The Kiwi Gun Blog has just covered the NZ Police denial that they have ever been denied the use of public gun ranges due to safety concerns.
Turns out that is another lie.
Various clubs have since confirmed that they had asked Police not to return to their ranges – due to safety concerns. Some included pictures of the wreckage.
For example – the Police were banned from the Christchurch Pistol Club for range damage. This included shot-up rubbish tins and stored targets shot in the storage area at the end of the range – 90 degrees to the proper line of fire.
This caused the Police to build their own range at McLeans Island that was subsequently closed as it did not meet safety requirements.
Several accidental Police shootings also occurred off range in Christchurch. These including a rifle fired through a police car floor while driving. A shot fired into the floor at Christchurch airport. A shot fired over people’s heads in the muster room at Central Police Station.
A Glock was also emptied at a suspect opposite the Central Police Station. This only damaged several parked cars.
It is lucky that is all that happened – With loaded pistols being left on desk tops while suspects were being interviewed, etc.
One of our readers visited the Porirua Police College in the ‘80’s and witnessed a trainee policewoman empty her revolver into the side wall of the range during a training session.
Several trainees were under the control of a single RO (Seated centrally behind them) and were shooting at turning targets. Each time the target turned the girl closed her eyes and fired into the wall at her left, about 30 degrees from the correct line of fire.
When our reader pointed this out to the RO he just shrugged.
The same man witnessed a Policeman attempting to shoot a badly injured dog on the side of the road. He had two attempts at shooting the prone dog at 2 feet, missing both times.
The only reason that he got it the third time was because our reader held his wrist with one hand and the dog collar with the other. He wouldn’t let our reader do it because he was ‘not trained’.
Without wanting to give away clues… He was the NZ Service Pistol record holder at the time.
“A great many other incidents have occurred that I know of but you get the gist. Woe betide any innocent bystanders when the Police start shooting!”
The man was on the executive of the Christchurch Pistol Club when they banned the Police.
In theory…. All accidental discharges of Police firearms must be recorded.
So the Kiwi Gun Blog have asked Police: “How many off range accidental discharges have Police had with their issue firearms in the last twenty years, by year”.
Lets see how widespread a problem this is and if they are getting any better.
The Arms Inspector
Just as a parting shot…..
When this writer endured the most recent, time wasting, license renewal – the inspector attending was a friendly enough chap.
He was a retired Policeman who had been assigned to the diplomatic protection squad.
He had only ever been shot at once in his career.