Police struggle: real or replica?

SURREY – Check out this photo. Can you tell which gun is real and which is a replica?

Imagine that you’re a police officer responding to a call of “a man with a gun” and you have a split-second to decide if he’s got a toy or the real McCoy.

Now imagine you’re the guy holding a toy gun and the police are bearing down on you.

Scary, eh? It happens. “Unfortunately, these incidents regularly involve someone with their latest air gun – BB gun, pellet gun, airsoft gun – or replica, not realizing the risks associated with openly carrying or displaying these replicas in public or to a police officer,” Cpl. Bert Paquet said. “When police receive complaints about firearms, they have a duty to intervene accordingly, based on the information and details received.”

So far this year, Surrey RCMP has dealt with more than 20 incidents

involving airsoft guns or replica guns being used or transported in an unsafe manner.

“The majority of these cases required a level of response based on the assumption that the weapons were real, posing safety issues for everyone involved,” Paquet said.

When transporting airsoft guns, pellet guns, paintball guns and, of course, real guns, Paquet said, they should be secured in cases in the trunk

and not be with people in the car. They should also only be used in designated areas like gun club and paintball ranges, he added.

“The attached photos clearly demonstrate the similarity between airsoft or replica guns and real firearms,” Paquet said. “While you have plenty of time to look at the images and try to determine which one is real, our officers do not.”


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