The Kelowna RCMP is finding an increase in “imitation guns” in recent investigations.
Those guns, according to police, can be hard to distinguish from real firearms.
“BB guns, airsoft guns and replica firearms can all have the appearance of a real gun. And they can all trigger a serious response from police,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.
More and more of these weapons are turning up through investigations involving drug trafficking, robbery and traffic enforcement.
“As well as people simply, walking down the street with what appears to be a gun in their hand,” said Nosworthy.
Insp. Dale Somerville, operations officer of the Kelowna RCMP stated officers treat all these replicas as real until it can be safely proven that they aren’t.
“Imitation firearms are not toys and they need to be dealt with responsibly. Our message is simple: Avoid the confrontation. Don’t show imitation guns in public,” he said.
The RCMP is also asking those who sell air guns and replica firearms to be vigilant about who they’re selling to and to make sure buyers are aware that these items can be mistaken for lethal weapons.
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