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Team CSSA E-NEWS – February 3, 2015


Team CSSA E-NEWS – February 3, 2015

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A firearms license is the first step to lawful firearms ownership in Canada. While your firearms license is your defence against a charge of illegal possession of a firearm, it does NOT protect you from a myriad of other charges under Canada’s confusing and contradictory Firearms Act regulations.

Worse, it doesn’t matter how diligent you are at obeying these regulations. Most law enforcement officers do not comprehend the many intricacies of the Firearms Act. It is far too complicated, so police tend to lay charges and let the courts sort it out.

The unfortunate reality is that police can and will charge you with Firearms Act offenses should they have reason to cross your path and, innocent or not, you will face the threat of incarceration along with a crushing legal bill.

Too many firearms owners have faced criminal charges for breaches of the law they didn’t even know they were in violation of – effectively bankrupting their families.

Firearm Legal Defence ( was founded for this very reason.

Take the case of Erin Lee MacDonald, who just lost his appeal at Canada’s Supreme Court (R. v. MacDonald).

Originally from Nova Scotia, Erin MacDonald returned home to his Nova Scotia condo in 2009 after working in Alberta’s oil patch. He took his restricted firearm with him. Erin MacDonald’s mistake was not understanding that Canada’s firearms laws are national in scope, but their application is very much regional.

Authorizations to Transport (ATT) rules are regional, generally restricted to a single province. Erin MacDonald’s Alberta Authorization to Transport his restricted firearm was only valid for Alberta – not for cross-country travel. By taking his restricted firearm from Alberta to Nova Scotia, he unknowingly violated the transportation regulations.

When police responded to a noise complaint at his condo, MacDonald was arrested and charged with multiple violations, eventually being convicted of careless use of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon. The charge of unlawful possession of a restricted firearm was overturned by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal since MacDonald didn’t understand he was breaking the law by taking his restricted firearm out of Alberta.

Crown prosecutors appealed the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal acquittal to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the nation’s highest court disagreed with the Court of Appeal ruling and reinstated the conviction, upholding the age-old maxim: “Ignorance of the law is no defence.”

While the maxim makes some moral sense, the reality is that not a single person can possibly know every page of the Firearms Act and its companion Criminal Code regulations, let alone comprehend every twist and turn contained within them.

Running afoul of these laws and regulations, however, can financially ruin you.

We buy fire insurance, not because we expect our homes to burn down, but because we can’t be assured they will not. We want protection from disaster in case the unlikely happens – so we buy fire insurance.

Firearm Legal Defence is insurance for firearms owners.

It makes sense – not because we firearms owners expect to break the law – but because we cannot predict how police and prosecutors may view our actions. We could face criminal charges for the most mundane of reasons, including police not knowing the law. It makes no difference if you obeyed the law, and the charges against you are bogus.

You still must defend yourself in court.

Legal fees – even for the most basic charge of “unsafe storage of firearms” – can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Add a charge of “illegal possession of a restricted weapon,” like Erin MacDonald faced, and those court costs and appeals all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada could bankrupt you.

Firearm Legal Defence – It’s the smart choice in an increasingly uncertain world. At $95/year ($10 less for CSSA members using Promo Code CSSA001), it’s a bargain.

**Please note: This program is not run by the CSSA, nor do we profit by it. We simply offer this service and its benefits to our members.**



The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show was held once again in Las Vegas, Nevada, from January 20-23, 2015, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. This was the 37th SHOT Show, which brought together nearly 64,000 buyers and sellers from more than a hundred countries.

Gatherings of Canadians at the SHOT Show are nothing new. Many small recreational events have been held over the years, with 2013 being the first truly sponsored event. But 2014 was the beginning of an endeavour of a larger scale: the first official SHOT Show reception specifically for Canadian industry representatives. This year, the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) were delighted to host the second annual reception for Canadian firearms industry representatives who attended the SHOT Show.

This year’s reception was an “invitation only” affair with a significant increase in participation resulting in nearly 200 people attending the event. All attendees were associated with either the Canadian firearms industry, the media, or were VIPs. The reception provided a great opportunity for Canadian manufacturers, distributors and retailers to meet face to face at a common venue.

