SURREY RCMP are reminding the public to be cognizant of carrying, possessing and using imitation firearms like BB guns, pellet guns and airsoft after some recent calls for service. Two recent files that came in to B Watch frontline officers demonstrate the potential dangers of imitation firearms.
On June 23, at approximately 6 p.m., frontline officers were dispatched to a Priority 1 call following a report of a youth brandishing a handgun and threatening another youth inside a busy shopping mall. Officers responded after members of the public and security guards reported seeing the weapon.
Police located the suspect and observed 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.
Later that evening, a report came in of a road rage incident where a male had pulled down his car window and pointed a gun at another driver. Police immediately started patrols to attempt to locate the suspect.
The suspect driver was located and a traffic stop was initiated by officers. A search of the vehicle located an imitation Glock BB gun within the vehicle.
Both investigations remain ongoing, and charges have not yet been laid.
“Calls that involve weapons prompt a heightened police response for both public and officer safety,” said Inspector Neil Kennedy, 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.”
Police note that high powered air guns are considered firearms and are, 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.
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.
Police advise that imitation firearms should only be used at designated areas, gun ranges, or on private land. They should also be kept out of sight and locked in a secure case to prevent misunderstandings, accidents or thefts.
For more information, visit the Canadian Firearms Program website.