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Team CSSA E-News – August 10, 2015

COMMENTARY – We at the CSSA have no axe to grind with politicians, but we believe in providing accurate reporting regarding firearms issues. In that spirit, let’s quote some political verbiage regarding firearms ownership in Canada. We’ll let our readers form their own thoughts.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair:

“I have nothing against seeing honest farmers and duck hunters be able to have their weapons. But, you know, that honest hunter who goes out with his pickup truck, it’s a registered pickup truck … the trailer’s registered and the 4×4 is registered. Heck, his dog is registered.”

While farmers and hunters are entitled to own firearms, Mulcair suggests there must be strict limits.

“What kind of duck do you hunt with an assault weapon? A pterodactyl?”

“I think that it is possible to provide the police with the tools to better protect the public and themselves by making sure they’re able to follow every gun, and it doesn’t have to be the registry as it was before,” he said.

“But it does have to be a form that allows the governments, federal and provincial, to keep track of those guns. That’s our bottom line.”

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau:

Justin Trudeau reiterated Wednesday that he would not reinstate the gun registry, even in a modified form, because it’s simply too divisive.

He said there are other ways to reduce gun violence including through the classification of restricted and prohibited firearms and through the requirements imposed on the purchase of firearms.

“Canadians are united in their desire to see less violence with guns across this country,” Trudeau said. “We shouldn’t be divided on the ways to do that and that’s what I’m committed to doing.”

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper:

“I don’t want to feed paranoia, but as prime minister I can tell you I share the frustrations of our caucus members,” said Harper, before alluding to “bureaucratic initiatives that we think are effectively trying to put the long gun registry back in through the back door.” “This is not something we can tolerate.”

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney:

“Allan Rock said he came to Ottawa with the belief that only the police and military should have firearms. I believe that firearms ownership is a right, but a right that comes with responsibilities.”

“Our government will always stand-up for law abiding hunters, farmers and sport-shooters.”

FROM ONE OF OUR READERS:

This is being sent to everyone I have on my list as a fellow gun collector and firearm enthusiast. Whether a target shooter, hunter, gun collector or just a history buff, we are all concerned about fair gun laws in this great country called Canada.

Canada needs good government to survive in this changing world. Others want what we have and still others will do anything to destroy what we have.

Prime Minister Harper and his M.P.’s have followed through on their commitment to rid Canadians of the ridiculous Long Gun Registry. They have also followed up with the Common Sense Firearms Act. There is more to be done of course but they are certainly on track to ensuring Canadians have fair gun laws for those citizens who enjoy the shooting sports.

I served in the RCMP for over 35 years retiring as a Sergeant at Chilliwack Detachment in 1994. During the next 20 years I developed an interest in firearms and the history of firearms. I attend gun shows and have a small personal collection of firearms. I am Vice President of the Historical Arms Collectors Society of British Columbia. We host gun shows on a regular basis. We have good security at our shows and operate with common sense rules to ensure the shows are safe for everyone. We support Canadian Cancer Societies, Camp Good Times for children with cancer and the CKNW Orphans Fund.

During my service in the RCMP I followed the laws of the land to the best of my ability. The law as written is the rule but not all rules are fair and equitable to all. Laws are the product of the Parliament of Canada and to have good laws we need good government.

I have contributed financially to my local Member of Parliament, Mark Strahl, and the federal PC party office. I now intend to send financial support to Minister Blaney for his campaign.

Minister Blaney is certainly in our corner. I feel he is truly committed to fair gun laws for all Canadians. I also feel he intends to even out the playing field by making sure those who are put in place in the various provinces of Canada as peace officers and firearm officers do not overstep their lawful authority in enforcing the laws governing firearm ownership in Canada.

I will be sending a personal letter to Minister Blaney thanking him for his service and his future service in what I hope will be another majority for his party in the House of Commons.

The coming election is a must win. If you would like to send letters of support to Minister Blaney, his address is noted below and has been provided by the dedicated staff at CSSA/CILA who have been the driving force for fair and equitable guns laws for all Canadians.

