WA Police are preparing a report for the State Coroner following what they have described as the sudden death of a 56-year-old Tuart Hill man at the Belmont complex on October 16, two months after a 37-year-old man died in similar circumstances on August 9.
‘An independent range safety officer inspects such ranges to ensure compliance with safety regulations. Further information specifically regarding the Belmont range cannot be released at this time, as this will form part of the Coronial investigation,’ a statement from WA Police said last Friday.
Complex owner Brad Yates said he made ongoing safety improvements to his facility and apart from this year had not had any other incidents for 12 years.
Nearby business owner David Falconer said the response he received to concerns he emailed to Police Licensing Services (Firearms) in August was a ‘brush off’.
‘They basically said everything was fine. It’s not fine though, is it?’ he said.
Mr Falconer said solo first-time shooters with no firearms licence should not be allowed to use live ammunition there.
‘I am concerned at the safety of the complex. Several deaths and injuries have occurred while we have been business owners,’ Mr Falconer’s email to police read.
An August 26 reply email from Constable Alex Timms from Police Licensing Services (Firearms) said ‘the Compliance Team accompanied by our OIC went there (to Lone Ranges) last week to address your issues and conduct an audit of their business’.
‘A list of items that required attention included your concerns of the safety tethering devices used and the proof of age requirements,’ the reply read.
‘Tomorrow the Compliance Team will be returning there to ensure (the) list of issues have been addressed.
‘I visited their premises several months ago and noted that management are active in addressing their maintenance program. At the time they were updating the deflector steel at the back of the range and so despite what has occurred recently, I can say they were conscious of and willing to conform with their safety obligations.’
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