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Busted blasting clay pigeons in Tidbinbilla

By 4 June 2012 56

ACT Policing apprehended a 27-year-old Casey man after he illegally used a firearm in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve yesterday morning (Sunday, June 3).

About 11am Sunday morning police attended the reserve after receiving a report from ACT Rangers that gun shots were heard in the area.

Upon arrival police heard gun shots in close proximity and shortly after three men emerged from the bush land and were apprehended.

The men were in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun which was registered to one of the men and approximately 100 shotgun shells.

The men had set up a clay target launching device in the reserve. One of the men held an ACT firearms license which police seized along with the registered firearm.

South District Superintendent Paul Shakeshaft said the actions of these men showed a serious disregard for the safety of Canberrans who use the park.

“The actions of these men were extremely dangerous and could have resulted in the serious injury of other people using the area. It is an offence for members of the public to use firearms in the nature reserve,” Superintendent Shakeshaft said. “If anyone witnesses this kind of behaviour I urge them to contact police immediately.”

The man will be summonsed to the ACT Magistrates Court at a later date.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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56 Responses to
Busted blasting clay pigeons in Tidbinbilla
Mav 11:11 am
04 Jun 12
#1

These guys must have a few sheep loose in the top paddock. They had to have known it was a nature reserve and what they were doing was not allowed and dangerous to the public in that area, good grief!

PBO 11:18 am
04 Jun 12
#2

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

PoQ 11:19 am
04 Jun 12
#3

Maybe they thought that they were in NSW – where our Dear Leader has allowed the Shooters and Fishers into National Parks so he can sell off the power stations…

peterh 11:46 am
04 Jun 12
#4

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, or shot rained down on the kids playground? It is a nature reserve. It is used by many canberrans for weekend activities. This is just plain stupidity. They could have, oh, I don’t know, gone out to the gun club at majura and shot clay pigeons there. It’s pretty close to casey, in fact a lot closer than tidbinbilla is.

p1 12:16 pm
04 Jun 12
#5

Ummmmm, of all the miscellaneous places they could have picked to illegally use a shotgun, they pick the nature reserve? Rocket surgeons they are not.

PBO 12:29 pm
04 Jun 12
#6

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, or shot rained down on the kids playground? It is a nature reserve. It is used by many canberrans for weekend activities. This is just plain stupidity. They could have, oh, I don’t know, gone out to the gun club at majura and shot clay pigeons there. It’s pretty close to casey, in fact a lot closer than tidbinbilla is.

We dont know if they had precautions in place or had determined whether or not the area was safe.

Yes what they did was illegal, however, they may have gone about it mostly the right way.

buzz819 1:12 pm
04 Jun 12
#7

PBO said :

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, or shot rained down on the kids playground? It is a nature reserve. It is used by many canberrans for weekend activities. This is just plain stupidity. They could have, oh, I don’t know, gone out to the gun club at majura and shot clay pigeons there. It’s pretty close to casey, in fact a lot closer than tidbinbilla is.

We dont know if they had precautions in place or had determined whether or not the area was safe.

Yes what they did was illegal, however, they may have gone about it mostly the right way.

Why would they go out there at all??? Every Wednesday night at the shotgun at Majura you can do it legally and safely. People playing with guns when and where they are not supposed to is when people get injured.

GardeningGirl 1:21 pm
04 Jun 12
#8

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

I remember more than 20 years ago reading in the news of a case where a car passenger on a public road was killed by someone target shooting cans in a nearby paddock. Not to mention the hunting accidents reported over the years despite the people involved being aware of each others presence and location. How is ensuring sensible separation of sports involving projectiles from the general public a “cotton wool” issue?

PBO said :

Yes what they did was illegal, however, they may have gone about it mostly the right way.

Doing something illegal doesn’t inspire much trust in their ability to do things the right way.

DrKoresh 1:27 pm
04 Jun 12
#9

GardeningGirl said :

Doing something illegal doesn’t inspire much trust in their ability to do things the right way.

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, or shot rained down on the kids playground? It is a nature reserve. It is used by many canberrans for weekend activities. This is just plain stupidity. They could have, oh, I don’t know, gone out to the gun club at majura and shot clay pigeons there. It’s pretty close to casey, in fact a lot closer than tidbinbilla is.

I doubt they were shooting at the kiddie’s playground. As for missed shot raining death on the ground, MythBusters tested what damage a bullet falling to earth can do and it wasn’t a lot. Seeing as this was most likely pellets I imagine they would pose even less danger than a bullet on the way back down.

