Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday June 30 2015
1:15 AM EDT
2014-03-09 at 17:03


Two attendees at the New Ontario Shooters Association gun show at the Oliver Paipoonge Community Centre examine a gun rack.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Two attendees at the New Ontario Shooters Association gun show at the Oliver Paipoonge Community Centre examine a gun rack.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

Kristian Kuznak knows there is a stigma surrounding firearm ownership in Canada.

He knows of this stigma firsthand because he is a firearms owner himself.

Speaking at the New Ontario Shooters Association gun show at the Oliver Paipoonge Community Centre Sunday, Kuznak said there have been instances where people have treated him differently because he owns firearms, even though he has fulfilled the necessary legal requirements.

He said the process to obtain a firearms license isn’t easy and involves courses, one of the most thorough background checks available as well as a continued monitoring.

“These are law abiding citizens,” he said of his fellow firearm owners.

He believes that when firearms are used as weapons, there is too much focus on the gun and not enough on the intent of the perpetrator.

Pointing to the recent Kumming Station massacre in China, where more than 30 people were stabbed to death by at least 10 assailants, Kuznak said eliminating guns would not eliminate violence as people looking to commit violent acts would just select a different tool.

Even though he admitted it was a tired cliche, he said guns don’t hurt people. Rather, people hurt people.

The change in public perception surrounding firearms has completely flipped during the lifetime of Wes Werbowy.
He wonders if gun control has worked.

“When I was a young fella I used to get on the school bus with my (.22-calibre) rifle because the range was in the school. Now, that would be a SWAT team event,” Werbowy said.

“Interestingly, we had fewer restrictions and fewer laws and no one ever thought of mayhem and homicide...It would be unthinkable to put a bullet into another human being.”

Werbowy said a greater appreciation of the power of firearms is required for younger generations. He was first exposed to guns while hunting and was able to observe the impact a bullet would have on a wild animal.

He thinks that now most youth are first exposed to guns as an abstract concept in mediums such as video games, television and movies; thus not seeing the damage and power they wield.

There is also a misconception around the reason some people own firearms. Some, like Rob Sereda, use guns purely for the purpose of sport.

He competes in shooting events where speed and accuracy are paramount and says it is a competition just like a race.

Sereda disputes the perception that guns only serve to commit violence, or protect from violence.

“This is the only thing I do with a gun. I’ve never turned a gun on a living thing, ever,” Sereda said.

“Violence is not perpetrated in this sort of environment. We all enjoy the sport and don’t want to lose that.”

At the show, Kuznak was protesting the reclassification of a pair of semi-automatic rifles from non-restricted to prohibited status by the RCMP in February.

He was distributing form letters to be sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney as well as local MPs John Rafferty and Bruce Hyer expressing concern with the reclassification.

He is worried that without a substantial review, the arbitrary nature of existing laws could mean all firearm owners might find themselves in legal trouble.

“It’s extremely frustrating. It’s unbelievable the RCMP can sign a piece of paper and steal people’s property that was legally purchased,” Kuznak said.

“It’s scary because if they can do this with 20,000 Canadians, what’s stopping them from doing it with two million Canadian firearms owners.”

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tsb says:
We should treat gun owners the same way we treat welfare recipients, and vice versa.
3/11/2014 9:15:26 PM
TBTNFL says:
And why would you say a thing like that?
3/12/2014 6:47:28 PM
tsb says:
Because all the gun owners I know tell me welfare recipients are pampered and given preferential treatment. I wish for my friends who own guns to experience the same pampering and preferential treatment.
3/13/2014 8:54:39 PM
tiredofit says:
If the government is going to ban them, then they can cough up the cash to reimburse the owners. What next?

