A Vernon man was fined $500 for having fake firearms despite being co-operative with police.
On Tuesday evening, Vernon RCMP said they received a call of a man brandishing a handgun in Polson Park. Police located the individual, who admitted to having two airsoft guns in his possession. The man, however, denied brandishing the weapons, which police described as an MP5 and M4 airsoft guns.
Airsoft guns are typically replica toy guns that shoot small, round plastic pellets. Several websites mention that airsoft guns are often exact copies of actual guns. The MP5 and M4 airsoft guns resemble military, assault-style weapons.
“Our officers, from time to time, are confronted with similar situations and respond accordingly based on the information they are presented with,” said RCMP Cst. Kelly Brett. “There are many unknown factors and concerns when approaching a person reportedly having a firearm in their possession.
“It is incredibly important for people to realize that airsoft weapons can look and feel very real, and pose great risk to those who have them in their possession when not in a controlled environment.”
Vernon RCMP said the man, 23, was cooperative, but he was issued a $500 fine under the city’s firearms and weapons bylaw (bylaw No. 5399).
According to the City of Vernon, the bylaw is to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements with regards to the discharge and use of dangerous weapons.
Vernon RCMP also issued a photo comparing a real MP5 and an airsoft MP5, with the question: Which is real?
The answer is A.