EvanJames 1:29 pm
04 Jun 12
#10

Stupid and yobbish, and I’m glad the authorities were on to it as gunshots could well be scum blasting away at teh wildlife. But, of all the firearms least likely to endanger bushwalkers etc, a 12-gauge would have to be right up there, as their range is pretty short. So stray bullets continuing on to get people some distance away are unlikely to happen.

But nature reserves are reserves, for nature. Not gun-nuts.

Jivrashia 2:01 pm
04 Jun 12
#11

buzz819 said :

Why would they go out there at all??? Every Wednesday night at the shotgun at Majura you can do it legally and safely.

Some thing to do with only one person out of the three holding a gun license?
(you do still have to have a license to be allow to shoot at the Majura range, don’t you?)

buzz819 2:06 pm
04 Jun 12
#12

DrKoresh said :

GardeningGirl said :

Doing something illegal doesn’t inspire much trust in their ability to do things the right way.

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, or shot rained down on the kids playground? It is a nature reserve. It is used by many canberrans for weekend activities. This is just plain stupidity. They could have, oh, I don’t know, gone out to the gun club at majura and shot clay pigeons there. It’s pretty close to casey, in fact a lot closer than tidbinbilla is.

I doubt they were shooting at the kiddie’s playground. As for missed shot raining death on the ground, MythBusters tested what damage a bullet falling to earth can do and it wasn’t a lot. Seeing as this was most likely pellets I imagine they would pose even less danger than a bullet on the way back down.

Well the mythbusters did do this test, but that was for a bullet fired straight up, not at angle. A different arc would mean that the projectile would not lose as much energy as fast as the same projectile fired straight up in the air. Yes, it probably was bird shot they were firing with, but that still has an effective range of about 30 – 45 meters, with an up angle this could still cause I would image significant injury for maybe 70 – 80 meters, might not kill, but would definitely piss me off.

buzz819 2:07 pm
04 Jun 12
#13

Jivrashia said :

buzz819 said :

Why would they go out there at all??? Every Wednesday night at the shotgun at Majura you can do it legally and safely.

Some thing to do with only one person out of the three holding a gun license?
(you do still have to have a license to be allow to shoot at the Majura range, don’t you?)

Nope, I did it for about 3 years, I still don’t have a gun license, you go out, hire a range gun and have a shoot. So that theory doesn’t really hold.

peterh 2:09 pm
04 Jun 12
#14

EvanJames said :

Stupid and yobbish, and I’m glad the authorities were on to it as gunshots could well be scum blasting away at teh wildlife. But, of all the firearms least likely to endanger bushwalkers etc, a 12-gauge would have to be right up there, as their range is pretty short. So stray bullets continuing on to get people some distance away are unlikely to happen.

But nature reserves are reserves, for nature. Not gun-nuts.

12 gauge has a range for AA class shooters of 21m. 15m for C Class. At Tidbinbilla, there are a couple of areas that would accommodate the distance, but there would be kids at one site, and picnickers at the other. Marking out the site is fine if you expect that kind of behavior, but who would in a nature park?

Pellets aren’t the only thing falling to earth, there are clay traps as well, and they do sting if they hit you.

probably why you can’t stand forward of the firing area when there is a shoot on.

MissChief 2:18 pm
04 Jun 12
#15

Wow…. and to think I’d only recently been sent there to see the kangaroos because our local mobs have been decimated (see decapitated joey story). Which poses an interesting question: where will the shooters go when they’ve finished killing the kangaroos that live in our city? Seems like they already have some idea, and how clever of them to set up a decoy excuse… because in all reality, no one could be that stupid!

buzz819 2:47 pm
04 Jun 12
#16

peterh said :

EvanJames said :

Stupid and yobbish, and I’m glad the authorities were on to it as gunshots could well be scum blasting away at teh wildlife. But, of all the firearms least likely to endanger bushwalkers etc, a 12-gauge would have to be right up there, as their range is pretty short. So stray bullets continuing on to get people some distance away are unlikely to happen.

But nature reserves are reserves, for nature. Not gun-nuts.

12 gauge has a range for AA class shooters of 21m. 15m for C Class. At Tidbinbilla, there are a couple of areas that would accommodate the distance, but there would be kids at one site, and picnickers at the other. Marking out the site is fine if you expect that kind of behavior, but who would in a nature park?

