Kelowna teens swarmed by RCMP after playing with replica guns - InfoNews

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Kelowna teens swarmed by RCMP after playing with replica guns

Replica firearms like this one look very real to police officers.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Wikipedia
July 09, 2019 - 11:14 AM

KELOWNA - Reports of a group of teens walking through Kelowna with a replica handgun Monday prompted a full-scale police response Monday afternoon.

Kelowna RCMP received a call July 8 just after 8 p.m. from a concerned member of the general public who reported observing a teen in possession of what appeared to be a handgun, while walking in a group of teens along the 300-block of Yates Road.

The complaint elicited a full precautionary police response, resulting in multiple front line officers responding to the residential area, where they located the group of youths on foot near Dallas Road and Ballou Road.

All four individuals fully co-operated and followed all the commands provided by police officers at the scene. They were detained without incident and turned over what police confirmed to be two replica revolver cap guns.

“RCMP take firearms complaints seriously, due to the potential threat to public and police safety. It can be a pellet gun or a replica firearm, but our police officers will treat them as real until they can prove they are not," Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey of the Kelowna RCMP, said in a press release.  "Even under ideal conditions, it can be challenging for police to determine if a gun is real or fake."

Officers had a discussion with the youths regarding the rules when it comes to playing with imitation guns, and contacted each of their parental guardians. The youths were released unconditionally without charge.

Kelowna RCMP offer the following tips:

  •   never play with an imitation gun in public places, such as malls, parks and schools;
  •  do not point an imitation gun at another person, even as a joke;
  •  use imitation air guns only at designated play areas, gun ranges, or on private land outside the city;
  •  set rules for children playing with imitation guns so they understand the dangers of misusing them;
  •  keep imitation guns out of sight, and secured in a locked case to prevent accidents or theft.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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