The reception’s sponsors included the CSAAA, CSSA, Browning Canada Sports Ltd-Ltée, Calibre – Canada’s Firearm Magazine, PGW Defence Technologies Inc., North Sylva Co., Stoeger Canada, Think Insure, Calgary Shooting Centre, Canada Ammo, Interammo Impex Inc., Marstar Canada, Right Edition, Vault Distribution, Ballistic Bowstrings, Firearm Legal Defence, O’Dell Engineering Ltd., Select Shooting Supplies, T.E.C. Trade Ex Canada Inc., and Wolverine Supplies.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, owns and sponsors the SHOT Show. This year’s show consisted of more than 1,600 exhibiting companies filling the convention centre and rooms in the adjoining Venetian Hotel. Total show exhibition space was more than 640,000 net square feet, or 13 acres of product display, with more than 150 new companies exhibiting.

The SHOT Show is not just about selling and buying products. The show provides educational opportunities for firearms retailers at SHOT Show University, for law enforcement professionals at the Law Enforcement Education Program, as well as other seminars.

The fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, SHOT Show pumps nearly $90 million in non-gaming revenue into the local economy. SHOT Show 2016 is scheduled to be held once again at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 19-22. For those attending, be sure to watch for the Third Annual Canadian Industry SHOT Show Reception. Inquiries and comments regarding the reception may be emailed to CSSA Director Mike Duynhoven at [email protected].


“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



CSSA “STICK TO YOUR GUNS” DINNER – FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2015 – CALGARY, ALBERTA – Holiday Inn, 4206 Macleod Trail South. Cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. Superb “All-You-Can-Eat” buffet. Raffles, prizes and special guests. Tickets $69.99 per person. For information, please call Heather at 1-888-873-4339 or email: [email protected].


GUN MILITARIA SHOW – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2015 – JERSEYVILLE, ONTARIO – Marritt Hall, 630 Trinity Road, Jerseyville. For more information, please call Carrie at 1-705-754-2081. 7:30 a.m. to noon. For more upcoming shows, visit: http//


2015 CANADIAN NATIONAL RIFLE SILHOUETTE CHAMPIONSHIPS – JULY 5-11 – PRINCE GEORGE ROD AND GUN CLUB, PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA Small bore – July 5, 6, 7 at Hartman Range, 9444 Hartman Road; High Power – July 9, 10, 11 at Black Water Range. For more information, please contact Don Reeves at 1-250-562-0151 or visit:



Arms Trade Treaty

Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the fact remains Canada’s sanctions simply do not match up with our allies’. These three friends of Putin are being protected by the current government. It is strange.

Unfortunately, Canada is also offside with every single one of our allies when it comes to the arms trade treaty. One hundred and thirty countries have signed the treaty. Every single member of NATO, Israel, and Ukraine have all signed the treaty, but not Canada.

Why are the Conservatives keeping company with countries like North Korea, Syria, and Iran when it comes to opposing the arms trade treaty? Why are they keeping company with them?

Mr. David Anderson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, signing the arms trade treaty would not improve upon how Canada assesses exports of military items. We already have one of the strongest export control systems in the world. The ATT actually brings other countries up to the standards that we already have and there are some concerns about how the treaty affects lawful and responsible firearms owners, such that we continue to consult various stakeholders and experts on their views.


WHO CAN BUY A HANDGUN? (By James Foster | Time & Transcript (Moncton) | January 31, 2015)

New Brunswickers would be forgiven for thinking that handguns are commonplace in this province.

It might well appear so judging by mass media, from advertisements for handguns, to news reports of shootings, to television dramas where gun play is the running theme nightly.

“It isn’t what they believe it to be,” says Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, regarding the who can own, use or carry a handgun in Canada. “They are watching too many Hollywood movies.”

In the vast majority of cases in this country, handgun owners can take their firearms to and from an authorized shooting range, but that’s about it. Whether those rules are too tight, just right, or too lax will depend on your perspective.

