(Canada) Firearms registry pursues oldtimer beyond the grave


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Drizzt
January 21, 2003, 04:33 PM
Firearms registry pursues oldtimer beyond the grave
Canadian Press
Published 01. 21. 03 at 2:39 Sierra Time

WEST NEW ANNAN, N.S. - The federal gun registry is chasing a Nova Scotia man beyond the grave to make sure he registers a restricted firearm.

Albert Byers died Dec. 9, 1974, but that didn't stop the government from writing him a letter recently to get him to register his handgun.

"I guess they don't check that sort of thing," said his great-nephew, Glenn Byers, whose parents received the notice in their rural mailbox.

They are probably the closest living relatives of his Uncle Bert, a bachelor who would be 108 now, Byers said.

Not only is Bert Byers lying in the West New Annan cemetery, 120 km northwest of Halifax, but it is unlikely that he owned a restricted firearm.

"No one remembers him ever having a handgun," Byers said. The notice doesn't say exactly what type of restricted firearm Bert Byers is supposed to have had, but a handgun is the most common type, he added.

Following a 1950s house fire, Bert Byers moved to a woods camp to live out the rest of his days. His great-nephew, also of West New Annan, said he probably owned a rifle because he hunted for his own meat.

Byers suspects old records may show his great-uncle registered a firearm following 1934 handgun legislation, but authorities have lost its trail through a maze of regulations and paperwork.

Byers tried contacting the firearms registry, only to have automated voices tell him to try again. Eventually he reached someone who told him the onus is on the gun owner to notify the registry.

"They must think he has a phone buried with him," Byers said. "He'd find it all amusing if he were here ... If it wasn't costing anything, it would be hilariously funny."

http://www.sierratimes.com/03/01/21/cag3012103.htm

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