An eight-year-old girl accidently shot by her brother is in a stable condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital.
The girl's 12-year-old brother shot her in the stomach with a low-powered slug gun near Wairoa around 4.45pm on Sunday.
The girl suffered minor injuries and was flown to the hospital by the Lowe Corporation rescue helicopter.
Wairoa police senior sergeant Tony Bates said the pellet lodged deep within the girl's abdomen.
He said the circumstances were still being investigated.
''This incident highlights the risk of insecure firearms and incorrect supervision, especially with air rifles, which many people wrongly consider to be harmless. Modern air rifles have exceptionally high velocities and are every bit as dangerous as conventional firearms,'' he said.
''Like all firearms, air guns should be locked away so children cannot access them, the responsibility for doing so rests entirely with the owner of the air rifle''.
Anyone over the age of 18 years can possess and use an air gun.
Anyone under 16 must always be under immediate supervision of a firearms licence holder or a person 18 years of age or older.
- The Dominion Post
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