JAFFREY — A Franklin Pierce University student learned the hard way that gun regulations in New Hampshire state parks are trickier than they appear after he was charged for improper target shooting in Monadnock State Park.
Jaffrey Police Chief William Oswalt said his officers issued a summons to Lawrence Bastianelli, 18, of Rocky Point, N.Y., after the young man went target shooting at the state park this weekend and caused a scare among the hikers.
Police started getting calls about shots fired at the park early Saturday morning, and rushed to the area, unsure what they would find, Oswalt said.
“It was a little bit concerning as we didn’t know who were we dealing with or what we were dealing with,” Oswalt said.
Bastianelli soon made his way down the trail, carrying his rifles out in the open, and cooperated with officers when approached. Bastianelli reportedly had a .22 caliber rifle and an AR 15-type rifle.
Oswalt said the student had gone up the mountain on Saturday morning with his guns, and had set up a target to practice with his rifles. Bastianelli was unaware he was violating any state law or regulation, Oswalt said.
Oswalt said Bastianelli asked around and looked up information online to make sure he was legally allowed to shoot in a state park, but, Oswalt said, he should have checked with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
While shooting and hunting is allowed in state parks, there are restrictions as to where people can fire their weapons, Oswalt said. One of the restrictions is to not shoot within 300 feet of any developed area, including trails. Bastianelli set up his target far up on the mountain, putting him too close to several trails, Oswalt said.
“Anywhere near the top he’s gonna be near a trail,” Oswalt said.
Bastianelli was issued a summons charging him with target shooting on state property without a permit and discharging a firearm within 300 feet of a trail. He’s due in the Jaffrey-Peterborough District Court at a later date for his arraignment.