By Ryan Crocker
Friday November 16, 2007
It’s been a while since Bruce and Donna Montague visited Beausejour to share the story of their struggle to repeal the Firearms Act.
At that time, The Review shared their painful journey to bite the Firearms Act bullet on behalf of many angry Canadians. 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.
Despite the years that have come and gone, their struggle still continues. On Nov. 6, a court ruling was released that, due to a publication deferral order, cannot be detailed in The Review at this time. A publication deferral order is not an outright publication ban, it temporarily prohibits the media from reporting details that may influence court proceedings – for example, information that may compromise a defendant’s right to a fair trial.
The Montagues have posted the ruling on their website as well as a copy of the argument they presented before the Justice. For more information, visit www.BruceMontague.ca.
I can share an update issued by the Montague family that said, in part, the ruling “acknowledges the right to firearms ownership, but then defers to parliament’s history of infringing on our fundamental right to possess effective tools for the defense of human life. While we disagree with the ruling on the whole, this constitutional right will be the focus of the next stage of the Firearms Act challenge.”
It went on to say the ruling represents “a relatively small setback. In fact it gives the Montagues a strong basis to refocus and represent arguments for consideration by the higher court. Besides our appeal to Canada’s constitutional heritage, we will emphasize the common-law basis for self-defense, and highlight the glaring ineffectiveness and pitfalls of the Firearms Act. As intended from the beginning, our next goal is to have portions of the Act struck down by the Ontario Court of Appeal.”
The ruling allowed a criminal trial for Bruce and Donna Montague to progress in which they say the Crown is seeking “the full penalties of the current harsh, complex, and unreasonable sections of the Criminal Code which are enabled by the Firearms Act.”
It deeply offends and infuriates me that the Montague family is still living this nightmare. I simply cannot believe that common sense has yet to prevail.
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.