A small part of the racks and stands at Abela's new Sydney superstore, where you could win a new gun at the offical opening.

Snap Shots

Win one of two rifles at Abela’s; vale Tony Loughnan; Anderson awarded life membership; newsagency bans on hunting magazines; poll tells animal rights groups they’re wrong; inexcusable police decisions led to killings; stakes continue to rise in rhino poaching; elk poacher hammered in court.

Win one of two rifles at Abela’s

The official opening of Abela’s Sydney superstore happens tomorrow, Saturday 23rd, and the new gun shop has announced it’ll be giving away two rifles as part of the celebrations and sale. Anyone who spends at least $100 will go into the draw to win a $750 Howa 1500 sporter, and if you spend at least $150 you could win a Webley & Scott 12ga sporter worth around $1200. The opening is on from 8am to 5pm at 13 Watsford Rd, Cambelltown. See this story for more details about the huge gunshop.

Vale Tony Loughnan

The NZ Rifle Association has paid tribute to a highly repected former president, Tony Loughnan, who passed away recently. Just before he died, Mr Loughnan was awarded life membership of the organisation after his invaluable contributions over many years. He specialised in range set-up, and was responsible for the ‘no danger’ range used at the Commonwealth Games in India as well as the upgrading of the NZRA’s Trentham Range. “We were lucky to have him in the chair at that crucial time,” NZRA president Darryl Crow said. “We are hugely indebted to him for the knowledge and expertise he offered and will have a bit job ahead of us in tackling these sorts of projects without him. We have, as an association and as individuals, suffered a huge loss of a good friend and tireless worker.”

Anderson awarded life membership

Peter Anderson has been awarded life membership of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association after well over four decades working to better the shooting sports. Mr Anderson represented shooting and shooters in many ways during that time, in management, administration, on juries and as a technical advisor. He was one of the first technical advisors involved after shooting was incorporated into the Commonwealth Games in 1974, and was the director of the Australian Commonwealth Games Foundation from 1999 until 2010. He made many breakthroughs for the sport, including being instrumental in the establishment of separate competitions for female shooters in the Commonwealth Games, and the reversal of the decision by the 2002 Games organisers to drop shooting from the program.

Newsagency bans on hunting magazines

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) says it appears newsagency chain WH Smith has dropped its ban on the sale of hunting and shooting magazines to people under 14. The ban was imposed after lobbying by animal rights activists, but a counter-campaign by the shooting community seems to have succeeded. Meanwhile, PETA is trying the same stunt on US chain Hudson News, urging it to hide hunting magazines from minors and not sell them to anyone under 18.

Poll tells animal rights groups they’re wrong

Animal rights activists are still trying to shut down wolf hunts in various US states, but a poll conducted in Wyoming suggests they’re well off the mark in terms of public support. A poll carried out last month by the University of Wyoming found that while support for the re-introduction wolves was virtually equal with opposition to it (49% to 47% respectively), 82% of respondents agreed that hunting of wolves should be allowed. This poll counters the results of one run earlier by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which found 79% of respondents opposed wolf hunting and was widely quoted by anti-hunting groups.

Inexcusable police decisions led to killings

An internal police investigation into a murder-suicide in the UK is reported damning of police, who allowed the killer, Michael Atherton, to retain firearms despite multiple domestic complaints against him and his threats to kill himself. Police were aware of four cases of domestic violence up to 2004 and had temporarily confiscated Atherton’s legally-held firearms in 2008 after he’d threatened to shoot himself while drunk. A note on his file recommended refusal of his firearms certificate on public safety grounds, but this did not happen. The investigation also apparently says there was no proper assessment of Atherton’s firearm ownership after the 2008 incident, and calls the police decision “inexcusable” and “unacceptable”. On 1 January this year, Atherton shot dead his partner, as well as her sister and niece, before killing himself.

Stakes continue to rise in rhino poaching

The South African army would be more widely used to combat rhino poaching, if one politician gets his way. SA Premier Thandi Modise has called for “extraordinary measures to protect our tourism and biodiversity” as the poaching toll threatens to exceed 600 animals by the end of the year, well up on the 448 killed last year despite greater efforts to fight it. Earlier this month, a Thai man, convicted as a poaching ringleader, was sentenced to 40 years in jail, as SA media reports more poachers have been shot dead in conflicts with rangers. Meanwhile, a former SA police officer has faced court after being found with four rhino horns and a large sum of cash in his car. He had previously bought two new cars, including a Range Rover, for cash despite being unemployed at the time.

Elk poacher hammered in court

A US man was been jailed for 12 days and fined $11,000 for illegally shooting elk in Wyoming. Daniel Recla also lost his hunting privileges for 16 years and had his rifle confiscated after pleading guilty to hunting without a licence and wanton destruction. His son was convicted on lesser charges. The pair had fired 17 shots from the roadside into a game farm. They killed six elk, retrieved one and left the rest to rot. Meanwhile, two more poachers were caught in California after they bundled a deer into the back of their car, stabbed it repeatedly when they realised it wasn’t yet dead, and sped off with their faces hidden and a trail of blood pouring onto the road. It wasn’t hard for police to catch up with them.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.