The Shotgun Blog
Friday, September 11, 2009
Another-other anniversary: Five years since gun-rights activist Bruce Montague's arrest
Writes Bruce Montague in an email to supporters:
We have now reached the 5th anniversary of my arrest (Sept. 11, 2004) while protesting Canada's draconian gun laws. A date has still not been set for our appeal in Toronto but I will keep you informed as soon as I have any info.
Cyril Doll and Matthew Stuart wrote about that arrest five years ago for The Western Standard when Bruce's long saga began:
Bruce Montague, a member of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association, has been challenging police to arrest him under the controversial Firearms Act for more than a year. He marched on Parliament Hill on New Year's Day 2003 with an unregistered firearm in his hand. But it was his alleged violation of the Criminal Code that finally brought the law down on him at a Dryden, Ont., gun show on Sept. 11.
Montague, of Rugby Township, near Dryden, and his 12-year-old daughter Katie were attending a gun show in town when he was arrested by six plainclothes police officers. The Ontario Provincial Police charged the gunsmith with two counts of unauthorized possession of firearms, two counts of careless storage of a firearm, failure to use reasonable care with an explosive, and unlawful possession of an explosive. Cops later laid two additional charges: tampering with a serial number of a firearm and possession of a gun for the purpose of trafficking.
After Montague's wife, Donna, hurried to the show upon receiving a call that Katie had been left alone following her father's arrest, she was confronted by OPP officer Don Cunningham, who instructed the mother to come to the station. "I assumed it was to pick up Bruce," she says. Once there, with two of her children in tow, the 44-year-old woman was charged with unauthorized possession of firearms and careless storage of firearms, and the kids were taken to a waiting room while their mother was interrogated. "It almost sounded as though they thought we were terrorists," she says.
Why is Bruce Montague challenging the Firearms Act? Why does he believe it must be opposed and overturned? In the email, he puts it quite simply:
Canada's Firearms Act (Bill C-68) is an illegal act attempting to turn the right to “arms for their defence” into a privilege and this is specifically contrary to our constitution. These laws create criminal offences out of something that is a right and has traditionally been enjoyed without persecution by millions of Canadians since we became a nation. It also allows arbitrary confiscation of any and all guns! Even many of the “safe storage” provisions are being used to eliminate the only effective means of self-defence available to us, which again is unconstitutional.
What's all the fuss about? Why should we care? Pierre Lemieux in his October 2004 Western Standard column:
Bruce Montague's basic crime was to refuse to humbly ask for a gun owner licence, which implies answering questions like: "During the past five years, have you threatened or attempted suicide, or have you been diagnosed or treated by a medical practitioner for: depression; alcohol, drug or substance abuse; behavioural problems; or emotional problems?" and "During the past two years, have you experienced a divorce, a separation, a breakdown of a significant relationship, job loss or bankruptcy?" These obscene questions have been on the application forms since the 1990s, and a positive answer will lead to further interrogations.
If anybody had told us just a few decades ago that peaceful Canadians would have to answer these sorts of questions from the state every five years just to keep their firearms-and this is only one of the liberticidal aspects of the gun-control legislations imposed in 1991 and in 1995-most of us would not have believed it. Some would probably have boasted that "there will be a revolution. "There has been no revolution thus far, but at least a few hundred thousand Canadians have not complied and have thus been turned into peaceful criminals.
[T]he victimless "crimes" that Bruce Montague and his wife have been charged with are peaceful activities, in which Canadians were at liberty to engage for more than a hundred years after Confederation and for a few centuries of the French and English colonial periods. By resisting laws that violate our traditional liberties, Bruce Montague was rendering a service to all Canadians. George Orwell, the prescient author of Nineteen Eighty-four, wrote, "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
The description of what took place is what one could only expect in a back-water police state. His wife said the police acted as though they were terrorists, but terrorists or real criminals would not have been treated as badly. What more can one say other than it is disgusting and shameful.
Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-11 6:11:23 PM
Nothing more Alain.
