By Garett Williams
Friday November 30, 2007
The latest chapter in Bruce Montague’s trial on nearly 50 weapons-related offences saw the defence call his wife, Donna, to the witness box to testify.
When Bruce Montague was arrested at a Dryden gun show in 2004, Donna settled into a day of baking at home. She got a call that her husband had been arrested and rushed out of the house in a panic -- forgetting to unload and store two rifles kept in the house for predator control.
“I guess them being loaded was my fault,” she said, looking at her husband with glassy eyes.
She said she was taken to the Dryden OPP office, where she learned she too was under arrest -- she was charged with three firearms related offences -- and told she couldn’t return home until the police finished a search of their house.
She said the officers refused to show her a copy of the warrant and told her if she went home, she would be charged with obstructing of justice.
When she returned home, she said her house had been “raped.”
“Not trashed, not a mess, but everything was moved,” she said. “There’s something violating about seeing everything moved.”
Earlier in the morning, Crown attorney Peter Keen finished his cross-examination of Bruce Montague, pressing him hard on the hidden room, whether he had loaded guns and his feelings towards the government.
Montague said he didn’t store loaded guns in his security vault. If the magazines contained ammo, they wouldn’t be pushed all the way into the receiver, which he considered unloaded.
Keen asked Montague about his relationship with the police who searched his home previous to his arrest, whether they may have any ill will toward him. He described his relationship with them as cold, but not unfriendly.
“He was polite to me, much like you are now,” he said to Keen. “But I don’t consider you my friend.”
Montague maintained he kept firearms for security, in case of civil unrest. He said if a government regulates firearms out of existence in a country, it takes all the power away from the citizens, which can lead to oppressive and genocidal governments. He cited Rawanda as an example, but admitted he can’t see anything like that happening in Canada any time soon.
Montague is facing numerous offenses, 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 firearm.
Closing arguments are expected to begin early next week.
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