To get started, a potential owner must first take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, followed by passing a test to ensure that the applicant has absorbed the lessons contained in the course. Once that threshold is met, you can then apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence from the RCMP-operated Canadian Firearms Program. As the name implies, you need a PAL in order to own an unrestricted firearm such as a hunting rifle or shotgun. A PAL isn’t authorization to buy or own a handgun though, but it is the first step.

To acquire a handgun, an applicant must then take a second course that pertains to restricted firearms, which include handguns, and pass the ensuing tests to be eligible to apply for your Restricted PAL, or R-PAL.

The costs of all tests, study books and application fees are borne by the applicant, totalling about $300. The tests are typically given on weeknights and weekends in a classroom setting with the focus on how firearms work, how to safely handle, store and fire them, how to care for them and legally transport them. The test is both written and practical. There is no shooting test.

The courses are not terribly difficult for anyone with basic knowledge of guns but it takes months, most times, to get into one of the sessions. Alternatively, an applicant can skip the course and challenge the test straight away. Skipping the course is not encouraged as the lessons are packed with good information and even an experienced firearms owner might benefit from a refresher.

With that behind you, now comes the paperwork. The firearms centre will want proof of your training, your personal information and the signature of your current or former conjugal partner. If his or her signature isn’t on the paperwork, the province’s Chief Firearms Officer will have to notify them of your application, in which case the processing of your application could be delayed. You also must supply a photo of yourself with a statement from someone who has known you for at least a year guaranteeing that it is you in the photo. You must include a non-refundable cheque for $80.

You will be asked if you have been charged, convicted or discharged for a crime of violence, a gun crime or an offence involving selling drugs, or have been the subject of a peace bond in the last five years. They also want to know if you’ve separated from a significant other in the past two years or been reported to any agency for violence or threats in a domestic relationship, among other similar questions. Varying from the truth on any part of the forms is perjury and is subject to criminal charges with potentially serious consequences.

You must also provide two references – independent of your current conjugal partner – who have known you for at least three years.

You need a valid reason in order to be licensed to own a handgun. You cannot possess a handgun just because you want one. There are few purposes for which individuals can be licensed to acquire or possess a restricted firearm, the most common being target practice or target shooting competitions, or as part of a collection.

To be authorized to have a handgun for target shooting, you must provide proof that you practise or compete at an approved shooting club or range. Membership and attendance at the club or range is usually enough to pass muster. To be authorized to have a handgun as a collector, you must know the historical, technical or scientific features of the handguns in your collection and consent to inspections of the place where your collection is stored to ensure they are properly stored.

In theory it is possible to be allowed to carry your handgun in public if you can prove that you need it for protection of life, or for your job. These permits are exceedingly rare in Canada, particularly if you apply for one for the purpose of personal protection; not so much if you work as an armoured car guard, for example.

It will typically take three months or more to receive your R-PAL in the mail, allowing you go to handgun shopping. There is little sense hitting the gun stores before obtaining your R-PAL as no store will allow you to even touch a handgun until you can show them your R-PAL. It is also a major criminal offence for anyone to sell a handgun to someone who doesn’t have that licence.
Once you come to a satisfactory deal, the handgun then needs to be registered in your name. This takes about 15 minutes via a phone call with the firearms’ centre. There is no fee for transferring ownership.

To take your gun anywhere out of the place where it is registered (usually your home) you then need an Authorization to Transport. No handgun can be taken anywhere without an ATT which you may get by applying for one. You’ll need to inform the authorities why you need to transport the handgun, the exact time of day when you will be transporting it and the route you will take while transporting it, from which you cannot stray. You cannot drive around or walk around with a handgun, even it is locked in a case. You can’t stop for an ice cream on your way to the range, nor at the store for a quart of milk on your way home from the gun club.

During transportation, the handgun must be locked in a container, in the locked trunk of the vehicle, with a trigger lock on the gun itself, and of course it must be unloaded.

Once home, the handgun must again be fitted with its trigger lock. Then it must be locked in a vault, safe or room that was built or modified specifically to store firearms safely. For automatic firearms, you must also remove the bolt or bolt carrier and lock it in a separate room that is difficult to break into. Ammo must also be stored separately.

