An Invermay man who shot himself in the groin with a sawn-off rifle made a false report to police because of embarrassment and fear of criminal charges, the Launceston Magistrates Court heard.
Ashton James Whittingham pleaded guilty to a count of making a false report to police and firearm charges.
He also pleaded guilty to 14 counts of driving while not the holder of a licence, drugs charges and two separate counts of failing to stop after a crash.
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Police prosecutor Katrina Woodgate said Whittingham was admitted to the Launceston General Hospital on January 29 last year with a groin injury. He told police that he had been walking on a track when a person in a balaclava came to within 20 metres and shot him.
Ms Woodgate said police later found learned that Whittingham had found the firearm and quantity of ammunition. On a day when he had smoked three or four cones of cannabis Whittingham was with a friend in a car in the Coles car park.
He had taken the magazine off the weapon but had forgotten to check if it was still loaded.
"He did not think he could go into the store with a sawn-off rifle down his trousers so went to pull it out and shot himself in the groin," she said.
She said a small calibre bullet went through his left hip and exited through his right buttock.
Defence counsel Fran McCracken said the injury was "less serious than they could have been in the circumstances".
"He has no explanation why he had it on him in the supermarket car park, he did not know it was loaded and no idea whether the safety catch was on and only did himself injury," he said.
She said Whittingham made full admissions the next day about the false report.
The prosecution applied for a suspended sentence to be activated.
Magistrate Simon Brown remanded him in custody for sentence on January 27.