An 18-year-old drug dealer pleaded guilty possessing a firearm and ammunition without a licence among other charges in Orange Local Court after he had shot the ground between the feet of a Springside property owner.

Drug dealer guilty of shooting at man


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The 18-year-old charged with shooting at a property owner inthe Central West of NSW has pleaded guilty to possessing firearms andammunition without a license and dealing drugs.

The Orange Local Court heard that Mitchell Norman Bates shotthe ground between the feet of a property owner in Springside adjacent to the CanobolasState Forest in May.

According to police, Barnes and co-accused Benjamin Woods hadborrowed a Subaru Outback with three other men and drove to the forest to huntkangaroos.

They followed a mob onto private property and wereconfronted by the owner who had chased them in his car before getting out andgoing after them on foot.

Barnes got out of the car when he saw the man taking photosof the car’s number plate, then pointed a rifle at him demanding he drop thephone before snatching it from him and smashing it on the ground.

Barnes then shot the ground between the man’s feet from lessthan four metres away.

On top of the firearms offences, Barnes was also convictedof selling amphetamines.

The incident was used in the Fairfax press to apparently attack law abiding firearms owners and pressure the stategovernment to halt hunting in national parks by turning the report into avehicle for opposition to the scheme.

LAFOs, however, can now feel vindicated thatBarnes has been revealed to be a drug-selling criminal who abused firearms andis not indicative of the 200,000 NSW firearms owners despite this media bias.


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Justin Law

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