I don't own a gun or believe in them, however I believe in the freedom we seem to be slowly losing in this country. If they are that bad, they should have banned these from day one if this is the case.
3/11/2014 8:06:45 PM
eddylives says:
Myself and many others have a serious question/s.
When are we going to stop catering to the criminals and actually punishing them?
When do honest hard working people stop being punished for the actions of criminals?
That is of major concern for those of us that are not law breakers.
3/10/2014 3:17:18 PM
zootmoot says:
Everyone of these "destroy the guns, guns hurt people" make me cringe. More people get killed in car accidents than by firearms. Why have we not banned cars? People die falling down stairs, Ban stairs. How about people choking on food, make it illegal to consume solid food or pick up a rock or go swimming. The real truth is CRAZY PEOPLE WILL DO CRAZY THINGS taking guns away will never change that and all that will be left is a bunch of criminals running around with guns, they are not going to wake up and be like "hey, this illegal I better turn it in". There were massacres long before guns were around. For those of you saying "I have guns I'm not effected by this" it's a matter of time before your guns make the list; it started with 1 item on the the list now there is thousands. If we as people allow this slow erosion of rights what will be left for our children and grandchildren, the country is slowly becoming a prison, you need a permission slip for everything. GO BRAND FREEDOM
3/10/2014 2:47:00 PM
maltopian says:
This is a blatantly nonsensical argument. Stairs serve a very distinct purpose that doesn't involve killing. What do guns do? Right. It's a weapon. It has no other function but to kill. Maybe people think that the fact that they can play-kill paper targets is justification enough to keep them around, but I don't. This is 2014. We have grocery stores. You don't need a gun.
3/11/2014 12:57:29 AM
The Critic says:
That's a pretty dogmatic opinion, you kind of remind me of a fundamentalist from the Southern USA. Why is it people always want to make rules against what other people can do, as opposed to just not worrying about things that don't affect them? This applies to more than just guns by the way...

You stick with the grocery store, I will get my meat from Highway 527.
3/11/2014 8:25:49 AM
reese says:
Sandy Hook the gun used at the shooting was made by Freedom Arms the biggest investor being the california teachers pension plan money to some being more important than childrens lives
3/10/2014 1:47:21 PM
fastball says:
The rationale for what the RCMP did was somewhat less conspiratorial. There were hundreds of abandoned houses in the aftermath of the flood - many of them containing firearms (both registered and not). With the very real fear of looting and the prospect of hundreds of new stolen weapons on the street, the police took those firearms out of those abandoned homes - and the owners could get them back on a moment's notice when they returned.
3/10/2014 1:09:57 PM
Marak says:
What a messed up system. The "Mounties" should have ZERO ability to change laws. A say maybe, but then ELECTED officials "who can be held accountable at voting time" should make the final decision!

When I was a kid, school was pretty far off so in the fall, myself and a few buddies use to go hunting after class.

We'd actually bring our .22's or .410 to school, let the principal know and put them in our lockers and then off we would go hunting on our 10 speeds after school! What the hell has happened since them...? :(
3/10/2014 11:46:48 AM
maltopian says:
Where do you think criminals get their guns from? You can't stop in at Krimemart and go shopping for contraband. Slightly over a third of weapons used by federal inmates in the US were acquired from family who were "legitimate licensed owners". The numbers on this issue are already in -- countries with fewer guns per capita tend to have lower overall violent crime rates and fewer homicides. This debate has already been had after Sandy Hook and it doesn't come out in favour of guns creating safety.

3/10/2014 10:05:06 AM
mnr says:
I'm just curious why Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Canada, Austria, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, etc aren't having violent firefights every day?

Those countries are listed in descending order of "most guns per capita" to least, but still over 20 per 100 people (22.6/100 for NZ).

It is illegal to sell/give a firearm to someone without a valid license, whether it is non-restricted or restricted. Anyone caught doing this in Canada will go to jail, as has happened in the relatively few instances where this has happened in the past. We have very strict background checks and licensing rules - you can't just walk into a gun store and walk out with a firearm unless you are pre-qualified.

Please stop demonizing legal gun owners who follow all the rules. It is NOT your neighbourhood moose hunters, target shooters, etc who are shooting eachother (and sadly innocent people) in Toronto with illegal firearms. We have a crime problem in those areas, not a gun problem.
3/10/2014 12:34:16 PM
maltopian says:
What I'm saying is that there is zero meaningful distinction between the source of gun acquisition between legal owners and those with criminal intent. Legal gun owners are where an enormous percentage of where illegitimate gun usage comes from. Furthermore, criminals aren't a separate species of person running amok in the wilds while us good law-abiders pay our taxes in gated communities. The transition from legal owner to murderer is a trigger pull away.
3/11/2014 12:53:02 AM
TBTNFL says:
Funny thing, this chart shows higher gun ownership has a correlation with lower murder rates.......
3/10/2014 10:04:33 PM
maltopian says:
Do you know how to read a chart, good sir? Funny thing is, no, it doesn't show that. Keep in mind these are broken down per capita. There is variability, as obviously some places in the world have highly functional and effective gun laws, and others don't, but the general trend is NOT that more guns means fewer gun homicides per capita.
3/11/2014 10:51:45 PM
donnybrook says:
"“Interestingly, we had fewer restrictions and fewer laws and no one ever thought of mayhem and homicide...It would be unthinkable to put a bullet into another human being.”

