A man who drew a lot of attention from Nanaimo RCMP after he shot a BB gun was let off with a warning. (File photo)

A man who drew a lot of attention from Nanaimo RCMP after he shot a BB gun was let off with a warning. (File photo)

Gun complaint in Nanaimo turns out to be a senior shooting tin cans with BB rifle

Police, ‘in the spirit of Christmas’ elect not to confiscate man’s BB guns

A large contingent of police officers including Emergency Response Team members were called out to what turned out to be a Nanaimo senior shooting at tin cans with a BB rifle.

Nanaimo RCMP responded with seven officers after being called to a report of a firearm being discharged within city limits yesterday.

The incident happened at about 9:15 a.m. Dec. 23, in the 3100 block of Barons Road. According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, a witness told police she heard a loud pop and then saw a man discharge what appeared to be a rifle.

Officers met with the complainant and movef her to a safe location, then spotted the suspect and engaged him in conversation. Upon entering his apartment they found two rifle-style BB guns, one of which, the release alleges, had recently been fired.

The 66-year-old man and lone occupant of the apartment told the officers he had purchased one of the BB guns for Christmas and was trying it out by shooting it at a tin can he had placed a short distance from his ground-level balcony.

The officers admonished him for his behaviour, which caused police resources to be diverted from their regular duties.

“The man was extremely apologetic and told the officers he just wasn’t thinking properly,” the release noted. “In the spirit of Christmas and [with officers] electing to use their discretionary powers, he was not charged and the BB guns were not seized.”

The press release notes that bylaws prohibit, within city limits, the discharge of any kind of firearm that uses a propellant, explosives, compressed air or is spring loaded. The bylaw also applies to bows and crossbows and carries with it a $2,000 fine.

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