Art Hoivik

Chilliwack, BC

ahoivik@shaw.ca

Donations can be made to:

Hon. Steven Blaney

115 President Kennedy Road, Suite 101

Lévis, Québec G6V 6C8

Telephone: 418-830-0500

Fax: 418-830-0504

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“Allan Rock said he came to Ottawa with the belief that only the police and military should have firearms. I believe that firearms ownership is a right, but a right that comes with responsibilities.” – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety

HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.   DONATE HERE

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HARPER GOVERNMENT REVERSED RCMP’S BAN ON TWO RIFLE BRANDS ON EVE OF ELECTION (By Douglas Quan | National Post | August 6, 2015)

Just before the election was called last weekend, the Harper government reversed the RCMP’s ban on certain Czech- and Swiss-made rifles — the first time the government had exercised new powers allowing it to override the police force’s gun-classification decisions.

The Mounties did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, but over the last several days Canadian gun owners have rejoiced on social media after Steven Blaney, the public safety minister, announced that CZ-858 rifles and the Swiss Arms family of rifles were no longer prohibited.

“About damn time, Swiss Arms out in the bush for the weekend!!!” the operators of the Gun Owners of Canada web forum tweeted.

On the Canadian Gun Nutz web forum, owners of the affected Czech and Swiss rifles were encouraged to “dust off” their “newly freed” rifles and post pictures of them. Many did and also posted videos from the gun range.

 “We’re very, very pleased. It takes firearms and puts them back where they belong,” said Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

Bernardo dismissed the suggestion that Blaney’s announcement was timed to coincide with the start of election campaigning.

But political observers say the Conservatives have likely identified gun owners as forming part of their traditional support base and are doing what they can to keep them happy.

“There’s always a political calculation, especially ahead of an election. Of course it’s going to be political,” said David Moscrop, a UBC PhD candidate in political science at UBC.

“This is classic dog-whistle politics — it resonates with certain groups of voters.”

Related:

With the election being as close as it is, the Conservatives are likely trying to send a message that they recognize gun owners “can make your own decisions (over) these interventionists,” Moscrop said.

“The margin is so close — if you can swing an extra 1 to 2 per cent to the polls, it can win you the race.”

The controversy started in February 2014 after the RCMP changed the status of Swiss Arms rifles and CZ-858 rifles from restricted or non-restricted status to prohibited. The guns had been legal in Canada for years.

RCMP members at the Canadian Firearms Program determined the guns too closely resembled or were “variants” of prohibited, automatic firearms.

It was believed that thousands of gun owners were affected by the ban and they were furious.

“The fact of the matter is, the RCMP was trying to hang this on the tiniest technicality of law,” Bernardo said. They may look like military guns, but they’re just “a modern sporting rifle. … They’re a hoot.”

In an effort to quell the backlash, Blaney admonished the “unelected bureaucrats” who ordered the reclassifications and swiftly introduced a two-year amnesty that would shield owners of those rifles from criminal prosecution for possessing them.

The fact of the matter is, the RCMP was trying to hang this on the tiniest technicality of law.

The federal cabinet recently acquired expanded powers that allow it to override RCMP gun-classification decisions after Bill C-42, The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, received royal assent.

Under the new law, the cabinet has the authority to remove restrictions on guns after getting “independent expert advice.”

“Following the February 2014 reclassification of the CZ 858 rifles and Swiss Arms family of firearms, our Government committed to take action to ensure that the property rights of affected individuals were restored,” Blaney said in his announcement last week. “These changes honour that commitment, our government will always stand up for law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.”

A couple of months ago, Blaney also asked the RCMP to review its prohibition of the Mossberg Blaze-47 rifle after gun enthusiasts raised a fuss about that classification.

Its prohibited status remains unchanged.