Yep, cause no one ever got shot during the Wild West era. And no aboriginals were ever shot by white settlers, that's all a myth.
3/10/2014 12:17:13 AM
Shane Caker says:
I own a bunch of registered guns and dont feel threatented at all by this. Whats the big deal.
3/9/2014 11:39:41 PM
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deluxecustom says:
Really? Are all these people whacked? Gun owners are some of the most passionate hobbyists going. That Ill give them.What the RCMP did in High R was definately criminal,entering private residences and searching for firearms and subsequently confiscating them.We ARE talking Alberta here tho!File your complaints and protest the legislation.Half a brain will realize its an utter waste of time.We all know that.No one said owners of semi autos are criminal but we all should be able to own,eat,smoke or partake in any activity we desire right? Nope, not right.As far as the quads and trikes go, are you really serious? More people were killed or maimed on those trikes than any other recreational toy in the history of man due to their inhertantly unstable nature.The industry was handed an ultimatum. Get rid of them or get rid of them. Believe me, they did humanity a favour!And no one "forced" anyone to do anything. They just stopped making them.
Kiss your semis goodbye!!
3/9/2014 11:18:07 PM
Dan Dan says:
The RCMP made a serious mistake in allowing the guns to be legal in the first place. Assault-style rifles have no place in this country whether semi-auto or not. People buy the semi-autos with the sole intention of modifying them to be fully automatic, which in some cases takes only minutes. These are not hunting weapons, and these are not sporting weapons.
3/9/2014 10:23:51 PM
The Critic says:
I'm only responding to this trolling comment to make sure people not familiar with the state of firearms law in Canada actually believe this BS.

Semi-autos are very popular with hunters (Browning BAR, Benelli R1, semi-automatic shotguns for waterfowl, I could go on...). I know of at least 3 people locally who used their CZ-858's as their primary deer hunting rifles.

It is already illegal to modify a firearm to be fully automatic, plus no one does this - this is a fantasy dreamed up by the anti-gun fanatics.

And no firearms that can be "modified in minutes" to be full auto are allowed in Canada already. To actually do this you'd need to be a machinist, who by definition would be capable of making an entire firearm from scratch anyway.

Realistically no one does this though. Did you know there are mandatory minimum sentences for this? Why would a law abiding firearms owner/hunter want to do this?
3/10/2014 11:06:28 AM
TBTNFL says:
Stop spreading lies. Semi auto is not an "Assault style weapon"

Having a pistol grip, being black, and having a scope makes the CZ 858 an assault weapon as much as putting these accessories on a super soaker water gun.

This firearm operates no differently than a hunting semi auto. Just because the gun looks "assault like", does not mean it is. The misinformation you spread is deplorable and I think you should read about the topic you are about to comment on.
3/10/2014 9:51:56 PM
richy says:
The conservatives are soft on guns.Time to grow up people. Guns kill accidently also.
3/9/2014 10:08:19 PM
or$en says:
while i do agree that this is wrong
its not much different than when they banned 3 wheelers forcing peeps to get quads
3/9/2014 8:45:50 PM
TBTNFL says:
No, the the 3 wheelers had an inherent design flaw which made the bike very unstable. A firearm is only dangerous if it is used incorrectly in the same way a quad is dangerous if you incorrectly operate it.
3/9/2014 10:19:45 PM
Toot Sweet says:
its very different. imagine if when 3 wheelers were banned if the criminal code made you guilty of a criminal offence subjected to strong penalty just because you owned one?

then imagine if you were no longer allowed to use the one or three that you bought with your own money and paid taxes on. then imagine if the RCMP came and took them away from you using a registry system that was legislated destroyed (but somehow the rcmp still have those records).

imagine if they forced their way into your home (ala High River Alberta last year) searched through your home and belongings and confiscated your property in name of public safety because 3 wheelers are unsafe.

this is what the RCMP has done with legal gun owners time and time again. they make up the law and then apply it like storm troopers.

gun owners have HAD IT with this abuse of power and constant harassment from liberal media and liberal legislation. it must go now!

gun owners thank you dearly for this well done story.
3/9/2014 10:21:53 PM
Skunkan says:
you are veryyyy wrong!!

nice to see a newsstory that tells this story without the typical nannystate crying that guns and gun owners are all criminals in waiting...but that's what the rcmp are doing to us.

