Penticton RCMP responded Thursday (Nov. 12) to a report of a man handling what initially appeared to be a handgun in a grocery store parking lot.
Police later determined the gun to be a pellet gun purchased to manage a rodent problem at the man’s residence.
Witnesses told police the man appeared to be loading bullets into the gun while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle parked at the Superstore parking lot.
Upon arrival, police located the vehicle and spoke with the man who initially was cooperative with responding officers.
However, once he was out of the vehicle, the man became “non-compliant,” ignoring police commands while turning away from the police and reaching into his pockets, according to RCMP.
His behaviour prompted police to use a taser on the man and take him into custody.
When searching the vehicle police did not find any real firearms but rather a pellet gun. RCMP said the pellet gun could have been “easily mistaken” for a real gun.
“Pellet guns or replica firearms have become almost identical in appearance to the real thing. It is very difficult for the public or an officer to tell the difference,” said South Okanagan RCMP Sgt. Jason Bayda.
“… It is so important to remain cognizant of where you are handling them [replica guns]. Handling them in view of public in a busy area is going to garner a quick police response that often requires police to have to make split second decisions.”