A Nova Scotia man faces firearms-related charges after RCMP investigated a complaint of someone carrying what appeared to be a handgun on their waist during a recent trip to a store in St. Peter's.
Officers were called to a business on Grenville Street on Jan. 18. A search warrant was subsequently executed at a home located about 10 minutes down the road in nearby Potlotek.
RCMP seized a rifle, a number of airsoft handguns and rifles, along with a prohibited rifle magazine and ammunition. It's believed the gun spotted in the store was an airsoft handgun, a type of replica firearm that shoots plastic pellets, said RCMP spokesperson Chris Marshall.
"The problem or difficulty sometimes with airsoft handguns is they can look very, very real and can look identical to a regular pistol or handgun, especially if they're in a holster or something like that," said Marshall.
'Complicated legal question'
During his time in the store, the man went about his business.
But Marshall said only certain people can legally carry handguns in Canada, such as police officers and sheriffs. Under the Criminal Code, handguns are classified as either restricted firearms or prohibited firearms, which require an "authorization to carry."
"We have to go through this process to see whether or not these airsoft guns would meet the definition of a firearm," said Marshall.
"It's a complicated legal question."
An 36-year-old man was arrested without incident. He faces charges of unauthorized possession of a firearm and unsafe storage of a firearm, and was released from custody on conditions.
RCMP are continuing their investigation and say further charges could be laid.
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