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Shooters aim anger at vandals

Wednesday, 4th March, 2009

Members of the city's rifle and pistol club yesterday expressed their anger and frustration after their property was attacked by vandals again.

They are now considering locking down the Tibooburra road facility to prevent more damage.

One member of Sporting Shooters Association of Australia said that vandals went to the club between 4pm Saturday and Sunday lunchtime and shot holes in a chair. John Curyer said over the years all the equipment used to hold their targets had been shot up as well as metal silhouettes and metal frames that hold up targets. He said the members had had enough "All members give up their own time to make the club good," he said. "Over the years all the equipment used to hold our targets has been shot up. "It's not accidental. It's bloody stinking and we are absolutely livid. "When the members saw the latest act of vandalism they had steam coming out their ears." Mr Curyer said the mesh chair had been taken out to the range, a target drawn on the back of it and was shot. "They put a bullet hole right through it," he said. "We also have these silhouettes of animals that are not meant to be shot at by a high-powered rifle. "They're just used for a pistol. When you shoot at it doesn't put a hole in it, it just gets knocked over. "They've now got holes in them the size of a 20 cent piece." Mr Curyer said not only was the damage frustrating, it was also dangerous. "The sad part about it is if you go to pick it up, where the metal's been shot out the back of it, it's like a razor blade and if you're not careful it'll cut you badly," he said. "The damage to the frames makes them bloody dangerous. One bloke cut his finger and we thought he'd have to have a couple of stitches in it." Mr Curyer said the club was now considering locking the premises. "(Members are) so angry they're talking about locking the gates so no-one can go out there," he said. "It will inconvenience other members who do the right thing, so it's a last resort. "We never seem to catch them. I don't know who it is. "If we find them we are going to report them to the police and the firearms registry." Club secretary Richard Harvey said they were concerned about going public for fear it could make the problem worse but they had no option. "We are worried about going public as it sometimes causes more problems," he said. "But it's just happened too many times. These people don't have much respect."

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