Man shoots himself while hiding gun

By APN News & Media

A man shot himself by accident while trying to hide a gun from police near Waihi on Friday night.

Sergeant Jim Corbett of the Thames Strategic Traffic Unit said officers were called to reports of shots being fired on a farm bordering bush at Waitekauri, near Waikino about 9.40pm.

"About an hour after the initial report of shots being fired a car approached a police checkpoint on Golden Cross Rd, as the vehicle came to a stop the front seat passenger got out of the car and appears to have shot himself in the leg as he went to get rid of a .22cal pistol he had concealed down the front of his pants."

Mr Corbett said despite his injury the man was still able to throw the firearm into scrub.

"The man was treated for his wound by police at the scene before being taken to Waikato Hospital, however we understand the 35-year-old discharged himself with the projectile still embedded in his leg.

"But he is expected to return there today to have it removed."

Mr Corbett said the man will be interviewed by police once he is treated for his injuries.

"In the meantime there are a number of lessons that can be learned by everyone from this incident."

In addition to providing legislative guidelines on the owning of firearms the licensing process also guides people through basic safety steps, several of which were ignored on Friday.

Mr Corbett said the man did not have the landowner's permission to be shooting on the property, and it is also unlawful to shoot in a state forest, forest park or national park after dark.

"It is also unlawful to be using a firearm without a license or to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

"Given the occupants of the vehicle approached a police checkpoint with a loaded firearm this incident could have had far more tragic circumstances," said Mr Corbett.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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