In this article:
ALICE SPRINGS SHOOTER, RON STERRY, is likely to plead Not Guilty in defence of five firearm charges after going to the aid of a neighbour who had been stabbed.
A few weeks ago, we brought you his story which you can see by clicking here.
He just wanted to stay safe
Ron Sterry heard a commotion outside this house earlier this year, when he realised his neighbour had been stabbed. A trained first aider, Ron couldn’t just stand by.
The problem was, it was dark, and the assailant was on the loose in a town which is known as the stabbing capital of the world.
He could have stayed home and turned the volume of TV up.
However that’s not Ron. Instead he grabbed his first aid kit and head out. He took his Model 1917 Eddystone 30.06 (similar to pictured left) with him for protection.
He helped his neighbour and stayed with her until the ambulance and police turned up. He didn’t need to use his rifle so started to head off when help arrived.
The first police on the scene told Ron to get the gun out of there, which he had already started to do by heading home. However a second group of police who then arrived on the scene weren’t as forgiving and went after him. Why they went after Ron rather than the assailant isn’t known.
Instead they seized Ron’s rifle and ammo, and later other firearms he had stored at home.
This matter has since gone through some preliminary directions hearing, with Ron deciding to plea Not Guilty.
As a result, this matter will now go to a ‘contested hearing’ on October 19. Technically it’s not a ‘trial’ because there no jury, but to laypeople like us, it’s the same thing.
The potential outcomes are quite serious, which is why we’re giving Ron the help he needs. Even if Ron just cops a fine, the consequences for him could include a loss of his firearms licence for two years.
We want Ron to be vindicated for what he did, as will no doubt do many of you. Ron’s the good guy in this.
The headline you saw at the beginning of this article from the NT News on 17 August, says it all.
The rest of the article is shown here.
Local MP and NSC member, Kezia Purick, has taken a real interest in Ron’s case. When this matter started, she spoke with him.
While she cannot intervene in the case, she can certainly put the issues that this matter raises to the NT Parliament at the right time.
The article quotes her as saying
“Ron did what many would not do – he went into a violent situation to render first aid to a victim without a thought for his own safety”
This is not the last time we’ll hear from Kezia on this matter.
A right to self-defence?
Behind this question is the obvious one of a person’s right to take reasonable precautions to protect themselves.
The first rule of giving first aid is to assess the danger to the person giving the assistance.
Ron did that. Whether the law is there to help people or hinder people like Ron remains to be seen.
Ron is now facing five charges. They are
- Carry a loaded firearm in a public place
- Carry a firearm in a public place;
- Carry a controlled weapon in public;
- Being armed in public; and
- Possess a firearm (contrary to the genuine reason).
How you can help
Thank you to everyone who donated to our original fundraiser for Ron.
The fact we are now fighting all charges, with two lawyers and flying one of them to Darwin for the hearing in October, means that we’ll be spending a fair bit more than we thought.
However Ron’s decision to fight the charges was not taken lightly. He considered the advice given carefully and came to a decision that we support. That’s why we’re backing him – because this is an important case for the rights of shooters trying to do the right thing.
Please help out if you can – and join the NSC if you aren’t a member yet