By Laurie Papineau, Dryden Observer
Members of the Kenora District Camp Owners Association (KDCA) voted last
week to support Bruce Montague's Scrap C-68 Fund as a show of their
disapproval for the gun registry and the negative effects it has had on
KDCA president Harald Lohn of Ear Falls was in Dryden following the annual
fall meeting where a majority of camp owners voted to provide a donation to
the fund that will be used to pay Bruce Montague's legal fees.
The local gunsmith and Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association
(CUFOA) provincial representative is hoping to come up with the money
needed to fight his recent firearms charges all the way to the Supreme
Court, where he feels the laws borne of Bill C-68 will be struck down as
Lohn says KDCA members may not be acquainted with Montague or the
particulars of his case, but they are all too familiar with the damage
being caused by firearms registration laws.
"Tourism is definitely affected by the gun registry," says Lohn. "Tourism
here includes hunting and those coming from across the border or elsewhere
in the province. Anyone crossing the border has to register their guns, and
they don't feel they should have to."
He says this has already resulted in fewer hunters and lower tourism
dollars. Camp owners have noted that the first year the new laws were in
effect, tourists seemed a little put off by the whole process.
"The second year, they're saying it's just not worth it," adds one camp
owner, adding that the loss of hunters will eventually translate to a loss
of anglers, and even more tourism dollars.
Hoping that Montague can do something to stop the damage, KDCA wrote a
cheque for $500 last week and presented it to those looking after his legal
fund, called the Scrap C-68 Fund.
"It's support like this that helps keep me strong," says Montague. "This
fight isn't just my fight - it's everyone's fight! People are getting fed
up with these laws that keep getting rammed down our throats, and at some
point we all have to dig in our heels and say enough is enough."
The CUFOA member is encouraged to see people he doesn't know step forward
to support the cause he represents, and vows to stay true to his principles.
"I'm not interested in getting off on technicalities," he says. "I want to
see some serious changes to the Firearms Act and hopefully the way laws
like this come to be in the first place."
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