Fake firearms no fun, say Kelowna Mounties

“When we have a complaint of firearms involved in a criminal offence then we have to respond appropriately,” say Kelowna Mounties

A fake gun frenzy washed over Kelowna this week, scaring area residents and keeping cops on their toes.

The first of two episodes was sparked by a graduation tradition gone seriously awry in the 1800-block of Crossglen Court on April 16, at 10:30 p.m., explained Const. Kris Clark.

“Apparently, a group of (young men) exited three vehicles, all wearing masks and brandishing firearms,” he said.

That sight prompted a neighbour to call 911, and when the police swooped in they found the teens nearby. Mounties quickly determined that they were participating in a grad kidnapping, seized six imitation guns and spoke with some parents who weren’t exactly pleased with the police attention.

“One guardian described the event as ‘harmless pranks’ but the police disagree,” said Clark.

Mounties disagreed so strongly that they held a press conference April 17 to show how fake firearms can look menacing to an untrained eye and issued a public plea to keep them tucked away.

Clark may have hoped it would mark the end of area gunplay, but by that night another episode was called to the police’s attention.

“Just before 7 p.m., the Kelowna RCMP were called to a report of a man waving around what appeared to be a handgun in the parking lot of the Same Sun Hostel, 245 Harvey Ave.,” he said.

“Upon police attendance, it became very clear that the gun was a toy, considering that it was made of clear plastic and had an orange tip. Once again though, from a distance the gun could’ve certainly been mistaken for a real firearm.”

And, it’s better to be safe than sorry, said Clark, in defence of those who call 911 about toys.

“It’s very likely we’re more sensitive here because of the high profile incidents that have happened here in the last couple of years,” he said, making reference to the gangland slaying that took place outside the Delta Grand last summer. “But if you look at a Glock or an M16, those up-close don’t look real, but they are.”

The problem is, police can’t respond to a call with toys in mind. “When we have a complaint of firearms involved in a criminal offence then we have to respond appropriately, we have to protect the public and ourselves,” he said.

“It makes for a precarious situation for the person who’s holding a toy gun and it’s also putting us at risk.”

Ultimately, he said, whether they’re real, Airsoft, paintball or any other imitation firearms, they should be used in designated areas only and handled in a safe and responsible manner.

kmichaels@kelownacaps.com

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

With high temperatures forecasted for the week and into the next, Interior Health is offering some tips on how to keep yourself safe from heat-related illness. (Pixabay)
Interior Health offers safety tips as temperatures soar

“Too much health can be harmful to your health.”

Central Okanagan Public Schools (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure identified at West Kelowna school

The site of the exposure has been identified as Shannon Lake Elementary School

A West Kelowna man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle collision early on Tuesday morning. (Black Press file photo)
Single vehicle collision seriously injures West Kelowna man

The man was driving a pickup truck that went off the road and caught on fire

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Cheetahs can’t roar

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Voix du Coeur is bringing music to seniors in retirement homes as restrictions slowly start to ease. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Trio sings opera to Okanagan seniors as pandemic restrictions ease

Voix du Coeur travel around the Okanagan to bring the joy of music to seniors for free

Teenagers make their way to Truswell Road after a party is broken up by police at the end of Mission Creek (Lorraine Besner/Contributed).
Kelowna residents concerned about ongoing alleged underage beach parties

Public urination, property damage, drinking and drug usage have become weekly concerns

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

A new air cleaning technology will be installed at Unisus School in Summerland. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Virus cleaning pilot set for Unisus School in Summerland

Summerland-based lighting company to install technology at private school

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Kelowna artist Bobby Vandenhoorn recently completed mural of late Canadian rock icon and activist Gord Downie now adorns Brenda Dalzell’s Sicamous business, the Bruhn Crossing Urban Market. (Contributed)
Canadian rock legend, activist Gord Downie inspires Sicamous mural

Business owner hopes artwork will help foster ongoing conversations around reconciliation

Most Read