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Police remind hunters to identify their target

Police remind hunters to identify their target before taking the shot

With the approaching duck shooting season and other hunting events including the 'Roar' (deerstalking), Central District Police want to send a timely reminder to firearms owners to identify their target before taking the shot.

Central District Firearms Licensing Manager Carole Duffin said: "Recent hunting accidents that have resulted in death highlight the need to identify your target. The last thing you want is to have the day marred by a serious injury. If in doubt don't take the shot."

"Also drinking alcohol while using a firearm is just plain stupidity; leave the celebratory drinks until you have locked away your firearm and ammunition."

As a firearms owner it is your responsibility to know and practice the seven basic firearms rules. If you are taking people hunting with you that are unlicensed but want to shoot, you must as a licensee directly supervise them while they are shooting.

Firearms owners are required by law to store their firearms securely at all times with the ammunition and the bolt stored separately. If you have changed address since your firearms licence was issued, you are required by law to let Police know. All licence holders must install security at their home, regardless of whether or not they actually posess any firearms.

"We want to help you stay compliant but we can't do this if you don't keep your details up-to-date. Failure to notify us of changes can lead to a $500 infringement."

An expired licence means the owner is unlawfully in possession of a weapon and that can carry a sentence of up to 3 months' imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000.

If you are going bush while hunting a great tool to take with you is a personal locator beacon.

"These beacons can be a lifesaving investment if you get injured or lost as it means emergency services can find you faster and get you home to your family.

"We want you and your mates to have a safe day out hunting so you can celebrate your success afterwards. Remember to identify your target and practice safe handling of firearms."

Firearm owners in Central District can notify police of changes by ringing the Firearms Licensing Unit on (06) 351 2550, or visiting the police website www.police.govt.nz and clicking on the 'do it online' section, or by email at central.firearms@police.govt.nz.

You can download a copy of the Arms Code from the Police website. It is also available free at all Police stations.

The seven basic rules
1. Treat every firearm as loaded
2. Always point firearms in a safe direction
3. Load a firearm only when ready to fire
4. Identify your target beyond all doubt
5. Check your firing zone
6. Store firearms and ammunition safely
7. Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Sara Stavropoulos on 027 702 0850.


Please view the full news release online at:

http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/34572.html

ENDS

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