Pellets aren’t the only thing falling to earth, there are clay traps as well, and they do sting if they hit you.

probably why you can’t stand forward of the firing area when there is a shoot on.

The 21 meter mark is the length of the trap that you shoot from, the projectiles don’t magically stop at this point.

HenryBG 3:34 pm
04 Jun 12
#17

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, .

You mean, if a hiker flew into the line of fire.

Honestly, a bit of shot isn’t something to panic about. It really isn’t going to hurt anybody. It’s a tiny fraction of the size of a bullet.

Issuing a gun licence to somebody who thinks this is a good idea, on the other hand, is seriously concerning. What were the AFP thinking?

buzz819 3:53 pm
04 Jun 12
#18

HenryBG said :

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, .

You mean, if a hiker flew into the line of fire.

Honestly, a bit of shot isn’t something to panic about. It really isn’t going to hurt anybody. It’s a tiny fraction of the size of a bullet.

Issuing a gun licence to somebody who thinks this is a good idea, on the other hand, is seriously concerning. What were the AFP thinking?

Obviously in the answer section for “Are you going to take your licensed shotgun to a nature reserve to conduct illegal trap shooting?” the crafty young lad must have lied and said no he wouldn’t.

wildturkeycanoe 4:53 pm
04 Jun 12
#19

Wow, the police responded to a report of gunshots in a nature reserve! I tried getting someone to attend chainsaw use and shooting of firearms in a national park with campers abundantly located last year and the NSW Police said they’d contact the local ranger. Nobody ever showed up to correct the error of their ways, I just stayed close to the ground for the rest of the night and hoped they weren’t totally off their heads. Good on the AFP for doing something right though, congratulations. Now, if only the judicial system will follow through appropriately….

Disinformation 5:06 pm
04 Jun 12
#20

MissChief said :

Wow…. and to think I’d only recently been sent there to see the kangaroos because our local mobs have been decimated (see decapitated joey story). !

Decimated? They killed one in ten of the local kangaroos?

MissChief said :

Which poses an interesting question: where will the shooters go when they’ve finished killing the kangaroos that live in our city? Seems like they already have some idea, and how clever of them to set up a decoy excuse… because in all reality, no one could be that stupid!

I believe that you’ve supplied evidence to the contrary.

The_Bulldog 5:15 pm
04 Jun 12
#21

The rhetoric about safe distances is moot, and I recommend knowing before speaking.

This bloke knew what he was doing was not legal, and regardless of his own safety assessment he would have known that the law and the residents of Canberra would take a pretty dim view on his actions.

One less cowboy giving the rest of us a bad name.

KB1971 8:33 pm
04 Jun 12
#22

Disinformation said :

MissChief said :

Wow…. and to think I’d only recently been sent there to see the kangaroos because our local mobs have been decimated (see decapitated joey story). !

Decimated? They killed one in ten of the local kangaroos?

MissChief said :

Which poses an interesting question: where will the shooters go when they’ve finished killing the kangaroos that live in our city? Seems like they already have some idea, and how clever of them to set up a decoy excuse… because in all reality, no one could be that stupid!

I believe that you’ve supplied evidence to the contrary.

My thought exactly, especially when she accuse wildturkeycanoe for shooting at her in the joey thread ………. you cant let a good story get in the way of the truth. I am sure if there was a threat to life they would have been locked up & needed bail.

HenryBG 8:04 am
05 Jun 12
#23

buzz819 said :

HenryBG said :

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, .

You mean, if a hiker flew into the line of fire.

Honestly, a bit of shot isn’t something to panic about. It really isn’t going to hurt anybody. It’s a tiny fraction of the size of a bullet.

Issuing a gun licence to somebody who thinks this is a good idea, on the other hand, is seriously concerning. What were the AFP thinking?

Obviously in the answer section for “Are you going to take your licensed shotgun to a nature reserve to conduct illegal trap shooting?” the crafty young lad must have lied and said no he wouldn’t.

You seem to be suggesting that the AFP relies primarily on confessions to do its job.
A bit 1970′s, don’t you think?

Duffbowl 9:51 am
05 Jun 12
#24

HenryBG said :

You seem to be suggesting that the AFP relies primarily on confessions to do its job.
A bit 1970′s, don’t you think?

