Surrey RCMP are reminding residents about the dangers of realistic-looking fake guns, after an increase in the number seen in the community.
“These air guns can be so realistic that police cannot tell if the weapon is a firearm without actually examining it close up,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann in a release. “This is a safety concern for both police and the general public.”
Surrey RCMP’s Youth Section has seen a recent trend in youth being irresponsible with pellet or BB guns. This includes incidents where youth have circulated videos of themselves appearing to be armed, resulting in police attendance to ensure community safety, only to find out the guns were in fact, fake.
“As in the community, we are seeing more replica guns in our schools, even at the elementary level,” said Rob Rai, Surrey Schools Safe Schools Director. “We’ve seized more of these imitation guns his year than in previous years and, in many cases, though perhaps well-intentioned, parents have bought them as toys for their child.”
Surrey’s school district policy states replica or toy guns are not allowed on any school premises or at any school-organized event.
And while simple possession of an air gun is not a criminal offence, criminal charges can follow when they are used to damage property, threaten, intimidate, or assault others regardless of whether they are firearms or not.
Schumann reminded people that “air guns are not toys and should not be treated as such.”
If people have concerns about youth being irresponsible with air guns, they’re asked to contact police.
“We would much rather educate and intervene early on than after an incident occurs,” Schumann added.