Posted by: TM | 2009-09-11 9:09:05 PM
Gun registration is one of the most ridiculous ideas ever to come out of Canada's middle east.
There is no way in hell a bunch of lawyer's sitting around somewhere in Ottawa are going to dictate whether or not we have a right to self defense.
And the greatest proponents of gun registration in history have been Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Amin...and other mass murderers. Why? So they can confiscate of course.
There is no reason, there are no statistics, there is no proof, none, that registration makes any of us any safer.
Gun registration makes the authorities safer, not you. And that is the only real reason that we have this kind of crap in Canada.
The greatest homeland security there could possibly be is a well armed populace. As opposed to that group who are running road blocks in the states. (training Americans to comply)
Here is a link to what Canadian Cops have to say about registration and how well it works.
The whole thing is a sick joke....on you.
Posted by: The original JC | 2009-09-12 5:38:36 AM
Legalize guns!!! ;)
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-12 7:45:56 AM
Bruce Montague is to gun control in Canada as Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn are to HRC's.
Because we as Canadians are submissive and abide and obey laws, even corrupt and stupid laws, the state will use force (yes , your garden variety OPP and local municipal police ) to enforce those laws fully, and believe me they don't fool around.
Bruce Montague and his family will attest to that fact.
Prior to the passing of Bill C-68 IN 1998 a massive demonstration in opposition to the bill were held on Parliament Hill.
I drove to Ottawa alone ( I missed the buses from Woodstock, Ont) to attend.
I have my own video footage of the protest march.
Featured speakers in opposition were, Preston Manning, Professor, Pierre Lemieux, and Lawyer Karen Selick among others whom I cannot recall after eleven years.
The point being, that law is still in effect and the draconian police rights to search and seize any material in your home, without search warrant is still very much in effect in Canada today.
Any one believing local police will not carry out such a search in any community in this country backed by bill C-68 is living in dreamland.
Bill C-68 still stands today.
Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2009-09-12 8:33:32 AM
Just back from a trip to Nova Scotia. Beautiful scenery, backward people. I grew up there, but I have little in common with people I used to know.
Everyone there believes that gun control is the answer to violent crime. They refuse to consider that citizens could have an effect on criminal activity. That's strictly a government responsibility.
Everyone believes in man-made global warming, and most of them got their information from Al Gore's movie. Most internet users set "Facebook" as their homepage. CBC is the main news source for most households.
Hunting is almost non-existent. Land owners have most of the land posted "no hunting". It's now impossible to grow a garden, because the deer, and racoons are so over-populated. Bears have easy access to anything not tied down, in most rural areas.
The cost of living in Nova Scotia is much higher than in Alberta. Nothing is free. Historic Properties, in Halifax, will cost you $100 just to look around. The museum is $9 a head. Parking is $4 an hour. Disgusting fish and chips are $10. Whale watching tours are $40, and there are no whales anywhere near Halifax.
You need a special permit for absolutely everything. My sister has so many licences on the wall of her store, it takes up valuable retail space.
You can get a ticket for not driving with your headlights on, during daylight hours. Considering the condition of some of the cars down there, I can think of better ways to make the highways safer. Gas prices are regulated, so when prices drop everywhere else, they lag behind in NS.
A large portion of the population lives in a semi-rural setting. About half of them burn wood for home heating. They had an opportunity to switch to natural gas, but couldn't be convinced it's safe. With the combination of wood, diesel, and coal powered electrical plants, the carbon footprint of the average Nova Scotian is much, much larger than the average Albertan.
The situation in Canada is almost beyond repair. Maritimers are zombies, who will go along with anything, and never question higher authority. Quebecers despise Canada, and would do anything to spite us. Much of Ontario is held hostage by radical immigrant groups, with a vested interest in disarming the general population. The support for total confiscation of firearms is growing at an unstoppable rate.
The only way to turn the tide, is to make firearms a provincial responsibility.
