A Dryden woman is angry and a little shaken after Dryden OPP charged her and her husband with firearms and explosives related offences.
By Richard Amery and Reg Clayton
Miner and News
A Dryden woman is angry and a little shaken after Dryden OPP charged her and her husband with firearms and explosives related offences. Donna Montague and her husband Bruce were arrested and charged at Dryden’s gun show, Sept. 11.
Her husband has been held in custody ever since. A show cause hearing at Dryden provincial court Sept. 15 was adjourned to Kenora, Sept. 17, and subsequently rescheduled for this morning (Monday) at 10 a.m., also in Kenora.
“He’s still in custody, I hope on Monday he will be free. He’s not a risk to society,” fumed Donna Montague, manning a booth at the Kenora Gun Show at the Kenora Curling Club on Saturday, along with her daughter Katey and middle son, Michael.
“We’re going all the way to the Supreme Court. It’s our best hope, it’s our only hope. If this goes through, hunting will basically end as will personal firearms ownership,” Montague continued, noting she is collecting donations to raise money for lawyer’s fees.
Dryden Crown attorney Peter Keen confirmed that the bail court proceedings are subject to a publication ban.
“It’s not unusual in these circumstances, so that statements and discussions made in court don’t influence juries in the future,” he said Friday.
Bruce Montague operates Monty’s Gunsmithing from the family’s rural home in Rugby township, west of Dryden.
Arrested while purchasing saddle
“He (Bruce) didn’t even want to go to the (Dryden Gun) show, but Katey wanted to go. He was at a booth looking at a saddle he wanted to purchase. A man approached him, saying he was a police officer who asked him to step outside. Bruce asked him to wait a moment while he paid for the saddle, then the officer grabbed his arms and he was taken forcibly to jail. He has a clean record,” Donna Montague recounted.
“Then I got a call saying Katey was upset and asking if I could pick her up. An officer asked me to follow him to the police station to settle a few things. I thought it was to pick up Bruce. Then they told me I was being charged also. I was refused access to my husband. I was later released after signing a paper saying I would appear in court, not drink, not that that has ever been a problem, and not have access to firearms,” she continued.
She is scheduled to appear in Dryden provincial court on Oct. 25.
“I was told they had a search warrant to search my house. I wasn’t able to go home for two days. I haven’t seen the warrant or a list of what they were looking for. They didn’t trash it like I thought they would, but everything was moved. It’s a very disturbing feeling when people have basically raped your house,” Montague moaned, calling C-68 a dangerous piece of legislation.
“This legislation takes away the necessity of a search warrant. Even an anonymous tip can allow them to enter your house. People need to know we are doing this for every Canadian. You don’t even need to have a firearm to be affected,” she said.
The Montagues were charged with unauthorized possession of firearms and two counts of careless storage of firearms contrary to the Criminal Code. Bruce Montague also faces additional Criminal Code charges of unlawful possession of explosives and failure to use reasonable care regarding explosives.
According to an Ontario Provincial Police Dryden detachment news release, the arrests followed a joint investigation by the OPP weapons enforcement unit, the Northwest Region Crime Unit and the Regional Chief Firearms Officer.
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