Firearms crusader speaks to Manitoba coalition
By Cindy McKay, Friday August 19, 2005
An Ontario gunsmith whose staunch opposition to Canada’s national gun registry has landed him in trouble with the law stopped in the Interlake recently to blast Bill C68 and raise funds to support his court battle.
Bruce Montague spoke at the Manitoba Firearms Coalition barbecue outside of Ashern Aug. 6. Montague, who has a wife, Donna, and three children, has been charged with numerous offences under the Firearms Act for refusing to register his weapons.
On Sept. 11, 2004 Montague was arrested and jailed for 11 days for violation of the licensing and registration terms of the Firearms Act. Police officers then conducted a 36 hour search of the Montague home, seizing and confiscating Montague's firearms, ammunition and other property, including computers, binoculars, scopes and books.
Montague, backed by a team of legal experts, is preparing to make the first serious charter challenge of the Firearms Act to the Supreme Court of Canada.
A crowd of about 150 listened to the Dryden resident’s take on the much maligned legislation.
“I have been charged by government as a criminal for refusing to register my firearms. First of all this has nothing to do with firearms at all,” Montague said.
“It’s about one thing – our rights. Our God given, fundamental human rights that were bought and paid for by the blood of the fallen men and women. Lest we forget. How could we have forgotten so soon?”
Montague contends the law makes the assumption that anyone who uses a gun, uses it in a criminal way. Law abiding citizens are being penalized for owning guns, even though they’ve never used them to commit a crime.
“There is the common perception that anyone who touches a gun uses it in anger, does this mean that Uncle Joe who is a duck hunter is a criminal?” Montague asked.
Citing public safety research done over the last few years, Montague pointed out that the Firearms Act and the banning of certain weapons has actually made it easier for criminals to do their jobs.
“There has been an increase in crime when you look at other countries such as England and Australia where they have gun laws. The crime rate is high which makes a lot of sense,” Montague said.
“The criminals have the balance of power.”
Montague said it’s important for Canadians to band together and challenge the firearms registry because it flies in the face of the Constitution.
“Some say that because it’s the law, we should go along with it, even if you don’t agree. If this was a charter law based on normal, ethical and valid points, OK. But this is not a valid law and I plan to plead not guilty when we get to court,” Montague said.
“Any law that goes against the constitution is not a valid law. The constitution gives the right to own guns and a licence is the privilege to use them, not a right. If we don’t fight for our rights, we’ll lose them.”
Montague believes the Firearms Act is government’s way of disarming the country. In the last 10 years, several weapons have been prohibited.
“They pick on one group like machine gun owners...There’s no problem with machine guns,” Montague said.
“The skeet shooters who are doctors and lawyers don’t realize that when the government gets around to calling in their weapons they too will be affected.”
Canadians need to stand up for democracy, Montague said, and fight for what they believe in.
“The world is upside down - twisted around and upside down,” Montague said. “It’s time we make our employees (politicians) accountable. We need to get involved and make things right...We are not trying to overthrow any government, we just want to take control of democracy.”
The Montagues’ are still waiting for a court date. A July 25 date in Kenora for a pre judicial hearing set a tentative court date of Oct. 26 which has since been moved to Dec. 22. A total of $2,760 was raised in support of the Montagues’ court battle at the Ashern barbecue.
The Montague website can be found at http://www.brucemontague.ca
DISCLAIMER: BruceMontague.ca is maintained by friends and
supporters of Bruce Montague.
It is NOT an official mouth-piece for Bruce
Montague's legal defense.