Posted by: dp | 2009-09-12 8:40:45 AM
And if you think thatss bad take a look at what they did to me. Just google me. If you want copies of the articles email me at [email protected] and I'll send you the Western Standard article and Barbara Kay's National Post article on the same outrageous injustice. has anything ever been addressed? Nope and I still don't have my 4 rifles back. Or my status and credibility. Justice is not for gun owners or the wrongfully raided and abused. its Gestapo time folks. I kid you not.
Posted by: Jeremy Swanson | 2009-09-12 8:44:15 AM
I agree with Joe Molnar. i didn't even know the police (and the bomb squad) had raided my home and "seized" my firearms and pellet guns, camping axes, machetes and even Canadian tire folding shovel. There was no warrant and no reason to do that but they closed my road off used loud hailers to get the neightbours inside(imagine what that did to my neighbourhood standing)and took out all the "dangerous" things. My 13 year old son coming home from school was approached by his friends asking questions like "Andrew is your Dad a criminal? is he a terrorist"? Of course that didn't much matter after that as the whole thing was used to paint me as a "dangerous person" and have a judge award everything to my wife. House and all. And of course my children immediately became estranged. I ahven't seen my three children in over 6 years now. And this is the Canada which the world admires and whose justice system is the "envy of the world"?
Posted by: Jeremy Swanson | 2009-09-12 8:51:14 AM
I did not even know they had "seized" my firearms and arifacts. I found out 6 months later when I asked my son how his BB gun shooting was going. He told me the police had taken them. That was the first time and the only time I found out and was thus informed. It got worse from there.
Posted by: Jeremy Swanson | 2009-09-12 9:08:36 AM
Too many stories like Jeremy's out there. Far far too many. This whole thing is going to blow up one of these days...
Posted by: The original JC | 2009-09-12 9:09:53 PM
The only way to turn the tide, is to make firearms a provincial responsibility.
Posted by: dp | 2009-09-12 8:40:45 AM
Sad to hear the things you have to say about the Maritimes dp, but I believe they are accurate.
And the only way, in my opinion, to turn the tide is to make firearms a "personal" responsibility in a system of justice...not "law".
Posted by: The original JC | 2009-09-13 6:42:24 AM
Gun control is just one of the many excuses governments use to crush easy targets and control our lives. Jeremy Swanson's case isn't just about gun control, it is about abusive family law courts, unethical psychologists who help the government abuse families, violation of due process and civil rights, and the government's war on the family.
There's a lot more information on his case, the other types of government abuse used, and links to other articles via think link:
Posted by: Sammy | 2009-10-09 9:17:56 PM
That lying PIG Allan Rock said the gun control registry would cost 200 million, and has now cost 2 billion, yet did NOTHING but appease ignorant idiot canadian voters and destroy peoples lives over petty gestapo paperwork.
Now it's cost is 2 BILLION, for perspective, in the US that would be 20 billion!!!!!!!! (that could have gone into health care and actually helped human beings)
Ironically, Allan Rock went onto GUT the healthcare system while Steven Harper cheered on from the sidelines, wanting deeper cuts and a US style health system (research his activity's in the 90's). NOW they are admitting gutting the healthcare (besides being unspeakably cruel) DID NOT SAVE MONEY, all those people who died, were off work for so long or permanently ARE NO LONGER PAYING TAXES.
Icing on the cake? Some old farmer or war vet will go to jail for 3 years mandatory just for having a firearm without all the BS liberal paperwork.
Way to go Harper you coward. Why the hell dont you take on organized crime DIRECTLY instead of scapegoating gun owners over and over and over?????
Anti-gun morons dont like the fact that violent crime went DOWN in every state that has issued concealed carry permits to non felons. People always manage themselves better than centralized government. You are in trouble? Oh sure, call the cops. They'll arrive in time to take pics of your dead body and then give 5 people insanely high traffic tickets on the way back to Tim Hortons!
Posted by: totally disgusted | 2009-10-21 3:42:47 AM
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