From here on out, it is a waiting game. More than five years have passed
since Bruce Montague was arrested with an unregistered firearm slung
over his shoulder at a Dryden gun show in September 2004. In the time
since, his constitutional challenge of the federal firearm registry was
dismissed and he and his wife have been convicted of a combined
nearly-30 firearm related charges.
Upon conviction on 26 of the more than 50 charges faced, the former
gunsmith and competition shooter was sentenced to 18 months in custody,
handed a lifetime firearm ban and spent more than 25 days behind bars
before being released on bail pending an appeal that was heard in a
Toronto courtroom Thursday.
Some 60 supporters rallied outside the Ontario Court of Appeal,
according to Montague, before packing standing-room only into the
courtroom to hear attorney Doug Christie argue “Canadians have a
fundamental right to self-protection, which entails the right to possess
effective tools for that purpose,” said an article posted on Montague’s
He argued “the constitutional heritage of Canada gives citizens the
right to security of person through section 7 of the (Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms), rights which the court has an obligation to
uphold against infringements by Parliament.”
Christie also pointed out errors in the trial leading to the Montagues’
conviction, including “inflammatory” remarks surrounding Montague’s
The Crown was “basically trying to knock my sanity levels,” Montague
said Thursday from Toronto, “basically saying ‘this guy’s not stable,
he’s not sane,’ trying to slander me that way.”
The argument was heard by Justice Michael Moldaver, Justice James
MacPherson and Justice Eleanore Cronk and was completed in less than two
hours. The Crown’s response was submitted in about halfhour, according
to Montague’s website.
Surrounded by supporters singing hymns after the hearing, Montague, who
can no longer work as a gunsmith, said his criminal record has made him
“basically unemployable” but he’s committed to challenging the registry.
“In many ways, its worse than being in jail,” he said. “If I went to
jail and served my sentence, it would have been done a long time ago. In
a sense, I’m in a prison right now because I haven’t got the freedom to
go get a job, I can’t move, I can’t go anywhere else. I’m not quite
under house arrest but (there is a) very strict control about where I
The Justices anticipated their decision would be released shortly,
according to Montague’s site.
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