Farmers urged to store guns securely after rise in thefts

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Local farmers have been encouraged to take steps to ensure guns are stored securely on their properties.

The warning comes following an increase in the number of firearm thefts from rural properties in the borough in recent months.

And William Cross of the Ulster Farmers Union branch in Larne is now urging farmers to take a closer look at their security measures.

He told the Times: “There have been a few incidents recently in our area where guns not securely stored have been stolen, or attempts have been made to steal them.

“The damage that can be done by the thieves when attempting to steal guns can at times be extensive and the intrusion of privacy is something that leaves a lasting impression in the home.

“So please do all you can to safeguard your premises.”

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation Northern Ireland has issued the following advice: “As the darker nights draw in, we would like to remind all firearm certificate holders of the need to ensure that all guns and ammunition possessed are securely stored.

“Please ensure keys to gun cabinets cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons and that all doors and windows are secured.

“Intruder alarms (where fitted) should be used. If you are leaving your home unattended for more than a couple of days, you should discuss secure storage arrangements with your local firearms dealer.

“Please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice and guidance.”