it is a crime to own a firearm in Canada without a permission slip from the government. that permission slip is not all that simple to get. it involves background checks, spousal or ex-spousal approval, personal references, passport style photos and guarantors, a hefty fee, passing a written and practical government approved course given by government approved instructors and examiners. it involves months of waiting while your application goes to New Brunswick first for a month or more, then it gets shipped off for final inspection and approval of your provincial firearms officers (who hates gun owners and the democratic process and isn't afraid to show it)

so if you want to buy a firearm for hunting this fall, youre probably already too late.

the firearms act needs to go now!
3/9/2014 10:54:16 PM
northernborn says:
Or$sen, This is entirely different. 3 wheelers were not made illegal to own and owning one does not make one a criminal. They just banned production of them. I own a perfectly legal 3 wheeler that is even insured. The fact that the RCMP was able to turn legal owners of firearms into criminals overnight, is beyond comprehension. I shudder to think what will be next.
3/10/2014 10:52:44 AM
Winger says:
This is so true. The RCMP are supposed to enforce the law, not create it. The whole firearms act needs to go due to endless amounts of stupidity that allowed police to make laws and criminalize property owners.

People yelled and screamed that C-68 was bad legislation when the liberal party rammed it through parliament and they were right. With the gun registry only being the tip of the iceberg.

Hopefully the Conservative party remedies this terrible legislation soon because the RCMP will be coming after something each of us owns sooner or later.

Legal gun owners have been abused for far too long in this country and we are not putting up with it anymore. If you are scared of objects that's your problem, not ours. Call your psychiatrist, not your politicians.
3/9/2014 7:54:06 PM
Woodyboyd says:
The RCMP is coming for things we all own? Sounds like it's you who needs the shrink buddy.
3/9/2014 11:23:09 PM
The Critic says:
For people not familiar with the current situation, the RCMP recently changed the legal status of two popular sporting rifles from non-restricted to prohibited, turning 20000+ legal firearms owners in Canada into criminals overnight. These rifles have been sold legally for the past 10+ years, after the RCMP initially allowed them for sale in the country.

There will be no compensation for owners of these rifles either; this is outright theft of over $20,000,000 of private property from law abiding firearms citizens.

The RCMP's job should be enforcing laws, not making new ones - that is something that should only be done by elected officials, not unelected bureaucrats with a political agenda.

The conservatives announced a 5-year amnesty but that is not enough. The firearms act is flawed and needs to be changed. If this outrages you I suggest writing letters to our Prime Minister, MP's, and the Public Safety Minister, as thousands across Canada have been doing for the past week.
3/9/2014 6:38:51 PM
Synical says:
Thank you for clarifying for those of us who were unaware. How refreshing to see an educational and informative response on this website.
3/10/2014 4:50:09 AM
curious, what models?
3/10/2014 10:41:40 AM
The Critic says:
CZ-858 and the Swiss Arms family of firearms.

Both are semi-automatic only, not capable of being converted to fully automatic without basically creating a whole new firearm (already illegal and no one does this).

Hopefully the "goes shooting once a year" crowd of hunters take note of this. The political agenda of the more left-wing parties is to seize all semi-automatic/pump-action rifles and shotguns. It's right on the policty sections on their websites - this is just the start. The liberals even discussed this at their last policy convention, but voted it down saying "not yet" so they can get in power first.

There is a lot more information available on the reclassification on the NFA's website (google them). They are representing firearms owners in Canada, and I suggest everyone with a stake in this join their organization.

3/10/2014 11:15:48 AM
dynamiter says:
It your number a typo or a lie? In an article on this issue, James Cox, the owner The Shooting Edge gun store in Calgary and the original importer of the Swiss Arms rifles to Canada, said last month he thinks there may be more than 2,000 Swiss Arms rifles in the country. further on this documents also states that The document stated that there were 301 restricted Swiss Arms rifles registered in Canada

I dont have a problem with firearms and own quite a few - see no need for those who can be easily converted into fully automatic weapons and cannot be used for hunting animals other than humans.

The gun lobby needs to know that they dont represent me when they go over the top in protecting people who own these types of weapons and should work on a solution including compensation, registration or whatever else might be appropriate excluding this type of NRA rhetoric and misinformation spreading.
3/10/2014 6:10:45 PM
The Critic says:

Those numbers are accurate for the Swiss Arms, but the CZ-858 was also re-classified the next night, where there are an estimated additional 20000+ affected owners.

