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Don't Mix Alcohol And Drugs With Firearms

Don't Mix Alcohol And Drugs With Firearms

11 September 2008

Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded is the message from Police following the results of a post-mortem carried out on a Whangamata man who accidentally shot himself on Tuesday night.

Police were called to the scene of the shooting, at an isolated cabin with no vehicle access, across the Whangamata Estuary early on Tuesday night.

On arrival they found Nigel Lurman, 41, of Whangamata, dead, post-mortem results have shown he died after being shot in the side of the head with a .22 calibre rifle.

After initial investigations into the shooting Police do not believe Mr Lurman's death was suspicious.

Two other people in the cabin at the time of the shooting have been interviewed by Police and told how Mr Lurman had been mishandling the firearm before it went off.

It appears recreational drugs had been used by the trio immediately prior to the firearm going off prompting a call for commonsense from the Mountain Safety Council.

Firearms and Hunting Training Programme Manager for the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, Mike Spray, said news those involved may have been using drugs or alcohol around firearms was disturbing.

"One of our basic rules in the Arms Code, rule seven, clearly states to avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms.

"Accidental or non-intentional deaths involving drugs and alcohol around firearms are thankfully relatively rear with 8-12 over the past five years, regrettably this is the second such fatality this year," he said.

Mr Spray said it was important that people stuck with the basic safety message to treat every firearm is loaded and never point a gun in someone's direction.

Mr Lurman's death has been referred to the Coroner.

ENDS

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