Burnaby’s top cop is urging parents not to buy imitation firearms as Christmas presents for their kids.
The warning comes after a pair of local police incidents involving realistic replica handguns.
On Wednesday, RCMP responded to reports of a road-rage incident during which a gun had reportedly been used in a threatening manner towards a driver, according to an RCMP press release.
The incident allegedly took place at 10th Avenue and Kingsway, police said, and officers located the suspect vehicle at Kingsway and Rupert Street in Vancouver.
After conducting a “high risk arrest” of the suspect, officers found a replica firearm in the vehicle, police said.
In October, local Mounties responded to reports of a group of youths drinking alcohol at Edmonds Park at about 9 p.m.
Upon arrival, they spotted a handgun on the ground, took immediate action and arrested two of the youths for possession of a firearm, according to police.
The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.
The youths were released and the BB gun seized.
“I want the public to know calls involving firearms will result in a considerable police response,” Chief Supt. Deanne Burleigh said in the release. “It can be a BB gun or a replica, our police officers will treat them as real until they can prove they’re not.”
Burleigh went on to say “imitation firearms are not toys” and urged parents not to buy them as gifts.
She also urged vendors to warn buyers about how easy it is to mistake replicas for real firearms.