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Firearms incident details (FOI)

Firearms incident details (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 05 July 2018.

Request

I refer to a response to a previous Freedom of Information request published at the following link:

Firearms Incident (FOI)

Was anyone injured during the incident and if so what were the injuries?

Please confirm the kind of pellet used and the shot size.

Please confirm if it was just one pellet fired.

Please explain why this has been called a weapon as weapons are things that the military carry with intent to kill the enemy. Was this not just a firearm?

Response

In September 2016, the States of Jersey Police were alerted to a shotgun being fired in a field in St Peter. The report was from a neighbour who complained that the noise frightened the horses. The neighbour also spoke with contractors working in the road outside and who were aware of the discharge nearby. No complaint was received by the contractor however police contacted them and ascertained that they had heard the shotgun being fired once and that some pellets landed in the bush behind him. Nobody was hit or injured. No formal complaint was received. An armed police unit was dispatched to the scene.

Enquiries quickly established that a gardener in a field was lawfully in possession of a .410 bolt action shotgun. One shot had been fired in an attempt to kill vermin.

The incident was declared as 'over' after an hour and 40 minutes from the initial call and the firearms unit was withdrawn.

Article 44 of the Firearms (Jersey) law 2000 states it is an offence to discharge a firearm in a manner likely to be a danger to the public.

Following interview, the facts established were that the gardener fired one shot, some 100m from the boundary of the field. The road is some 20 meters below the level at which the shot was fired which may account for its travel beyond the boundary. No danger was perceived to have occurred so no offence was established. The gardener was given words of advice on future discharging of the weapon.

The .410 shotgun is the second smallest gauge shotgun commercially available. The cartridge for this weapon typically has five to eight shot in each, typically weighing one half an ounce each. The effective range for killing vermin is approximately 30m. Whilst the shot can travel further, the kinetic energy is continuously reducing until the shot eventually falls to the floor. Realistically, there is no danger of injury at 80 meters or more.

The Firearms (Jersey) Law 2000 describes a Firearm as a lethal barrelled weapon. This includes shotguns. The term weapon is not exclusive to military use. A pointed stick can be an offensive weapon.

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