It's been a very long and exhausting month for my family and I, but we made it through ok! Thanks in large part to all of you who helped us in so many ways.
The jury came back with a verdict for Donna and I on Thursday Dec. 6, 2007. The reason it's taken me so long to write this letter is because we had so many people here from out of town for the trial that were heading back today. We wanted to take the time to personally thank them all for being here for us before they left. There were also many local supporters who attended most of the trial that I needed to thank as well.
It feels good to finally be finished the trial and get a favourable verdict back. I'll have to explain a bit; Donna and myself both were convicted of having firearms without a licence. For a constitutional challenge of the Firearms Act we needed to be found guilty of these licensing laws. We are now in good shape to launch an appeal on constitutional grounds. The really good news is that we were acquitted on ALL the explosives charges and ALL the charges relating to having "weapons for the purpose dangerous to the public peace". These were bogus charges to begin with and had no substance to them. What I think these charges were intended for is to scare the public and undermine our public support.
It's a relief to not have these serious charges hanging over our heads any longer. It'll make it much easier to focus more on the real issues at hand. The protection of our rights and freedoms that the Firearms Act (Bill C-68) is attacking. Our lawyer, Doug Christie, has done an excellent job for us in this fight. He has even donated much of his time to this cause because it's one he believes in. Doug Christie is a passionate and competent man. If anyone can win this battle for Canadian rights in the Supreme Court of Canada, he can.
Our next stage in our constitutional challenge is to apply for an appeal to the Supreme Court of Ontario. It's also time to raise more funds. This trial has used up most of what we had. The good news is that the bulk of the expenses for this constitutional challenge are now behind us. Appeal courts are much shorter in duration and most of our research is already done. We feel we are in a good position now for the appeal and look forward to it.
If you know of any people who might have been timid to join in this fight because of the inflammatory charges against me (ie, the explosives and the "danger to the public peace"), maybe they would reconsider joining in this fight for their rights and freedoms.
One thing we did succeed in during our first phase of the charter challenge is that the judge did recognize that we do indeed have a right to arms for our defence in Canada. This is at the heart of our charter challenge and we are very pleased that this right has been acknowledged by the judge. Although the judge didn't think our right has been overly infringed by the Firearms Act, I think we have very strong arguments to support our claim that the current licensing scheme eliminates that right and tries to turn it into a privilege.
If you would like to learn more details about the trial please visit our website (www.BruceMontague.ca). There is lots of new information on it about the trial and the verdicts that I didn't cover here in this letter.
God bless you, and Merry Christmas!
Yours in Liberty,
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