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As recently as the 1980s in the UK, people who owned estates were allowed to have their gamekeepers place 12 gauge "poacher alarm guns" on their property. They are/were what amounts to a single shot 12 gauge receiver with (allegedly) a 12 gauge blank, that worked off a tripwire. The intention is not to shoot a poacher, but rather to alert the gamekeepers that they have a poacher on the estate, so they can try to catch him. Or so the landowners claimed.

I don't know if those poacher alarm guns are still legal over there, but the "watermelon guns" are not legal here any more. They are considered boobytrap guns, and those are illegal everywhere so far as I know.
When I was a child I was allowed to help the Keepers do the rounds in the early evening to reset the 'alarm guns'...
All the local examples were not bored through, so as to only allow the use of blanks
Which is why the farmers on their own land used their day guns, loaded with rock salt, on thieves such as young lads 'scrumping apples'.
We wore short trousers
It stung, oh how it stung...
 
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