsmith in northwestern Ontario who sought to prevent the forfeiture of hundreds of firearms and gun parts that were once in his possession. Bruce Montague — a former firearms dealer and pro-gun activist – was charged with several firearms offences in 2005 after he refused to obtain a licence to own and sell weapons as an act of protest against gun laws at the time. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2008 on 26 firearm-related offences.

In 2004, police seized more than 200 firearms from Montague, some which had been modified into automatics and others which had their serial numbers removed. They also seized accessories worth upwards of $100,000 along with more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition. The items had been held by police since then and the Crown later filed a forfeiture order to take possession of the items for good.

Montague took his case to the Ontario Court of Appeal, but it rejected his argument that the seizure sought by the Crown amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the Charter. Ontario’s top court ruled that Montague and his wife made the choice to flout firearms-licensing rules. It had also found that the situation could have been far more dangerous if Montague’s modified weapons had fallen into the hands of criminals. Montague then sought to appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court of Canada, but that effort was dismissed on Thursday. In keeping with standard practice, the Supreme Court of Canada gave no reason for its decision.

“They are beaten down and discouraged,” said Derek From, a lawyer with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which has been supporting the Montagues through their legal battles. “They feel that they long ago paid for the allegedly criminal act of not doing paperwork.” Lawyers for Montague had planned to argue at the Supreme Court that a section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which forbids the imposition of “any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment” applies to mandatory property forfeiture. “I had hopes that the Supreme Court would hear this appeal because as it stands right now forfeiture legislation is being handled in slightly a chaotic way throughout the country,” From said. “Different courts of appeal throughout the country are coming to basically divergent results on similar matters. This was an opportunity for the Supreme Court to unify what’s going on in forfeiture’s throughout Canada.”

Montague and his wife’s battles aren’t over yet. The province of Ontario is seeking to confiscate their home under the Civil Remedies Act, said From. “Ontario believes that their house is either the instrument of crime or the proceeds of crime,” he said. That case had been on hold as the couple’s criminal case worked its way through the courts, and From said the Montagues plan to fight to keep their home. (by Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press – Published Thursday, November 20, 2014 5:37 PM EST)

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The Question: Is it legal in Ontario to shoot restricted firearms on your own property?

The Answer: No, it is not legal. Restricted firearms and 12(6) prohibited handguns may only be discharged on an approved Section 29 shooting range.

Additionally, the Firearms Act Regulations say that a range is: “shooting range” means a place that is designed or intended for the safe discharge, on a regular and structured basis, of firearms for the purpose of target practice or target shooting competitions.

The Ontario Chief Firearms Office has interpreted this regulation by the words bolded above. If you have an area intended for shooting, and you shoot regularly, and it has a structure, they want the range to be inspected and approved by the CFO’s office as a full-blown Section 29 Shooting Range.

The full regulations are listed here:

Now that said, there are tens of thousands of Canadians that have their own shooting areas (let’s not call them ranges) on their own property and never have the slightest problem.

UK AIRGUN LAW CHANGE ‘COULD AFFECT THOUSANDS’: A senior police officer has said thousands of people could fall foul of new laws on airguns.

Under the Scottish government proposals, anyone who owns an airgun will need a licence.

Calum Steele of the Scottish Police Federation told MSPs that the changes could affect people across the UK.

He also said the change in the law could harm the future prospects of young people who own an unlicensed airgun.

There are an estimated 500,000 air weapons in Scotland.

Under the Scottish government plans, anyone wanting to own an air gun would need to demonstrate they had a legitimate reason for doing so.

Mr Steele, the general secretary of the federation, was speaking at a meeting of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee at Holyrood.

The committee is currently taking evidence on the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill in May.

‘Relatively minor’

Mr. Steele said: “I suspect that there are many people – possibly tens of thousands of individuals – out there who may well find themselves falling foul of the criminal justice system because of licensing offences, something that has never featured before.

