Rotorua gun club pulls national comp


21 March 2109

The Rotorua Pistol Club has pulled a national competition and shut down communication with the media in the wake of the Christchurch mosque terror attack last Friday.

The Mud revealed that the club was hosting a “Multi-Gun Nationals” event this coming weekend of 23 and 24 March and was told a decision would be made on whether it would go ahead in light the killing of 50 Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch.

The alleged killer was found to have belonged to a Dunedin gun club, throwing the light on the activities of such associations and their facilities throughout New Zealand.

The "Rotorua & Auckland Pistol Clubs" Pistol NZ 2019 Multigun Nationals were to be held at the club range, on Mead Rotorua, Whakarewarewa..

A posting on the club's web site said the competition will comprise 12 stages, including 120 rifle rounds, 130 pistol rounds, 100 bird shot, 10 buck shot equalling 360 rounds.

The club subsequently took down its web site after being contacted by The Mud for comment and posted a notice on its Facebook page saying that a decision had been made to postpone the match after consultation and meetings with all involved.

“This decision was made out of respect for those killed and injured in the tragedy in Christchurch last Friday,” the post said.

“From the firearms sports competition community our hearts go out to all the families and friends of their lost ones and those injured. 

“The Rotorua Pistol Club Facility will be closed all weekend to members and visiting shooters.”

The post was made under the title of President Rotorua Pistol Club, who is Don Perry, owner of the privately-owned gun shop, Gun Supplies.

When contacted by The Mud, Don Perry said he was not prepared to talk to the media and hung up.

The club’s web site includes Youtube-based videos of past competitions showing members shooting as they moved through a range of targets.  Rather than being traditional targets with bulls-eyes, the targets in some cases include upright targets which could appear to be fashioned to look like outlines of people.

The club web site says its range complex is the largest in the southern hemisphere with 33 shooting bays, or ranges.  Five of the ranges were specifically designed for “action shooting” events allowing up to 270 degrees of safety. 

“Our range facility has been approved by the Commissioner of Police for use as a pistol range,” the description says.

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