Replica gun sparks police takedown

Salmon Arm man arrested, but not charged, after it was determined the weapons were not real guns.

This is an example of a replica handgun, which bears remarkable similarities to a real firearm. -File photo.

Fake guns sparked a significant police response in Salmon Arm this week.

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, the Salmon Arm RCMP received a call from the area of one of the malls in Salmon Arm that there was a man in the parking lot waving a firearm.

The witness managed to obtain a licence plate from a safe distance and police managed to locate the vehicle on 30th Street NE. Part of the road was blocked off by police during the incident.

In arresting the man, a number of uniformed and non-uniformed officers were deployed and the man was taken into custody without incident.

The man, who is in his 30s and a resident of Salmon Arm, was later released without charge once investigators determined that the firearms were very realistic replica toy firearms.

The male had merely been playing with children in the vehicle and he never posed any danger to himself, the children or the general public at any time.

“The perception of the person who called in the complaint was quite different due to the realistic nature of the toy guns,” says Staff Sgt. Scott West of the Salmon Arm RCMP.

“Because replica and toy firearms are so realistic, police react to unknown situations involving them and treat them as real until it can be proven otherwise — which was the case here. So please leave the realistic looking or replica firearms at home when you are out and about town,” adds West.