See the story: http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/matt-gurney-public-safety-minister-has-to-re-earn-public-trust-after-gun-ban-fiasco

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CSSA TRAINING COURSES – The CSSA is teaching Club Level Safety Instructor/Train the Trainer and Range Safety Officer Instructor courses at its headquarters: 116 Galaxy Boulevard, on the following dates:

  • August 22
  • August 23

Room is still available and the only requirement is that anyone attending be a CSSA member. Book your space now as class size is limited to 20 students! To RSVP, please phone Monday to Friday at (416) 679-9959.

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AIR CANADA BANS AFRICAN ANIMAL TROPHIES AS FREIGHT – AIRLINE WON’T ALLOW LION, LEOPARD, ELEPHANT, RHINO TROPHIES ABOARD IN WAKE OF LION CECIL’S DEATH (CBC News | August 4, 2015)

Air Canada says it has a new policy, effective immediately, not to carry any shipment of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros or Cape buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.

The airline made the statement today in response to a query from CBC News.

But you won’t have trouble transporting some Canadian animal trophies, such as black bears or grizzly bears.

Cecil the lion killing raises issues about trophy hunting in Canada

Several other airlines have banned air shipment of hunting trophies in the past few days, including Delta, United and American Airlines.

Air Canada said the ban goes over and above its long-standing policy to comply with the regulations that are in place to protect endangered wildlife in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The trophy hunting of exotic animals is in the spotlight after the shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist.

Historically the shipment of such trophies has been extremely rare on Air Canada as the airline does not operate flights to Africa.

Air Canada told CBC News the same ban does not extend to black or grizzly bears, among the trophy animals most likely to be hunted in Canada. However it would not transport polar bears, which do have protection.

The airline said it would allow transportation of those bear trophies which are legal to hunt in Canada under CITES and Canadian rules.

WestJet points out it does not serve destinations where hunters can take Big Five animals, including lions and elephants, but says it would not carry Big Five trophies.

It will however carry elk, deer, bears or any other animal that has been legally hunted, according to spokesman Robert Palmer.

There has been a public and Internet outcry about the killing of Cecil, with Zimbabwe alleging that it was illegal.

A Change.org petition sent to Delta Airlines demanded the airline, which serves South Africa, stop transporting trophies of Africa’s so-called Big Five animals — lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards and Cape buffalos.

That is the same Big Five animals that Air Canada has banned.

See the story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-canada-bans-african-animal-trophies-as-freight-1.3178846

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CANADA IN THE ROUGH – BIG BEARS WITH THE BOW

This week, Keith and Kevin Beasley will be hunting with Muskeg Country Outfitters in Manitoba Canada! Manitoba has a very healthy bear population and a great number of beautiful colour phase bears too. Keith and Kevin will be hunting with their Elite bows and hoping to have some up close encounters with some giant bears!

See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/big-bears-with-the-bow/

Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/

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LOOKING FOR UPCOMING GUN SHOWS AND MATCHES? Visit our website at: https://cssa-cila.org/upcoming-events-matches/

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CANADIAN MARKSWOMAN OUTSHOOTS 700 INTERNATIONAL SHARPSHOOTERS – SGT. TATYANA DANYLYSHYN JOINED VICTORIA BASED RESERVES IN 2002 (The Canadian Press | August 2, 2015)

A Canadian Army reservist from Vancouver Island didn’t miss as she put first place in the cross hairs at an international shooting competition in England.

A Department of National Defence release says Sgt. Tatyana Danylyshyn earned the top shot honour in the service rifle category at the annual Bisley shooting competition held in the Village of Bisley, southwest of London.

Danylyshyn joined the The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), based in Victoria, as a reserve member in 2002 and has competed in several shooting competitions since then, placing second in two previous appearances at Bisley.

A 20-member team represented the Canadian Armed Forces at the most recent Bisley event with the Canadian contingent placing in the top three of nearly all matches entered against 700 military shooters from around the world.

The release says shooting competitions give Canadian soldiers the opportunity to train and test their combat readiness, while also allowing the chance to share knowledge and best practices of small arms training with other nations.

National Defence Minister Jason Kenney says he’s proud of Danylyshyn’s exceptional performance and applauds her for being a role model for other soldiers and the international community.

