By Bryan Meadows - The Chronicle-Journal
October 22, 2004
A Dryden-area gunsmith faces 23 more criminal charges as a result of an ongoing provincial police investigation into unlawful possession of firearms and explosives.
William Bruce Montague, 45, is charged with six counts each of possessing weapons dangerous to the public peace and careless storage of firearms; two counts each of possessing firearms with the serial numbers removed, possession of prohibited devices, and possessing prohibited firearms (sawed off shotguns); and single counts of possession of a prohibited weapon; unlawful possession of and failure to use reasonable care of an explosive; and unlawful possession of firearms.
Montague was initially charged Sept. 12 with six firearm and explosive offenses after police executed a search warrant at his residence.
Police said Thursday that the 23 additional charges relate to a search of the residence on Sept. 20 and 21.
Police said officers discovered a concealed entrance that led to a hidden room off the basement. Inside the room, more than 100 firearms and more than 25,000 rounds of ammunition were discovered. Officers also found explosive materials, prohibited weapons and devices including over-capacity magazines and silencers, police said.
Firearms seized included a loaded .223 semi-automatic assault rifle with a silencer and barrel-mounted lazer sight; a .22-calibre semi-automatic handgun with a silencer; a loaded 9-mm handgun in a shoulder holster; an Uzi pistol submachine gun; a Sten submachine gun; a 9-mm submachine gun that had the serial number removed; a crossbow; and two sawed-off shotguns.
The explosive material included a detonator cord, detonators and manuals on how to make explosives, police said.
Montague is to be back in Dryden court Nov. 15.
His wife Donna Jeanne Montague, 44, is to be back in court Monday on charges of unauthorized possession of firearms and careless storage of a firearm.
Meanwhile, donations have started to flow in for the defence of Montague who is leading a court challenge of Bill C-68, federal gun control legislation that requires the country’s gun owners to register their firearms.
Edward Hudson, secretary of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA), said Montague “is going to need at least $300,000 to mount an adequate defence against the very first charge under the Firearms Act.’’
Montague is a provincial CUFOA representative and has been a Dryden-area gunsmith for 17 years.
The Montagues have retained the services of Thornhill, Ont., lawyer Ed Burlew.
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