Police warn about risks of fake/toy guns
When police officers respond to reports of “man with a gun’, split second decisions need to be made. Unfortunately, these incidents regularly involve someone with their latest air gun (BB gun, pellet gun, airsoft gun) or replica, not realizing the risks associated with openly carrying or displaying these replicas in public or to a police officer.
When police receive complaints about firearms, they have a duty to intervene accordingly, based on the information and details received. Responding officers must act appropriately to ensure their safety and that of the public, while remaining mindful that the gun seen may not be real.
“Since the start of 2014, our officers have dealt with over 20 incidents involving airsoft guns or firearm replicas being used or transported in an unsafe manner,” says Cpl. Bert Paquet of the Surrey RCMP. “The majority of these cases required a level of response based on the assumption that the weapons were real, posing safety issues for everyone involved.”
Appropriate safety measures should always be taken with air soft guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, and of course, firearms. When transported in a vehicle, they should be secured in cases in the trunk and not handled by vehicle occupants. Most importantly, they should only be used in designated areas only (gun club ranges, paintball ranges, etc.).
“The attached photos clearly demonstrate the similarity between airsoft or replica guns and real firearms,” says Paquet. “While you have plenty of time to look at the images and try to determine which one is real, our officers do not.”
Learn more information around the laws and regulations for air guns at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/air_gun-arme_air-eng.htm.