See the story: http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/british-columbia/canadian-markswoman-outshoots-700-international-sharpshooters-1.3175949

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WILL VOTERS REWARD PRINCIPLED INDEPENDENT MPS? (By David Akin | Toronto Sun | August 5 with an update August 6, 2015)

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – When Bruce Hyer, the Green Party MP here, first came to Canada from Connecticut in 1976 he survived by eating only what he killed, living first in a tipi and then in a log cabin deep in the bush, hundreds of kilometres north of Lake Superior’s rocky shore.

His experience relying on a rifle for his very existence informed his decision years later as an MP to vote to end the long gun registry.

But Hyer was in the wrong party to make that kind of choice. He had been elected in 2008 and again in 2011 as a New Democrat and NDP MPs had been told by then-interim leader Nycole Turmel to vote in favour of the gun registry. Hyer refused.

So Turmel lowered the boom and applied disciplinary measures. When Thomas Mulcair became permanent leader, partly on a vow to restore a changed version of the long gun registry, Hyer knew he could no longer serve both his constituents and a party whip.

So in 2012, Hyer became an independent MP and then, 18 months later, joined the Green Party.

Now, he’s asking voters in this sprawling riding to stick with him on October 19 and turn their back on the party — the NDP — that won the most votes in Thunder Bay—Superior North in the last two elections.

Historically, floor-crossers face long odds when they try to get elected with a new team. They rarely win.

But there is a good chance Hyer could defy those odds and win.

Why? Hyer’s floor-crossing is seen by many here as a positive and not a negative because he switched in order to stand up for a basic fundamental democratic principle.

When given the choice between obeying his party’s whip or keeping commitments made to constituents, he honoured his covenant with voters. They may yet thank him for that with more votes.

There’s another incumbent MP this election who is hopeful voters reward him for a similarly principled stand. His name is Brent Rathgeber, also elected in 2008 and 2011 as a member of a Big Party. In Rathgeber’s case, it was the Conservatives.

But Rathgeber came to find interference by unelected aides in the prime minister’s office unacceptable and, in 2012, he quit the Tories to sit as an independent. He said he remains conservative in his principles but believes MPs should have more independence.

Now he’ll ask voters of the northeastern Edmonton riding of St. Albert-Edmonton to pass judgement on his convictions.

The best recent example of voters rewarding a principled MP was Bill Casey, first elected as a Tory in 1988 in a northwestern Nova Scotia riding.

But in 2007, Casey decided Stephen Harper’s budget was bad for his province and so he voted against it, realizing he would have to leave the Conservative caucus and sit as an independent. In the 2008 general election, voters thunderously approved of his independent status, giving him 69% of the vote. He resigned his seat before the 2011 election.

Casey is now back on the ballot in Cumberland-Colchester, running this time as a Liberal. Ironically, if there is ever a vote on abortion, Casey will have to vote as his party leader orders — for that is the condition Justin Trudeau laid down for all his candidates — regardless of how Casey or his constituents feel about that difficult moral issue.

Casey last won a seat because he put voters above party politics. This time, he’s running for a party that will force him to put party above those same voters.

I suspect Hyer and Rathgeber would object.

See the story: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/08/05/will-voters-reward-principled-independent-mps

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OSHAWA CONSERVATIVE TARGET SHOOT FUNDRAISER – AUGUST 15, 2015 – ORONO FISH AND HUNT CLUB – ORONO, ONTARIO. Located at 3292 – 7th Concession between Brown Road and Leskard Road. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $65 per person. Barbecue lunch will be served. This is an annual favourite, providing supporters the opportunity to safely handle and discharge a wide assortment of firearms with the assistance of trained and seasoned firearms owners. Special guest: MP Colin Carrie. To purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.oshawaconservatives.ca or call 905-721-9022.

See the invitation: http://oshawaconservatives.ca/products/target-shoot-fundraiser

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AUSTRALIAN LAWMAKERS HAVE MET IN SECRET FOR YEARS TO CRACK DOWN ON GUNS – FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN CAUGHT MISREPRESENTING PROPOSED CHANGES TO GUN LAWS. (By Chris McLennan | The Weekly Times | August 5, 2015)

It can be revealed firearms regulators have been working for many years to tighten Australia’s strict gun ownership laws.