Seems to be the way they handle people smugglers…
AFP: “Are you a refugee, or a people smuggler?”
Boat Captain: “Sorry, what were the choices again?”
AFP: “Are you a refugee, or a people smuggler?”
BC: “Ohhhhh. Which one’s the bad one again?”
AFP: “People Smuggler.”
BC: “Well, I’m the other!”
AFP: “No worries then, let me just check” (looks at ASIO agent in the corner, fapping; mistakes frantic nodding for gesture of agreement)
AFP: “Right sir, thank you for your time”

buzz819 11:42 am
05 Jun 12
#25

HenryBG said :

buzz819 said :

HenryBG said :

peterh said :

PBO said :

Whoa, better get some more cotton wool to wrap us in!

Would this really have been such an issue 20 years ago? How do we know that they did not have a safe area marked out or had not calculated where their shot would fall?

are you serious? what if a hiker walked into the line of fire, .

You mean, if a hiker flew into the line of fire.

Honestly, a bit of shot isn’t something to panic about. It really isn’t going to hurt anybody. It’s a tiny fraction of the size of a bullet.

Issuing a gun licence to somebody who thinks this is a good idea, on the other hand, is seriously concerning. What were the AFP thinking?

Obviously in the answer section for “Are you going to take your licensed shotgun to a nature reserve to conduct illegal trap shooting?” the crafty young lad must have lied and said no he wouldn’t.

You seem to be suggesting that the AFP relies primarily on confessions to do its job.
A bit 1970′s, don’t you think?

No I’m sure they use Police checks to find out if he has committed any offences, if this is the first time he has been caught committing and offence, then what grounds would they have of denying him the licence? Maybe they have made illegal to maybe committing a crime?

Rebos 12:09 pm
05 Jun 12
#26

This brings back memories of the incident a few years back (late 80′s??) where a man with his family at the Cotter reserve playground was shot in the neck and killed by a .22 bullet discharged half a kilometre away from up on the hill adjacent to the road to Uriarra. The offender was shooting a target on a tree, missed, and the bullet arced downwards to the reserve hitting the poor man.

PBO 12:28 pm
05 Jun 12
#27

Rebos said :

This brings back memories of the incident a few years back (late 80′s??) where a man with his family at the Cotter reserve playground was shot in the neck and killed by a .22 bullet discharged half a kilometre away from up on the hill adjacent to the road to Uriarra. The offender was shooting a target on a tree, missed, and the bullet arced downwards to the reserve hitting the poor man.

Given the distance and type of rifle you have stated i would have to say BS. It would have to be a larger calibre to achieve what you have said.

Disinformation 5:18 pm
05 Jun 12
#28

PBO said :

Given the distance and type of rifle you have stated i would have to say BS. It would have to be a larger calibre to achieve what you have said.

In 1993 at the Brukunga Shooting Club range in SA, I watched a guy hit the 500 meter gong with his single shot .22 target rifle. Sure, he was aiming at a spot about 40 feet up and 12 feet left and he only hit it about one shot in four, but it was easily making the distance with enough energy to make enough noise on the gong. It was hilarious. Everyone paused as soon as he fired just so they could hear it.

I have no doubt at all that a .22 can make that distance. Getting hit and killed by one is incredibly unlucky.

snoopydoc 5:30 pm
05 Jun 12
#29

1. It’s illegal.
2. It’s stupid.
3. Arguments in favour of it being “kinda okay because they might have sorted out their safe arcs and fields of fire”, etc., are even more stupid.

It’s not a cotton-wool issue. Firearms are dangerous. Would you make an argument that driving on the footpath is okay because well, it didn’t look like that many people were around, and I probably wasn’t going to hit anyone… ?

HenryBG 5:49 pm
05 Jun 12
#30

PBO said :

Rebos said :

This brings back memories of the incident a few years back (late 80′s??) where a man with his family at the Cotter reserve playground was shot in the neck and killed by a .22 bullet discharged half a kilometre away from up on the hill adjacent to the road to Uriarra. The offender was shooting a target on a tree, missed, and the bullet arced downwards to the reserve hitting the poor man.

Given the distance and type of rifle you have stated i would have to say BS. It would have to be a larger calibre to achieve what you have said.

A .22 is very survivable at close range (why do you think the last six months of tit-for-tat drive-bys in Sydney have resulted in zero deaths?), the idea that a spent .22 shell is going to kill someone is quite surprising. Very unlucky, if true. Like the Canberra truck driver in Sydney last year.

Also surprising is that fact that despite spending portions of the last 5 decades living in Canberra, I never heard this story before, and I would expect I would remember it.

Details?

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