Dangers of “AirSoft” and “Pellet” Replica Guns

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The East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to inform the public that all firearms, real or fake, pose a significant threat to public safety and that officers will always treat any weapons call as a real firearm until determined otherwise.

Many replicas are made to resemble real guns, and sometimes the “fakes” are painted or outfitted with extras to make them even more realistic.  In an area with dim lighting, or while the person carrying the gun is moving, it’s very difficult to tell the difference.

Police suggest treating a fake firearm the same as you would treat a real one.  This includes using a carrying case when transporting it and locking it in a safe when not in use.

Police also want people to under people to understand that even using a pellet gun on private property may alarm the public to think it’s a real gun.  For example, if a neighbour sees a person using a pellet gun in a backyard, and phones the police, responding officers have to treat the pellet gun as a real gun, until determined otherwise.  Not only does this tie up precious police resources, but it causes potential danger and risk to people in the neighbourhood and responding police officers.

Elliot Lake City By-Law #98-39:

“…no person shall discharge a gun or other firearm, an air-gun, a spring-gun, a cross-bow, a long-bow or any class or type thereof within 1.6 kilometres of any dwelling unit located in a plan of subdivision or any occupied building of a business.”  The only exemptions are Peace officers/Police officers in the course of their duties and members of a bona fide gun club using the firearm at a gun club.

Some manufacturers produce both firearms and air guns.  While both use and shoot ammunition, a firearm requires burning a propellant, giving the bullet a stronger push through the barrel.  An air gun will use compressed air, like that from a CO2 cartridge, to fire a variety of projectiles. Depending on the model, plastic pellets to metal BBs to paintballs.  Air guns can usually be distinguished by an orange tip, but the piece can be easily broken off or painted over.

Replica gun Safety Tips

•  Don’t play with them in public places, including near parks, malls or schools
•  Use them only in designated areas like gun ranges or private land outside the city
•  Never point them at another person
•  When not in use, keep them out of sight and in a locked cabinet or safe
•  If approached by police while carrying one, put it down and follow directions

To commit a crime can result in the same penalties as using a real gun.

• City Bylaw – Possessing a loaded weapon capable of firing a projectile, or firing it in a public place, can mean a substantial fine, and a possible court appearance.

• Canadian Firearms Act – Fake guns can be classified as uncontrolled or replica, depending on its specifications.  The RCMP has specifications for proper storage, use and transport of them but police suggest treating guns like real ones.

• Criminal Code of Canada- Using a fake gun to commit a crime can result in the same penalties as using a real gun.

 

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