A drunk man apparently cycling through Yellowknife with a rifle nearly triggered a major police incident on Saturday.
Members of the public called police on Saturday evening after seeing the man appear to brandish a rifle while cycling toward Kam Lake.
When apprehended by RCMP on Coronation Drive, it transpired the weapon was in fact a Beeman 1040 series air rifle – of similar appearance to a hunting rifle. Indeed, police say they had already launched “a high risk response … as they would when a firearm is suspected”.
The man’s explanation for the air rifle was that he intended to go bird hunting. However, his Saturday evening was spent under arrest for mischief before being later released without charge.
Air rifles are not, generally, considered to meet the definition of a firearm – but can do so if used “in a criminal or negligent manner” according to RCMP.
“Air rifles must be respected in the same manner as other firearms,” said police in a statement, “and must be transported safely.”