By Garett Williams
Thursday November 29, 2007
For the third consecutive day Bruce Montague was in the witness box in a
Kenora Superior courtroom defending himself against nearly 50 firearms
His lawyer, Doug Christie, played a clip of a documentary featuring Montague
protesting the Firearms Act on Parliament Hill the day it was enacted in
2003. He and a group of others protested Bill C-38 by burning registration
certificates and placing a wooden plaque on the doors of the parliament
buildings, which claimed the bill was unconstitutional and they wouldn't
"Hopefully now they'll get the message," he said in the film.
He defended himself against assistant Crown attorney Peter Keen's case,
which accused Montague of being a threat to public safety, saying he is not
anti-government and has never used his firearms in a crime or to cause harm.
"I consider myself very much a patriot," he said. "I believe very much in
the rule of law. I want the same thing I think most Canadians do and that's
a safe country that doesn't take away your freedoms."
The trends he saw in gun laws in Canada were designed to regulate firearms
out of existence, he said, and guns which one day were non-restricted could
become prohibited overnight and required to be turned in for termination.
To avoid losing firearms which were legally acquired, then classified
prohibited through an order in council, he buried several weapons on Crown
land, after removing the serial numbers, to ensure that if someone did find
them, they wouldn't be traced back to him. Later, when he decided to fight
the registration openly, he dug them up and returned them to his secure
One of his charges relates to a one-handed cross-bow, which he referred to
as a toy. It's classified as a prohibited weapon, even though it doesn't
shoot with enough power to break someone's skin. Crown witness John Paul
Menard, a senior forensic scientist from the Centre of Forensic Sciences in
Toronto, agreed that the weapon would only seriously harm someone if they
were shot in the eye.
To demonstrate how generous the registry is when it comes to classifying a
weapon as prohibited, Montague constructed a prohibited weapon in the
witness box. He dismantled a pen and called it a blow gun -- a prohibited
Keen began his cross-examination late in the afternoon and is expected to
finish today. The defence will call two more witnesses before closing
arguments begin, which is expected to be Monday.
Montague is facing 47 firearms related charges, including the unauthorized
possession and careless storage of non-restricted firearms, explosives and
restricted firearms. His wife, Donna, is facing three charges -- the
unauthorized possession of a firearm and two counts of careless storage of a
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