NB man survives being shot in face by misfiring rifle, now seeking answers


A New Brunswick man says he’s lucky to be alive after his rifle misfired, shooting him in the face. Now, he’s demanding answers from the manufacturer.

Douglas Lyons says he was bear hunting with some friends near his home in Boiestown, N.B. when he tried several times to load his Savage Axis 30-06 bolt action rifle, but the cartridge wouldn’t chamber.

He says the bolt action rifle misfired when he pulled it back a third time, causing him to shoot himself.

“It could have been a lot worse. Somebody could have been killed, or I could be blind or whatever, but I just thank God that he was looking over us,” Lyons said.

Lyons says he’s awaiting another surgery to remove a final piece of shrapnel from his upper jaw muscle.  He says he’s already had several X-rays and pieces of metal removed, but doctors can’t remove the last piece until some of the swelling goes down.

Lyons said he’s been using firearms for more than 30 years and has taken all the required safety courses. He says the rifle shouldn’t have fired when he bolt the bolt back.

Lyons says he bought the gun at Fredericton Outfitters, where staff are helping him get answers from the manufacturer, Savage Arms.

Fredericton Outfitters staff declined an on-camera interview, but tell Global News they’ve sold “quite a few” of the same make and model to customers — possibly more than 100.

Staff say they get their guns from a wholesaler in Ontario and one in McAdam, N.B., but they were unable to confirm which one the rifle came from. They say they are getting out of the “gun business” and stopped selling the Axis approximately a year ago.  Staff say the rifle is commonly sold at other sporting stores in the region.

Lyons says he spoke with someone from Savage Arms on Monday Oct. 16, and was supposed to get a call back from a “high-up in the company” within an hour, but still hadn’t heard back by Oct. 19.

Global News contacted the company but did not received a call back by the time of publication.

Lyons says he will continue to hunt, but will be using his other rifles going forward.  He says nothing could have been done to prevent the incident, but wants other rifle users to use caution when handling their rifles.