The Grande Prairie RCMP is reminding residents that replica firearms, as well as airsoft and BB guns, should not be carried in public. The warning comes after police say they attended to several calls involving all three in the region over the last couple of months.
Sgt. Shawn Graham says carrying weapons, even ones that may not be real can present a threat to public safety.
“The public doesn’t know by looking at them, would not know whether it’s real or not,” he says. “Even if it appears to be not real, it could be real.”
Graham says while at least one of the calls related to getting rid of pestering wildlife on a property, he reiterates that replica firearms aren’t a toy. He adds that responses from police when it comes to any firearms complaint are taken seriously.
“When you bring them into public, and people phone the police over them, we are going to treat them like they’re real firearms until proven otherwise,” he adds. “If you’re playing in the backyard, in the City of Grande Prairie, there are bylaws that relate to discharging BB guns and Airsoft guns within the city limits, so that’s something to be considered.”
Airsoft and other firearms fall under the City of Grande Prairie’s public noise and nuisance bylaw.