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Replica Firearms Cause Concern

Real or Not Real?

St. Thomas Police recently seized a Magnum .177 Caliber BB gun from the backpack of a sixteen year old after he was arrested for breaching his probation order.  The replica was manufactured to be so realistic both visually and by weight that it was almost impossible to tell the difference between the BB gun and a real firearm without a close up inspection in well lit conditions.
The majority of replica guns are legal, require no licence, have no age limit to purchase or possess.  The laws surrounding their possession and use are concerning to police and complicated.
Parents need to be aware of the risks involved with letting a minor possess a replica gun.  Minors need to understand that misusing a replica gun could have lethal consequences.
When someone is pointing a gun at an officer or anyone else, regardless of their age, it is not logical to wait until it is fired to see if it is a real firearm or a replica BB/pellet gun.  If it looks real, police will react as if it is real.  There is only a fraction of a second to make a life and death decision.   Any replica gun used to commit a crime is considered a firearm according to the Criminal Code of Canada.  The person using it is subject to the same penalties as if it were a real gun.
Air Soft guns are used to play a competitive sport similar to paintball and shoot larger plastic BB spheres.  Pellet and BB guns are mostly used for target practice and launch metal sphere or oblong shape projectiles.  When handled appropriately, both sports can be enjoyed by all ages safely.  Please handle and transport these replica guns with the same caution and respect you would give a real firearm.

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