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AIBU? be concerned about my neighbour doing target practice in his garden?

25 replies

Pennies · 10/06/2007 14:53

We live in a very leafy area and I can hear one of my neighbours firing his air rifle in his garden. I can't see him or where he's firing it or in which direction.

Whilst there is dense foliage between our properties there is no fence, only wire and I'm concerned that he could be firing at a target that is facing my garden and if he misses a bullet could come through the bushes. Chances are slim I suppose but I worried one of my kids will get hit (and they're only tiny, 2.8yr and 18month).

Would you say something?

Am new here and don't want to offend so if I am to say something how do I say i without seeming all hysterical and lairy?

OP posts:

lionheart · 10/06/2007 14:56

Could you go and talk to him--say you heard the noise and wondered what was going on?

Get him to show you where and at what he is firing?


Pennies · 10/06/2007 14:59

I'm a bit scared of him. He's a real oddball loner and we've often joked about his resemblence to Norman Bates and wondered how many people he has under his patio.

OP posts:

policywonk · 10/06/2007 15:02

Maybe ask one of your other neighbours whether anyone has ever approached him about it?


lionheart · 10/06/2007 15:04

You're scared because he's a loner or because of something else?


Pennies · 10/06/2007 15:09

Something else, lionheart that I just can't put my finger on.

OP posts:

LazyLine · 10/06/2007 15:20

Can you not see from upstairs?


saadia · 10/06/2007 15:37

If you are sure it is target practice maybe you should call the police and ask them for advice. I can't believe it is allowed and maybe they will check if he has a licence.


BrothelSprouts · 10/06/2007 15:39

I would call the police on their non-emergency number and ask what they suggest you do.
If you find the neigbour unapproachable, all the more reason for the police to deal with it - and for you to remain anonymous.


lionheart · 10/06/2007 15:40

I think it's a good idea to trust your instincts.

Is there someone else who might go and ask the tricky questions?


lionheart · 10/06/2007 15:46

See here

no license needed.


barney2 · 10/06/2007 16:05

I may be wrong here but I had exactly the same problem as you some years ago and when I checked up with the Police they said you needed to have a licence to have any weapon, including an air rifle and providing you are stood on your own land when using it, despite where the target maybe, you are within your rights to use it...madness in my view. We had the little pellets hit our windows one particular year - our neighbour was using a tree outside his garden as the target and they would bounce off and come over into our garden - we were also pretty scared of this guy and didn't feel we could approach him - he was the sort of bloke who would do something really stupid to retaliate and with young children to consider we didn't/couldn't take the risk. It's a difficult one this - hopefully he'll soon get bored of it. If he is aiming at wildlife - ie pigeons etc - again he is within his rights to shoot them (especially as they are classed as vermin) but he must kill them outright....not easy if they get hit and manage to fly off.

I don't agree with any of this - especially being someone who cares for the wildlife/human life (!) but there really isn't anything you can do.


barney2 · 10/06/2007 16:07

Just read your you don't need a licence but can use an air rifle providing you have the permission of the landowner to use it....and that you are over 17yrs of age. Ridiculous.


edam · 10/06/2007 16:10

can you talk to any of your other neighbours, ask them how they feel about it? Can any of them see where he's aiming?


AttilaTheMum · 10/06/2007 16:14

It is illegal to fire a gun within 50 feet of a road.


edam · 10/06/2007 16:16

Actually ASBOs have allowed the police and councils to criminalise all sorts of things that aren't actually crimes. Such as banning a prostitute from carrying condoms. So may be worth complaining to your council's anti social behaviour worker and getting them to contact the neighbour - if he doesn't co-operate, council can take him to court for an ASBO.


heifer · 10/06/2007 16:32

We used to use our air rifle in our garden when we were younger...

We used to shot targets and cans etc.

To be fair, there was nothing at the end of our garden (well only a school, but before you shout WHAT, it was a field that no-one used and we were only allowed to use air rifle at weekends and school holidays..

