Please attribute to Alexandra Police Senior Constable Graham Perkins:
Police is reminding people to always apply the seven rules of firearms safety, especially rule 5: check your firing zone.
“There have been a couple of incidents in Alexandra recently where people were using firearms near where people were walking in public areas or on conservation land,” says Senior Constable Graham Perkins.
“Our landscape in Alexandra has changed compared to what it was 10 to 20 years ago, we now have houses and lifestyle blocks situated on what were previously larger farms used for recreational hunting or pest control.
“This means you could more easily encounter people out walking or biking in what previously were areas used for hunting or target shooting.
“The responsibility for safety is with the person using the firearm. They need to check their firing zone and to always identify their target beyond all doubt. This means firearms licence holders also need to adapt to the change in our local landscape and how people are now using it. In some cases it may now be wiser for people to consider heading further out of Alexandra when they want to go hunting.”
Land owners must also be aware and considerate of who is using land adjacent to their own. If you intend to undertake shooting on your property and you’re close to others, you should let your neighbours know. It’s also good practice to walk the ground you intend shooting on, to check for any unknown hazards.
If people use their firearms near other people and in doing so creating risk, scaring, or causing concern to others due to the shooting, then these people could lose their firearms licence.
“We are not trying to spoil hunters' fun, we simply want to keep people safe and ensure that recreation is undertaken in the most appropriate place. What was appropriate 15 years ago, may not be as appropriate now. So please consider that before you go out. Driving the extra 20 minutes to ensure you’re away from walkers and bikers, and can enjoy your sport where there is also likely to be more wildlife, is a win-win."
Issued by Police Media Centre