This is despite Federal Government claims the National Firearms Agreement has been under review only after it was recommended by the Martin Place Siege investigation this year.

On June 24, a spokeswoman for the Federal Attorney-General’s Department told The Weekly Times the firearms review was “a recommendation of the Martin Place siege review” from February.

The following day, a letter to the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia from Justice Minister Michael Keenan said: “As you may be aware, the update of the technical elements of the NFA stems from a recommendation in the Martin Place Siege Joint Commonwealth-NSW review …”

On the same day, a spokesman for Victorian Police Minister Wade Noonan said: “The national firearms group, which includes Victoria, is currently considering the classification of firearms as a result of the Martin Place siege.”

On July 22, a spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s Department told The Weekly Times: “The NFA has not been reviewed since it was introduced by John Howard in 1996. The Government is responding to the Martin Place Siege Review and makes no excuses for reviewing a 20-year-old agreement.”

But records of the national Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group reveal repeated recommendations to “update” the firearms agreement well before the Martin Place tragedy in December last year.

Weekly Times investigation has found state and federal police, Customs and other gun-involved bureaucrats have been reviewing the 1996 Nat­ional Firearms Agreement for at least the past decade.

Australian Federal Police told a Senate hearing in ­October last year the FWPWG had already “recommended a review of the agreement to update the technical elements of the NFA”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott late last month suspended imports of the Adler lever-action shotgun, but The Weekly Times can reveal authorities were also alarmed by the other guns, including the Akker ­triple-barrel shotgun last year.

Australian Federal Police told a Senate inquiry in October last year the FWPWG had already reviewed the firearms agreement to “update the technical elements”.

The inquiry was told of recommendations to “classify new technology”.

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Field and Game Australia policy director Rod Drew said this confirmed what many shooters had long suspected.

“Bureaucrats hold these reviews behind closed doors. The politicians say there’s no ­review because I don’t believe they know,” Mr Drew said.

“I believe police see the civilian ownership of firearms as an occupational health and safety hazard for their members. I would suggest the whole review is almost done and dusted.”

Shooters and Fishers Party MP Jeff Bourman said shooters believed the firearms agreement review “had been going on for years”.

“Governments hide behind words and say there’s no review, then say they mean there’s no formal review when really the review has been going on all the time.”

“They have been looking for an excuse for a long time to take more guns off law-abiding shooters, whether it is the Sydney siege or the Adler.”

Firearms policy specialist Samara McPhedran, from Griffith University, in Queensland, said it was concerning “a small handful of bureaucrats … appear to be making sweeping decisions about the directions that firearms management should take in Australia”.

“While it is appropriate for government departments to provide advice to their minister, in this case it appears that the Attorney-General’s Dep­artment has developed its own agenda of implementing further restrictions and is seeking opportunities to promote that agenda rather than providing objective, accurate, and evidence based advice,” Dr McPhedran said.

A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the Nat­ional Firearms Agreement review was expected early next year and the update would “incorporate advice from federal and state law enforcement agencies, the firearms community, community organisations and individuals to produce sensible, practical reforms”.

“We know gun technology has updated and we’re doing the work to ensure our laws aren’t outdated, but we want sensible debate for practical reforms which is what we’ll seek through our consultations during this review process,” she said.

The spokeswoman said there had not been any “broader review of firearm categories in the NFA” but there had been “preliminary discussions”.

A spokeswoman for Police Minister Wade Noonan said it was a normal function of the firearms group to “discuss all aspects of national firearms policy and regulation, including emerging issues”.

“That is their job and should not be taken to indicate a formal review,” the spokeswoman said.

See the story: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/australian-lawmakers-have-met-in-secret-for-years-to-crack-down-on-guns/story-fnkfnspy-1227469804091

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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities.

To join or donate to the CSSA, visit: http://www.cssa-cila.org

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