Two men charged after air rifles fired in regional park

16:00, Jan 17 2013

A young family with a sleeping infant was found camping within range of people drinking and firing air rifles in Omana Regional Park on Saturday evening.

Sergeant Kylie Newton says a ranger saw two adults and a number of youths firing airguns and drinking alcohol at the western end of the Maraetai park.

The ranger called police at about 8.30pm who armed themselves and approached the men on foot.

They found three air rifles under a mattress, pellets and alcohol.

A search of the area found two plastic bottles secured to a fence in front of a small group of trees close to where the men were sleeping rough.

Police found a young family tenting with a sleeping infant behind the trees.

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Mr Newton says the unaware family was easily within range of the rifles, which have a muzzle velocity of about 340 metres a second.

Police arrested two men, aged 36 and 40, and charged them with unlawfully discharging a firearm in a public place.

One of the males is from Manurewa and the other from Australia.

They were due to appear in court this week.

"I would like to recognise the assistance of the ranger and thank her for her help in the matter," Mr Newton says.

He says the incident serves as a reminder to be sensible when using firearms of any sort.

Eastern Courier