A 22-year-old man had his replica gun taken away by RCMP Friday morning at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre.
The man and his female companion were surrounded by police in the parking lot of the shopping centre by officers responding to calls about a man loading a 45-calibre handgun around 10 a.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Walmart.
Nanaimo RCMP found a CO2 replica Remington 1875 revolver in the man’s car.
The man told police he had just purchased the replica firearm and had decided to take it out of its packaging and load it while in the parking lot.
According to police, the man was extremely apologetic and willingly turned the replica firearm over to officers for safe-keeping. The replica firearm will be destroyed, as is the local detachment policy.
“Not only was it foolish to bring the firearm out in a parking lot, it was extremely dangerous,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanimo RCMP. “His actions diverted officers from their regular duties, and prevented them from responding to other calls for service.”
The man and his companion were released without charge, as the replica firearm was not being used in manner dangerous to the public.
According to the RCMP, police officers will always respond to gun calls as though they are real and will consider the gun to be authentic until such time it has been proven to be a replica or toy.