Police rushed to Centennial Square Wednesday morning after someone reported seeing a man brandishing what was believed to be a handgun.
At around 10:30 a.m. police arrived at the square with weapons drawn. Officers identified the man and took him into custody. They then discovered he was actually carrying a pellet gun.
“Unfortunately these days, with the realism of replica firearms and pellet guns, we have to treat the situation as though it was a real firearm until we can confirm otherwise,” Acting Sgt. Jeff Mason from the Victoria police said.
Mason said it was only upon close inspection of the pellet gun that they were able to determine that it wasn’t a real firearm.
“That’s the ongoing danger that we’re finding with these pellet guns and even toys is that the public and even trained officers who are familiar with firearms can’t determine that it’s not real until we got in our hands,” Mason said.
He added that while there’s no specific law against owning airsoft guns or pellet guns, it’s important to that they are used responsibly and not brandished in public in a way that can cause alarm.
“Although it may not be illegal to possess that toy, you can be charged for causing mischief or other situations where you cause alarm to the public,” Mason said.
“And there are sections of the Criminal Code involving replica firearms where depending on how it’s being used and displayed, you can still be charged criminally.”
Police are speaking with witnesses and will determine whether or not charges will be recommended against the man.