Fake guns give Mounties fits

RCMP in the Central Okanagan responded to a pair of incidents involving 'fake' guns over the weekend.

According to Cst. Kris Clark, police were first called to the McDonalds Restaurant in Lake Country Sunday afternoon where a 'Mafia Gangster' attempted to sleep off a night of drinking.

Clark says the man had a gun visible, tucked into his waistband.

"When police arrived the pistol was seized and found to be an air soft gun," says Clark.

"The Lake Country man was given a safe ride home and released without charges."

Clark says later Sunday, a man pointed a pistol at a clerk at a store in the Dilworth Centre Mall.

"No words were exchanged and the man put the gun away before continuing to shop. He was quickly arrested, however, the gun was determined to be a plastic Halloween prop."

He was also released without charges, although the gun will be destroyed.

Clark says both men could have faced firearms charges.

"When police receive complaints about firearms, they have a duty to intervene accordingly based on the information received. This presents a great challenge to police as they must respond appropriately to ensure public safety and that of the responding officers," adds Clark.

"There is always the real possibility that a police officer may perceive a deadly threat and respond with irreversible consequences."

He says safety measures should always be taken with using firearms, air soft guns, pellet guns, paintball guns or anything that may be perceived to be a firearm.

"When transported in a vehicle they should be secured in cases in the trunk and not handled by vehicle occupants. Most importantly, they should be used only in designated areas."

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