Surrey RCMP is reminding the public that even imitation weapons, such as BB and pellet guns, “can pose a real risk.”
Police are telling people to “be cognizant of carrying, possessing and using imitation firearms” after some recent calls for service, according to a release from Const. Gurvinder Ghag.
Ghag said two recently reported incidents “demonstrate the potential dangers of imitation firearms.”
On June 23 around 6 p.m., Ghag said, officer were called to a “Priority 1” call for a “report of a youth brandishing a handgun and threatening another youth inside a busy shopping mall.”
She said officers responded after members of the public and security guards reported seeing a weapon.
When officers arrived and found the suspect, Ghag said the officers found a “silver revolver-type firearm that appeared to be loaded.”
“Upon closer inspection, the realistic looking firearm, cylinder and cartridges turned out to be an imitation firearm.”
Then later that same evening, Ghag said a report about a road-rage incident came in where a man had rolled down his car window and “pointed (a weapon) at another drive.”
She said officers “immediately started patrols” to find the suspect, and when he was found with a traffic stop officers found an imitation Glock BB gun inside the vehicle.
Ghag said both investigations into both incidents remain ongoing, and charges have not yet been laid.
“Calls that involve weapons prompt a heightened police response for both public and officer safety,” explained Insp. Neil Kennedy, a B Watch Duty Officer.
“Imitation firearms can pose significant problems as it can be difficult for the public and police officers to distinguish the difference between real and imitation until proven otherwise.”
Surrey RCMP say high-powered air guns are considered firearms and “therefore subject to the same license and registration requirements as a conventional firearm, as well as the regulations that govern safe storage, display and transportation.”
Police add that “less powerful air guns are not deemed to be firearms for licensing and registration purposes under the Firearms Act. However, they are considered to be firearms under the Criminal Code if they are used in a criminal or negligent manner.”
The release also notes that imitation firearms “should only be used at designated areas, gun ranges, or on private land,” and they “should also be kept out of sight and locked in a secure case to prevent misunderstandings, accidents or thefts.”
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