Guilty but not convicted over hunting accident; illegal guns busted; Game Council review delayed; NSW forests re-declared; Malabar Headland petition; NIOA TV returns.
Guilty but not convicted over hunting accident
A Victorian man has been fined $3000 and had his firearms confiscated after being found guilty of several charges after he shot his son and son’s friend during a hunting trip. Neil Chapman, 50, fired a shotgun while hunting rabbits but hit the teenage boys, inflicting serious wounds. Chapman pleaded guilty to the charges, but was not given a criminal conviction after the court was told he still had the respect of his son and that his future employment may be at risk if he was convicted.
Illegal guns busted
South Australian police announced they recently charged two men with serious firearm offences as part of Operation Disarm. A 61-year-old Hackham man will face court after allegedly being found with factory-made and home-made firearms in his house, as well as a pipe bomb. Police say he did not hold a firearms licence. In another incident, a 26-year-old from Highbury was charged after police allegedly found a loaded handgun and a shotgun at his home.
Game Council review delayed
The independent review of the NSW Game Council’s governance will not be handed down until mid-June. The man in charge of the investigation, Steve Dunn, has requested an extra two weeks beyond the original deadline of 31 May. Hunting in national parks will not go ahead until after the report has been presented.
NSW forests re-declared
The NSW government has re-declared 178 state forests for hunting under Game Council management. First declared in 2008, these forests will now be available to licensed hunters for a 10-year period until April 2023, when they will be re-assessed. For details about the forests, see the Game Council website.
Malabar Headland petition
Shooters are supporting a petition demanding the Commonwealth “return Malabar Headland to the people”. Following legal confirmation that the NSW Rifle Association could maintain its place on the Anzac Range there, the land remains locked up on days when shooting is not occurring, preventing horse riders and model aeroplane enthusiasts – as well as shooters from the SSAA and other clubs – from enjoying their sports on land they previously used. “Allow the public to use the headland when the rifle range is not in use (normally 6 days a week),” states the petition, “just lock the gates to the headland when the rifle range is in use… We can all share the headland today as we did before.”
NIOA TV returns
Season two of NIOA TV has begun, and the first episode is now up on the company’s website. As well as taking the piss and having a laugh, the NIOA crew covers a lot of good info including the basics of rifle scopes, a back-to-basics explanation of all aspects of these shooting optics. That alone is worth watching, but the 20-minute video goes on to cover the Anschutz 1780 rifle, Blackhawk boots, reloading versus factory ammo, and a look at different .223 ammunition. The refreshing thing about the NIOA videos is they’re not blatant plugs for the company’s many products, they’re informative and entertaining.