Air-powered guns and the law
Calgary police display realistic looking replica air-powered guns during a September 5 media availability
Ryan White, CTV Calgary
Published Thursday, September 5, 2013 11:35AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 5, 2013 1:12PM MDT
Following a number of gun sighting calls this summer, the Calgary Police Service is looking to educate the public on air-powered gun laws and safety.
Airsoft, pellet and BB guns often resemble real firearms and can prompt panic when spotted by the public.
“When the public calls us with concerns of a firearm being seen, or used, in a public place, we must respond as though it is real, which often requires a significant police presence involving a number of our units such as patrol, HAWCs, K9, and TAC,” says Inspector Mike Tillotson. “However, we still encourage people to report any potential sightings of firearms. Real or air powered, they pose a concern for public safety. Stray ammunition can easily cause real harm or damage to people, pets or property.”
When it comes to air-powered weapons, police are reminding owners of their responsibilities.
- In Calgary, it is a bylaw offence to fire any weapon, including air-powered guns, within the city limits, even on private property (with the exception of authorized firing ranges)
- City bylaws prohibit the transport of loaded air-powered guns
- The majority off BB guns, pellet guns, and Airsoft guns are not defined as firearms under the Criminal Code of Canada
- Any gun, including replicas, used in an offence is considered to be a firearm and will be treated as such under the criminal code