The above is a general outline and not a comprehensive list of what it takes to own a handgun in Canada. The full gamut of rules and regulations can be found on the detailed Canadian Firearms Program’s website.



In this weekend’s episode, Keith and Kevin Beasley will be hunting with Muskeg Country Outfitters in Manitoba, Canada! Manitoba has a very healthy bear population and a great number of beautiful color phase bears too! Keith and Kevin will be hunting with their Elite bows and hoping to have some up close encounters with some giant bears!

See the teaser:



Recent revelations about a proposed federal law enforcement program might have some friends and families drawing lots to decide who drives to the next gun show.

Criminals rarely obtain guns from gun shows. A Department of Justice survey of state and federal inmates, found that only 0.7 percent of those polled had acquired a firearm that they possessed at the time of their offense from a gun show. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop at least one federal official from suggesting that the sophisticated tools of the modern surveillance state be turned on unsuspecting gun show attendees.

Documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal that, in 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration contemplated using License Plate Readers (LPRs) to track vehicle traffic from gun shows. A highly redacted email from an unknown DEA official suggests the program was past infancy, and stated, “DEA Phoenix Division Office is working closely with ATF on attacking the guns going to [redacted] and the guns shows to include programs/operation with LPRs at the gun shows.”

ACLU correctly points out the danger of such technology in an article on their website, explaining, “An automatic license plate reader cannot distinguish between people transporting illegal guns and those transporting legal guns, or no guns at all; it only documents the presence of any car driving to the event. Mere attendance at a gun show, it appeared, would have been enough to have one’s presence noted in a DEA database.”

The proposed program is even more disturbing when placed into the larger context of the Justice Department’s ongoing general license plate tracking program. A January 26 article from the Wall Street Journal explains the broad contours of DOJ LPR surveillance. The piece states, “The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists.” The authors go on to explain the wide availability of the collected data, writing, “Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations… putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways.” They further note that this national database “allows any police agency that participates to quickly search records of many states for information about a vehicle.”

According to a January 27 Wall Street Journal article focusing specifically on the gun show surveillance proposal, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart told the paper, “The proposal in the email was only a suggestion. It was never authorized by DEA, and the idea under discussion in the email was never launched.” Further, the article stated that DOJ officials were quick to deny any BATFE involvement in the LPR scheme. However, as has been made clear by the events of the last two years, public statements by federal officials regarding the scope of federal surveillance activities should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

DEA’s proposed indiscriminate gun show surveillance places an unacceptable burden on the privacy of law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights and even smacks of firearm registration. Further, such tactics infringe upon rights protected by the First Amendment. Gun shows are far more than just shopping opportunities for gun buyers. They are also community gatherings that often serve as venues for political expression and organizing. As such, they are subject to the First Amendment’s rights of freedom of association and to peaceably assemble and should be free from government activity that could chill free and open participation.

In recent years, the unfettered growth of the surveillance state has become an increasing threat to the privacy of gun owners, and NRA recognizes this challenge. That’s why in early 2014 NRA filed a friend of the court brief in a case challenging the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of phone and internet data. The brief contended that the data collection program is unconstitutional on First Amendment freedom of association grounds, and that it violates statutory prohibitions against compiling gun ownership records. Likewise, NRA is investigating the recent DEA revelations and will continue to work in this area to ensure the privacy of all gun owners.

See the article:



Groton, CT – Two weeks ago Connecticut’s Anti-Gun Governor Dan Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met to discuss their recommendations to be published soon in their final report. You can read about that here.

Today they met again, to go over some final details. Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) Executive Board member Ray Bevis sat through the whole thing and took notes, so the rest of us wouldn’t have to. If you would like to watch a recording of the 1 hour 20 minute meeting, you can do so here.

Keep in mind, while some of their recommendations are already in place here in CT, the commission hopes to see these freedom shredding recommendations spread nationwide.

Here are Ray’s notes:

• The commission final report will be around 100 pages.

• There will be a dedication to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, and to victims of gun violence statewide. Nancy Lanza is specifically not included.

