Bruce Montague
Bill C-68 Court Challenge
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This Case Epilogue written February 1, 2017 is intended to provide context to this web site as it documents a Canadian constitutional challenge spanning from 2004 to 2016. Bruce Montague determined to expose the constitutional violations in the Canadian Firearms Act. After being charged, mounting a constitutional challenge and appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada, Montague's case was dismissed without reasons. With Bruce in jail, the Montagues then faced an another twist of injustice -- the confiscation of their home and property by the Ontario government. The Montagues fought the civil forfeiture of their home for years until, in the summer of 2016, the Canadian Constitution Foundation was instrumental in negotiating with the Ontario Civil Forfeiture department to drop the lien against the Montague home. The Canadian Constitution Foundation deserves our support as they continue to fight other cases of injustice around the country. YOU COULD BE NEXT! Canada is undergoing a quiet revolution and your fundamental rights and freedoms are at stake!
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Criminal control, not gun control, will halt violence

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PUBLICATION:  The Chronicle-Herald
DATE:  2005.12.16
SECTION:  Opinion
COLUMN:  Al Muir

From the still open wounds of the Mayerthorpe, Alta., RCMP massacre, to the hail of gunfire blanketing the streets of Toronto and Vancouver, it is apparent something is seriously amiss with Canada's $2-billion Firearms Registry. With a federal election campaign underway, the registry as a measure of "gun control" is under further public scrutiny.

Why is the expensive registry not functioning as predicted, and what measures will curb the slaughter of innocents? Will the Liberals' proposed handgun ban help alleviate the problem? The answers lie in where we choose to focus "control."

On Oct. 3, 2003, a report on the effectiveness of firearms laws was released by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga. It detailed the results of a three-year review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence. Areas covered included firearms registration and licensing of firearm owners. The task force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any firearms laws. On Dec. 16, 2004, similar results were issued in a U.S. National Academy of Sciences report, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review.

Closer to home, Canadian Professor Garry Mauser's report, The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales, underlines the serious deficiencies in worldwide attempts at "gun control." In countries like England, with more stringent laws than Canada, including a handgun ban, gun crime is on the rise. Disarming the law-abiding has resulted in an emboldened criminal element.

In responding to MP Garry Breitkreuz's Order Paper Question Q-19 on Nov. 29, 2004, Statistics Canada stated: "The specific impact of the firearms program or the firearms registry cannot be isolated from other factors" in determining changes in crime statistics.

The central problem with these "gun control" efforts is their focus on those least likely to require them. While responsible citizens line up to abide by the requirements, criminals do not. Indeed, they cannot! If you are a criminal, you theoretically cannot get a licence. Without a licence, you cannot register a firearm. As acknowledged by Canadian Firearms Commissioner William Baker (in the minutes of the standing committee on justice and human rights, Nov. 24, 2004), criminals fall outside of the scope of the Firearms Act. The registry applies only to those who are allowed to own firearms. Under the sentencing provisions of the Firearms Act, legally licensed owners potentially face imprisonment for up to two years for failing to report an address change within 30 days. They are also required to open up their homes to inspections when requested. At present, over 176,000 Canadians have a court-ordered firearms prohibition and over 37,000 have restraining orders. These individuals are exempt from the requirement of reporting their whereabouts or allowing in-home inspections. They are on no national registry.

According to Statistics Canada, in the year 2003, 69 per cent of adults accused of homicide had a criminal record, two-thirds for violent offences. Five had previously committed murder. The vast majority of these individuals would be issued a firearms prohibition.

Because law-abiding firearm owners vastly outnumber those predisposed to criminal use, the system is untenably expensive. Individuals who are a threat to commit or who commit crimes with firearms are, or should be, identified very early by law-enforcement officials and the courts. They should be placed on a new Firearms Prohibition Registry (FPR), aimed specifically at known criminals and potentially dangerous individuals. These dangerous individuals would be readily identified and tracked by law-enforcement officials and the courts, and thus prevented from acquiring or possessing a firearm. By monitoring many fewer individuals, the FPR would be much less expensive to administer.

An FPR focused on known and potential abusers of firearms, not the responsible firearms owners, would be much more effective and useful to police. We should focus our tax dollars on known threats, not responsible citizens. The FPR could be housed with a pedophile registry and any other necessary registry of dangerous persons. The benefits in centralizing expertise and the economy of keeping one central registry should be obvious.

What is required is a combination of firearms prohibitions, monitoring of people they are issued against, adequate coercion to ensure compliance with prohibitions, and adequate punishment when people possess or misuse prohibited items.

If the focus of "gun control" does not shift to those individuals prohibited from possession and serious efforts are not made to strengthen laws to enforce those prohibitions, preventable firearms violence will continue.

In Canada, the Liberals are proposing a ban on handguns. At present, moves are afoot in Britain to ban sharp kitchen knives. The faulty premises of "gun control" are in danger of being applied to "knife control." What is required is "criminal control," but liberal philosophy requires we handle criminals delicately. The FPR is a bold, innovative, but rational step towards criminal control and a rejection of "baseball bat control" and any number of other irrational reactions to the problem of violence in our homes and businesses and on our streets.

Al Muir of Stellarton is the Nova Scotia director of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association.

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