“That is not just for individuals who are domiciled in Scotland, but also apply to individuals who come from anywhere else in the United Kingdom to Scotland, where there is no current considerations for moving air weapons across the borders.”

Mr Steele said the proposed law change could also affect the prospects of young people who use an air weapon unlicensed.

He added: “Whilst I consider, in the early days, the potential of a prosecution or a fixed penalty disposal bring brought against someone will be recorded as relatively minor, the potential impact on these individuals later in their lives going for employment or trying to get jobs overseas could be quite devastating on the future life chances.”

He was responding to a question by Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Wilson, who asked about the costs to individuals who decided not to licence their weapons once any new law was enforced.

MSPs also heard evidence from David Penn of the British Shooting Sports Council, who argued that the government’s plans would make little difference to the crime rate.

Andrew Morton was killed after being shot in the head by an airgun in 2005.

Mr Penn said: “One has to remember that there is widespread continuing use of air weapons in pony clubs, boy scouts, cadet units as well as the individual use of them.

“We never hear about this. Why? Because nothing is going wrong. There is a huge amount of use of air weapons and very, very little misuse in comparison.

“Most other countries do not see the need to licence air weapons.”

The proposals follow a long-running campaign by the Scottish government to crack down on the misuse of airguns in the wake of the death of two-year-old Andrew Morton, who was shot in the head with an airgun in Glasgow in 2005.

Mark Bonini was later convicted of murdering the toddler. (BBC, 19 November 2014. Last updated at 08:22 ET)

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Re: “Guns are evil,” Nov. 5.

Medicine Hat is a firearms community. All of the data below is collected from a variety of sources and studies, and is readily available on the Internet.

The UN reported that Canada ranks third among the developed western countries (behind U.S. and Norway) in civilian ownership of firearms. Twenty-nine per cent of Canadian homes possess an estimated total of nine million firearms. In Canada there are more firearms owners per capita than in the U.S., which has a ratio of 1:6, while Canada boasts a 1:4 ratio of firearms owners. In 2006 there were more than 24,000 registered firearms owners in Medicine Hat. The Medicine Hat Rifle and Revolver Club enjoys a growing membership, up by more than 400 members in this past year.

In Canada more people are killed with automobiles and knives than with firearms. Statistics from 2011 show that homicides were broken down in this manner — beatings: 47 per cent; knife or other cutting instrument: 13 per cent; firearm: 12 per cent; other: 28 per cent. Three-quarters of all domestic homicides do not involve firearms. In all non-biased studies and in some anti-gun studies, the firearm is not the popular means of homicide.

The Criminal Code of Canada, section 71 deals with gun control in Canada. Part of the legislation involves the confiscation of firearms. Eighty per cent of Canadians do not support the confiscation of firearms from legitimate gun owners. Anti-gunners use domestic violence as an example when in fact 75 per cent of domestic violence cases do not involve firearms. It is a known statistic that there is no correlation between gun control and violent crime. The best evidence shows that the most common firearms used in violent crime in Canada are illegal handguns. A government study indicated that 70 per cent of all handguns linked to criminal incidents are not registered in Canada, and there is no evidence that the remaining 30 per cent are used for criminal purposes by their legitimate owner.

As president of the Medicine Hat Rifle and Revolver Club I insist on a high level of safe firearms handling practices at our range. People who become members of our club must complete a Range Safety orientation. We are currently working on a variety of other programs to ensure a greater level of safety. Our attention to safety and that of other firearms clubs throughout not just Alberta but all of Canada make the firearms sports the safest sport in Canada. When dealing with the firearms sports, there are fewer fatalities and or injuries than football or hockey. In fact it is considered the safest sport group in Canada.

I invite Mr. Mayer and anyone else in the community to come see us, talk to us and learn. Join the fathers, mothers, doctors and lawyers of Medicine Hat.

Education is the best prevention.

Paul Keating, Medicine Hat

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FLORIDA MAKES HUNTING WITH FIREARMS SILENCERS LEGAL, HEARING SAFETY THE BIG WINNER: Today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously to repeal the 57 year old prohibition on the use of firearm suppressors for taking deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail, and crows.

