20 Sep 2008

Police in Lower Hutt shot at with slug gun

12:07 pm on 20 September 2008

Two police officers in Lower Hutt have narrowly escaped injury after being shot at during a roadside check.

The officers were speaking with occupants of a car on The Esplanade as part of boy racer operation, when a passing motorist fired a slug gun at them at about 12.20am on Friday.

A small dent, consistent with a slug gun pellet, was found on the lower panel of the right rear passenger's door - about a metre from where one of the officers was standing.

Senior Sergeant Mark Buttar of the Lower Hutt Police says it was very lucky that no-one was hurt.

Amendment proposed to Arms Act

Air rifle enthusiasts say a review of legislation that would allow owners of the more powerful type of air guns to hold a firearms licence, could criminalise many people.

An amendment is being proposed to the Arms Act, and recommendations will be made by the Police Commissioner following the death of Sergeant Don Wilkinson in South Auckland last week.

The Air Gun and Field Target Shooters Association says changing the law will not solve the problem of misuse of air guns, and will instead affect owners unsure about their weapon's strength.

But John Howlett, who chairs the New Zealand Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, says the law is clear.

"I think it's very simple. I think most people know themselves whether their gun is powerful or not.

"Surely the air gun associations would be responsible enough to advise their members what guns they are likely to have that will hensforth require to have licences."

Mr Howlett says the law amendment would make New Zealand safer.