What you may or may not prefer hunting with shouldn't be a basis for policy decisions at the end of the day. You are entitled to your opinion on these rifles, but no one is forcing you to own one. Just don't take this away from other people. I know at least 3 people locally who used their 858's as their primary deer hunting rifles.

Also, these cannot easily be converted to fully automatic "weapons". Don't believe the propaganda, you need a full machine shop to do this. What is stopping people with full machine shops from building fully automatic weapons from scratch? Oh right, it's already illegal plus an excellent way to waste money on ammunition (have you seen the price of it lately?)
3/11/2014 7:48:45 AM
nvjgu says:
Is this just for gun's or do they have to register there tank's as well.
3/9/2014 5:59:52 PM
NearCanuck says:
Yes, tank owners do have to register their tanks with the Controlled Goods Directorate.
3/14/2014 11:38:23 AM
Wolfie says:
"Pointing to the recent Kumming Station massacre in China where more than 30 people were stabbed to death by at least 10 assailants, Kuznak said eliminating guns would not eliminate violence as people looking to commit violent acts would just select a different tool."

But how much more damage would have been done if those attackers had guns rather than knives?
3/9/2014 5:49:40 PM
TBTNFL says:
This argument is a bit moot wouldn't you say? On the other hand, if one of the law abiding citizens had a legally owned fire arm, perhaps the casualties would be far less. To say the situation would be worse is to assume that only criminals would have guns, or all citizens are criminals, only one is true in a society without legal firearm ownership, and it's not the latter.

I think you are also mistaken how legal gun ownership works. Typically it prevents the wrong people from possessing a firearm and allows mentally healthy, responsible, and law abiding citizens to own firearms.

There is a key point everyone seems to miss. In this specific situation, law abiding citizens were unable to defend themselves because all means of protection were taken away from them by their government in the name of their protection.....
3/9/2014 9:12:18 PM
donnybrook says:
"I think you are also mistaken how legal gun ownership works. Typically it prevents the wrong people from possessing a firearm and allows mentally healthy, responsible, and law abiding citizens to own firearms."

Ya, cause that's worked out so well in the States. No legal gun owners ever shoot innocent people or go on raging shooting sprees. Nope, not one postal worker ever.
3/10/2014 12:09:57 AM
The Critic says:
Canada is not the USA.

Our licensing system involves thorough background checks, medical records checks, reference checks, and continual monitoring (daily background checks).

Pointing a gun at another human being, shooting at someone, murdering people, etc is already illegal.

Please don't lump law abiding Canadian Citizens who jump through all the legal hoops in with the gang members in big cities, who by definition are already doing illegal things.

One of these rifles that was just reclassified costs $4000 pre-tax and without any optics/accessories - this is not something people are buying and committing crimes with.

Imagine the outrage if the Canadian government banned vehicles capable of exceeding 100 km/h, and required mandatory GPS tracking on the vehicles that remain to report your every movement to a centralized database. This is basically the same thing legal firearms owners have been dealing with in Canada for decades, progressively getting worse.
3/10/2014 11:31:29 AM
TBTNFL says:
No I think you are mistaken, 2,158 deaths by cars in 2011 and 158 deaths by fire arms in the same year. There are 10 million fire arms in Canada and about 30 million cars in Canada. Even if we had three times as many guns, you could estimate 474 deaths by firearms per year.

Even still, in 2011 72,476 deaths from cancer, 47,627 from heart disease, 13,283 from stroke, 11,184 lower respiratory disease, 10,716 from accidents, 5,767 by influenza and pneumonia, 3,728 deaths from suicide, and so on and so forth.

You are still 36 times more likely to die of influenza than a gun or 458 time more likely to die of cancer. The money we spend on taking guns away from law abiding citizens would be much better spent on lowering deaths in these areas. You are still 23 times more likely to kill yourself, than to be killed by another person, let alone a firearm owner.

For the record all numbers I have given were from stats Canada, so check it out and learn something.
3/10/2014 9:34:53 PM
NineByNineteen says:
How many lives could have been saved if someone had a means to defend themselves and others against attack? It goes both ways, the truth is; some people have intent to harm others and that is the problem. Why focus on the implement when the deeper problem is that they want to kill other people. With what is not important, its that they are driven to MURDER other human beings. You could ban guns, knives, ropes and there would still be people attempting to kill others. This is a serious issue and blaming an inanimate object costs lives, it doesn't save them.
3/9/2014 9:41:10 PM
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