Police warn against real-looking fake guns
Published Wednesday, September 5, 2012 10:22PM EDT
Police are warning against the dangers of real-looking air guns after three teenagers were arrested and then released last week.
York Regional Police said they arrested the teens in Newmarket after a neighbour saw what he thought was an assault rifle.
It turns out the teens, who were between the ages of 14 and 15, were using three air guns, which were on display at the York Regional Police building in Aurora Wednesday.
The air guns displayed looked and felt very similar to the tactical AR-15 assault rifle sometimes used by police, said York Regional Police Const. Andy Pattenden.
“If I was coming up on a scene and either one of these were in someone’s hands, I would assume it was an actual AR-15 assault rifle,” said Pattenden, holding one gun in each hand.
Real-looking fake guns are an increasing concern for police.
In 2011, York police seized 86 fake guns, which were used to commit crimes.
If a fake gun is used to commit a crime, it’s considered real under the Criminal Code.
Air guns can be purchased at many sporting goods stores, and police say one of their main concerns is that youth play with authentic-looking guns, which could lead to an unnecessarily dangerous situation.
When police respond to a call, any gun will be considered real until proven otherwise, Pattenden emphasized.
“If we’re headed out to a situation where weapons are involved and someone comes out pointing this, it could mean they get shot by police,” he said.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Zuraidah Alman