We had neighbours either side, not was shooting straight down the garden.

Only allowed to shot with mum or dad and had to make sure our cat was inside the house!...

I personally wouldn't worry about offending him, just ask what he is shoting at and where is he shooting (ie straight down the garden etc or towards your property..


lionheart · 10/06/2007 16:43

I know it's off subject somewhat but at the reference to prostitutes and condoms ...


Saggarmakersbottomknocker · 10/06/2007 17:03

He is supposed to ensure the no fired pellet leaves the boundary of his land. And he should not use it within 15m of a public highway if that causes a nuisance or endangers the public.

I dislike air rifles very much. They can easily end up in inexperienced hands. dd lost one of her best friends last summer in an air rifle accident. He was 12

Have a chat to the police Pennies if you are worried.


Pennies · 10/06/2007 19:33

Well, he stopped doing it and so I kind of left it for today, but I will talk to him next time. Saggamakersetcetc story re. her dd's friend being killed has confirmed it in my mind.

Thanks everyone.

OP posts:

edam · 10/06/2007 19:39

lionheart, was just to show how ridiculous ASBOs can be... and the way that they criminalise legal behaviour. So even if it is legal to use an air rifle in your garden, there may be a way of getting it stopped.


lionheart · 10/06/2007 20:35

My post was a it ambiguous there edam.

I meant that it was shocking that Asbos could be used for that purpose,
(rather than how shocking it was to see the words 'prostitute' and 'condoms' on the thread ).

SMB, that is awful.


Ripeberry · 10/06/2007 20:46

When i was around 12yrs old, me and my brother were having a walk in the local woods when some young boys (younger than us) came up to us on the path and one was holding an air rifle.
We walked past and they started to get mouthy and the one with the air rifle actually took a shot at us.
Missed thankfully but they just ran off.
If they had just stood there i would have wrapped it round their necks.
They could not have been more than 7 or 8 yrs old, but this was in the 1980s.
A lad down my road, regularly walks to the fields through the housing estate in camouflage clothes and with an unsheathed air rifle, he looks really scary!
A few hours later he comes back with a load of rabbits, but i wish he would cover up his gun as i'm sure its illegal.


barney2 · 10/06/2007 21:15

Makes me wonder how many under 17yr old's there are actually out there, on the street, mingling with the innocent vulnerable public, carrying weapons whether it be a gun, knife, penknife etc etc.....scary thought but I wouldn't mind betting there are a lot - you only have to watch these news on tv to see the Police are fighting a losing battle with some parts of the UK especially in those places where there are 'gangs'. What a dangerous world we live in and even next door neighbours are allowed to use air rifles WITHOUT having to have a licence. At the end of the day it doesn't matter to these people whether they are within their boundaries or not to use an air rifle - they'll use one no matter where they are & whose going to check up with a tape measure and how can you tell if they choose to use a rifle in the dark?


gatoerato · 06/10/2016 22:18

Lots of scared people on this topic. Not helped by the uninformed dishing out falsehoods. Lots of crap about licensing, whats legal and whos has said what to whom. Firstly stop being scared and educate yourselves. He is doing what is known as plinking - shooting at targets. If one of the pellets happens to come into your property, find it, let him know, and give him a chance to improve his backstop etc. Secondly, Pennies, why don't you invite him, along with another neighbour into your home for a coffee, and some walnut cake. Then maybe you will get to know him better. The unknown is always worse than reality because its in your head. Oh and terms ... AIR RIFLE - it is not a weapon, as a weapon can be a ball point pen or a toilet seat. Familiarise yourself with air rifles, go into a gun shop and ask about them, better still, contact a gun club and ask if you can come along for a day. I know for sure at my gun club, the secretary would be happy to show you - and let you shoot the club guns (we are talking firearms now). Be brave and do the ADULT thing, you will be glad you did.


Hassled · 06/10/2016 22:23

Do you realise the last post in this conversation was 9 years ago? What did you google to find this?

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