York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire shooting accidents spark safety warning

Two men have been injured in shooting accidents during organised game shoots in North Yorkshire, prompting police to issue a gun safety warning.

A 46-year-old man was struck in the face by pellets during a pheasant shoot in Strensall, near York, on Saturday.

The next day a 46-year-old man from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was hit in the leg on farmland near Selby. Both men suffered only minor injuries.

Police said accidents were rare but warned shooters to keep safety in mind.

North Yorkshire Police said although no offences were believed to have been committed, it had seized the guns involved while officers investigated the exact circumstances of the incidents.

'Very rare'

Dave Coutts, the force's head of firearms licensing, said: "Thankfully, neither of the people injured in these incidents was seriously harmed.

"However, the consequences could have been far more serious.

"Shooters need to make sure that they are aware of what is happening around them and that their guns are never pointed in anyone else's direction.

"It is also essential that when the gun is not being fired the safety catch is on to prevent accidental discharge."

Debbie Collins, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), said: "Safety must be the first consideration for anyone taking part in shooting.

"Accidents are thankfully very rare, which is a testament to the safety-consciousness of every safe and responsible shooter."

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