After confiscating seven air-powered pellet pistols and rifles earlier in April, the Sidney North Saanich RCMP are strongly reminding the public that it can be nearly impossible to tell pellet guns apart from real firearms.
“They look very real,” said Cpl. Erin Fraser. “We want to make sure people are aware that the police can’t differentiate between real guns and these.”
RCMP officers confiscated the guns from six exchange students who were shooting the weapons out over the ocean at Eastview Park in Sidney on April 12 and causing significant concern among local residents.
The students, in their early 20s, “didn’t realize the havoc they were causing the public,” said Fraser. “The males on scene claimed ownership and signed a relinquishment form that allowed RCMP to destroy (the guns).”
Because the students were not directly endangering or threatening the public, were co-operative, and weren’t aware that what they were doing was illegal, RCMP let them go without charges, said Fraser.
Though this situation was resolved without incident, she reiterated the danger of the realistic weapons.
“If someone is using them in a threatening manner, we can’t tell if they’re fake,” she said, adding that police are trained to respond with a level of force dependent on the threat presented.