By Ryan Crocker
Beausejour Review Bruce Montague and his family are no
strangers to hard work, something surely helping them on their often
painful journey to bite the Firearms Act bullet on behalf of many
Montague, a gunsmith from Dryden, Ont., was opposed to Bill C-68 from
the start. He knew the Canadian constitution guaranteed him the right
to bear arms for self-defense and he believed the government was
simply trying to strip Canadians – not criminals – of their firearms
one by one. It is a belief many Canadians now consider as good as fact.
Knowing Bill C-68 contradicted the constitution, Montague was eager
to get his day in court – confident of at least a partial victory
based on this evidence alone. A few times he tried to get arrested by
openly declaring his non-compliance with the regulations but he never
expected to finally be taken into custody the way he was.
While at a gun show with his young daughter, Montague was trying to
buy a saddle when law enforcement officials surrounded and arrested
him. The little girl was so terrified a friend of the family called
her mother, Donna Montague, and told her she had best come down right
away. Once she had calmed her child down and arrived at the police
station to – she thought – see her husband, she was informed that she
too was under arrest. All of the firearms at their family businesses
were confiscated, even customer guns, and so the battle began.
Bruce and Donna Montague have travelled from Vancouver to Halifax in
a bid to raise awareness about the implications of C-68, share what
their family has been going through, and – most importantly – raise
money for their Scrap C-68 Fund. The family made one such stop in
Beausejour on Dec, 14.
The event was held before a full house at the Royal Canadian Legion,
which as a non-political organization did not sponsor the event.
After warm introductions, Donna Montague shared a little of her
family's long military history – which included both world wars and
several other conflicts.
"They risked their very lives for the rights and freedoms of
Canadians," she said.
"And although we're used to threats coming from outside, today that
threat comes from within."
Montague detailed what has been one of the most painful developments
for her family to bear. The federal government placed a lean against
their home, a home they built with their own hands. Their young
daughter, 6-years-old at the time, even engraved her name into one of
the logs now part of her bedroom wall.
"This home was built with the blood, sweat, and tears of love. How
can anyone take that away from us?" she said.
"This is not the country I grew up in. I'm just infuriated by the
surreal and extreme measures they're going to.
"The federal government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars,
your tax dollars, to persecute us."
She talked about how frustrated and appalled she is the federal
government would come down so hard on an average, working class,
Canadian family. She believes the more the legal cards seem stacked
in her family's favour, the more brutally unnecessary the
government's campaign becomes. As an example, she noted a half-dozen
or so new charges laid against her husband come with a minimum
one-year sentence, despite the fact all the charges are based on
non-compliance and none involve a crime with any clear victim –
unless, as Bruce Montague joked, you include him.
Bruce Montague noted a constitution is never written to protect the
government, it's written to protect the people from their government.
"A constitution sets boundaries the government has to maintain itself
within," he said. Montague thinks, since the Canadian constitution
guarantees the right to bear arms for self defense and, since Bill
C-68 makes gun ownership illegal in that licences are required,
there's enough reason for it to be struck down by the supreme court.
"The Firearms Act does not respect our rights and freedoms and it
does not make us safer," he added.
Montague said he does not advocate an American-style system and fully
supports background-checks and other security measures but he
believes C-68 is designed to eventually confiscate all firearms from
average Canadians, without ever having made much impact in the criminal world.
"This is not going to stop. It's going to continue on and on. We have
a duty to protect our rights and we should stand proud doing that," he said.
At the end of his presentation, Montague took questions from those in
attendance. He detailed exactly what had been confiscated from his
business, how long he has been in this battle, and how he believes
the federal government feels.
"I believe we've got them scared just because they're going to these
levels. I think they're trying to intimidate me into backing down," he said.
"What we have to do is fight on our principles, it's the only chance
For more information about Bruce and Donna Montague, or to see what
you can do to help the family at the forefront of a battle many
Canadians are involved in – like making a donation to the Scrap C-68
Fund - visit their website 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.