Quarrel over cannabis led to gun threat, police allege

A FALLING out between mates led a Finley man to point a gun at his former friend, police allege.

Garry Owen Tate, 28, was arrested on Tuesday over the incident at Finley High School on Sunday where he also “dry fired” the gun into the ground.

Tate, a dairy milker, then loaded the rifle with a .22 calibre bullet after his victim said: “It sounds like your gun is empty.”

Tate appeared at a bail hearing in Albury yesterday, but was refused bail.

He is charged with possessing an unauthorised firearm and firing in or near a public place.

Police alleged the two men exchanged 47 text messages before the arrangement to meet about 9pm on Sunday.

The victim told police he went to the oval with the intention of fighting Tate.

But after he arrived and called out, Tate walked towards him and warned: “Come any closer and I’ll shoot you.”

The victim told police that when he saw Tate was pointing a .22 calibre rifle at him, he called on him to shoot and abused him.

The victim then walked away and when he got 20 metres from Tate, he heard the gun go off.

The victim again abused Tate and went to the Finley police station.

After his arrest, Tate admitted to the arranged meeting but denied taking a firearm.

Later he volunteered to another police interview where he admitted possessing the rifle but denied he had pointed it at the victim.

Tate told police he feared for his life and those of his partner and their six-month-old child.

Police told the court Tate fell out with the victim in January after he had been asked to help with sourcing cannabis.

Tate had refused and the victim had made threats to shoot Tate, his partner and their child.

During a search of the Finley home where Tate was arrested, police found two unsecured and unregistered firearms.

The guns were found to belong to Tate’s stepfather, who has a number of registered firearms.

He told police the shed where they were kept had been left locked.

At the bail hearing, police prosecutor Sgt Shannon Lewis told court registrar Paul Barber the prosecution case was strong.

Refusing bail, Mr Barber adjourned the charges to Monday.

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