• A section of the report is going to be a summary of events. This section will be a very graphic description of the SHES shooting. Members of the commission feel it’s necessary to rehash the trauma of the day, to make sure the reader feels upset and angry. They said this is necessarily powerful and needed for their gun recommendations.

• They have scheduled the final action meeting for February 13 2015 Friday at 9:30am. This will most likely be their last meeting before they present the report to Malloy.

As far as I could tell this will be their gun related recommendations:

• Gun seizures with ex parte temporary restraining orders.

• Gun seizures with gun violence restraining orders.

• Their verbiage is a combination from the California Bill 1014, CT proposed bill SB56, and recommendations from Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

• Mandatory background checks on the sale for transfers and firearms, including long guns, private sales and sales at gun shows.

• Requiring registration, including a certificate of registration, for any firearm. This certificate of registration should be issued subsequent to the completion of a background check and separate and distinct from a permit to carry.

• Require the renewal of firearms permits on a regular basis. This renewal process should include a test of Firearms handling capacity as well as understanding of applicable laws and regulations.

• Ban the sale, possession or use of any magazine or ammunition feeding device in excess of 10 rounds except for military and police use.

• Ban the possession or sale of all armor-piercing bullets regardless of caliber. A first-time offense should be classified as a class D felony.

• Allow the purchase of ammunition for registered Firearms only.

• Evaluate the best practices for the regulation or prohibition of the sale and purchase of ammunition via the Internet.

• Evaluate the effectiveness of federal law in limiting the purchase of firearms via the Internet for those who have passed the appropriate background screening.

• Limit the amount of ammunition that may be purchased at any given time.

• Prohibit the possession, sale or transfer of any firearm capable of firing more than 10 rounds without reloading. This would extend to military style Firearms as well as handguns. Law-enforcement and military would be exempt.

• Require that trigger locks be provided at time of sale or transfer of any firearm.

• Require that the state develop an update a best practices manual and require that all firearms in the home be stored in a locked container and adhere to these best practices; with current minimum standards featuring a temper resistant mechanical lock or other safety including biometrics device when they are not under the owners direct control or supervision. The owner should always be directly responsible for securing any key used to gain access to the lock container.

• Require non-residents seeking to purchase a firearm or ammunition in the State of Connecticut to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility and conform to all other regulations applicable to Connecticut residents.

• Require gun clubs to report any negligent or reckless behavior with a firearm, or illegal possession of any firearm or magazine, to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Commissioner of Public Safety, and local law enforcement.

• Require promoters of gun shows to receive a permit from the Chief of Police or Chief Elected Official as well as provide notice to the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

About the CCDL –
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in February 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate for second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to more than 14,000 members. Thanks to this large supportive base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture of the capitol, and well recognized by committees that oversee firearms related bills.

CCDL is also actively involved at the state Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted with regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information regarding CCDL, please visit

See the article: –



Various anti-gun groups claiming that the increased acceptance of firearms in American society is lead to more violent crime and gun accidents.

Unfortunately for the deceivers, we know that gun accidents have been steadily declining for decades for both children and adults, and are now at all-time historical lows, even as firearms ownership in the United States is at an all-time high both in terms of raw numbers (more than 300 million firearms) and in terms of the percentage of the population believed to be armed (more than 100 million), and the number of permitted concealed carriers (more than 11 million).

Both the number of gun owners and the number of total firearms in the United States every day is theoretically meeting new all-time highs each and every day.

The gun control groups and the media outlets attempting to carry their proverbial water have been reduced to claiming that the social acceptance of “Gun Culture 2.0? is somehow leading to more violent crime.

Perhaps they should have spoken with the FBI before crafting that lie.

Figures released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported to law enforcement during the first six months of 2014 when compared to figures from the first six months of 2013.

Violent crimes reported for January through June of 2014 were down 4.6 percent from the same time period in 2013. All of the offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery—showed decreases. And the number of property crimes during the same time period decreased 7.5 percent, with all three offenses—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft—showing declines.

There are those who hype fear to sell gun control, and then there are those who look at the hard data and come to the inescapable conclusion that firearms ownership reduces crime.

The science is settled.

See the article:


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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