Shooting Legal

DAVID FROST says:

I’m not familiar with the specifics of the law in NI so this answer must of necessity be more general. It rather depends on what you mean by ‘accidentally shot’.

It could cover anything from being hit by a spent pellet, a not uncommon occurrence, to somebody being killed or seriously injured.

At the spent pellet end it is unlikely anything would be done by either party, indeed on a driven shoot it may be impossible to know who fired the shot.

At the other extreme you can certainly expect the police to instigate an enquiry with a view to charging the Gun with manslaughter.

I imagine that in NI if someone appears in hospital with a gunshot wound the police will be informed and it will be up to them to decide on the action to be taken.

Anyone who causes injury by negligence or error can expect to have his fitness to possess a firearm questioned.

The victim might likely wish to pursue a civil claim for damages. As with so many things in life it’s not so much a matter of what the law says as of what counts as reasonable behaviour.

It’s critical to the future of our sport that people act responsibly and with due care when handling a gun.

Anyone found taking a potentially dangerous shot should be sent home forthwith.

Happily we have a good safety record in this country. Be thankful you don’t live in France where 15 people were killed in accidents last year, albeit an improvement on the 26 of the year before.