Sheriff Poots “opened up from an upstairs bedroom” to scare away intruders – can you ever take the guns out of politics?

While the dissident non-conformist republican groups are amid a rebranding exercise, there was a reminder this morning that paramilitary groups aren’t the only ones with guns that are willing to use.

DUP Health Minister and Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots has admitted to firing warning shots out of a bedroom window to ward off potential intruders one night in early June. The Belfast Telegraph reports:

Police said they were investigating the incident which happened in the early hours of June 6.

Mr Poots, 47, was at home with his wife and four children, when the two intruders were spotted close to the house. They fled after he shouted a warning and fired into the air.

Responding to the story, which was published in the Belfast Telegraph, a DUP spokesman said: “Given the risk to Mr Poots and his family, a legally held shotgun was safely discharged into the air by Mr Poots from within his house to alert the intruders that their presence was known.

“The police were then called by the family and are investigating the matter.”

A PSNI spokesman confirmed they had “received a report of persons acting suspiciously in the grounds of a property in Lisburn” early on 6 June.

At least it wasn’t a legally-held rifle: shotgun pellets were unlikely to kill anyone on the way back down to earth.

Rumours that an airport-style scanner will now be fitted to the doors into the NI Executive room have not been confirmed.

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