Following the passage of the new regulation, the Commission then voted unanimously to authorize an Executive Order to allow the measure to take effect immediately. Minutes later, Executive Order # EO 14-32 was signed, making hunting with suppressors for all animals in the state legal, effective immediately.

The new regulation amends 68A-12.002 General Methods of Taking Game; Prohibitions by striking “silencer equipped” from the language.

With the enactment of the new regulation, Florida becomes the 33rd state to allow hunters to use legally possessed suppressors in the field for all game animals. Earlier this year, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana all enacted similar pro-suppressor hunting reform.

Of the 34 states in which suppressor hunting is legal, Montana is now the only state which restricts their use to certain types of animals. For a full map of suppressor legalities, visit the ASA’s website. (Posted on November 21, 2014 by Ammoland)

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SCHOOL SUSPENDS FIFTH-GRADER ARMED WITH FINGER: Charlotte, NC – Another sad battle by the agents of political correctness in their war on childhood was waged last Friday, when 10-year-old Milford, Mass., fifth-grader Nickolas Taylor was suspended for two days following an incident in the Stacy Middle School cafeteria.

The offense? Armed only with his index finger and a vivid imagination, Nickolas reportedly cut in front of two classmates in the lunch line while firing an imaginary “ray gun” and making corresponding ray gun sound effects. According to a report in the Milford Daily News, the two pupils who claimed Nickolas cut in line informed a school official of the behavior. When the matter was brought to the attention of Assistant Principal Noah Collins, the administrator deemed Nickolas’ actions a threat and issued the suspension. Thankfully, it appears reasonable adults have now taken over the situation.

According to the Milford Daily News, during a Milford School Committee meeting School Committee Chairman Scott Harrison stated, “Quite frankly, I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies.” Harrison added, “We need to make sure we’re not treating situations as black and white when there are shades of gray.” Milford Superintendent Robert Tremblay also suggested that “[r]emoving a child from school may be in effect positively reinforcing a negative behavior.” In any event, the Taylor family has decided to make other plans for Nickolas’s education. Nickolas’s father Brian told the Daily News that he has submitted the paperwork to pull Nickolas out of Stacy Middle School in order to home school him.

While some forward-thinking local school officials have shown an interest in fixing policies with absurd consequences, NRA is working to change state laws to make sure incidents like these don’t occur in the first place. In Florida NRA helped enact the “Right to be Kids” act, which states that “[s]imulating a firearm or weapon while playing or wearing clothing … that depict[s] a firearm or weapon or express[es] an opinion regarding a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment … is not grounds for disciplinary action or referral [for prosecution].”Regrettably, overreaction to normal childhood behavior has become common in our nation’s public schools. With millions of students at the mercy of nonsensical zero-tolerance policies that unreasonably punish harmless behavior, and the sometimes thoughtless school administrators who enforce them, state legislatures may be school kids’ best hope for graduating with their records and reputations intact. (Posted on November 24, 2014 by Ammoland.)


FIREARM AMNESTY YIELDS 180 GUNS – HALTON POLICE: A firearms amnesty in Halton has yielded about 180 guns, 40 knives and 200 pounds of ammunition. The regional police service wrapped up its month-long firearms and weapons amnesty on Nov. 15. They were mostly long guns. However, a Webley revolver and a Browning 9-mm FN pistol were turned in by the widows of the original owners. The revolver belonged to Walter Archer, who served with the British Army’s Nottingham Foresters Cavalry regiment during the First World War. A marking on the pistol’s trigger guard shows where shrapnel from an exploding bomb struck Walter’s hand during an attack in no man’s land. The 9mm Browning pistol was issued to Ralph Probert during the Second World War. He was a doctor with the Canadian Army Military Corp., taking part in the D-Day landings and went on to serve in France, Holland and Germany. (Hamilton Spectator – November 17, 2014)

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The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities.

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