Replica Gun Shooting Incidents – Niagara

Since the early part of June 2024, the Niagara Regional Police Service has been investigating reports of persons (adults and youth) firing (gel shot, BB, pellet, or Airsoft) guns from moving cars at pedestrians, buildings or cars in Niagara. Incidents have occurred in St. Catharines, Port Colborne, Welland and Niagara Falls.  To date there have been six incidents reported.

Most of the incidents are believed to be unrelated and random in nature. In some of the incident’s victims were struck causing minor injuries that did not require care at a hospital.

In one incident that occurred on June 25, 2024, in Port Colborne a 13-year-old male from Port Colborne was arrested for having been involved in firing a gel gun from a car at a pedestrian (24-68424).

The NRPS would like to remind owners and users of the gel shot, BB, pellet, or Airsoft guns the need for responsible and safe use.  Many of the guns closely resemble actual firearms in their design, shape, and colour.

Replica firearms, Airsoft guns, BB/pellet guns, paint ball guns and gel shot guns can look very REAL.  When used during a crime or in an unsafe way, they can lead to very REAL consequences and life altering injuries.

They will be seized, and likely destroyed. You may be arrested and criminally charged for REAL.

Safety Considerations

By adhering to the below tips, you can ensure the safe and responsible use and ownership of Airsoft, gel, paintball, pellet, and BB guns.

1. Treat Every Replica Gun as if It’s Real:

Always handle replica guns (Airsoft, gel, paintball, pellet, and BB guns) with the same care and caution as you would a real firearm. This helps prevent accidents and reinforces responsible behavior.

2. Never Point at Unintended Targets:

Only point your replica gun at designated targets. Never aim at people, animals, or any unintended targets unless you’re in a controlled environment with proper safety measures.

3. Use in Appropriate Areas:

Only use these replica guns in designated areas such as shooting ranges or private properties where you have permission. Do not use them in public spaces to prevent misunderstandings.

4. Keep Replica Guns Unloaded When Not in Use:

Store your replica guns unloaded and in a secure location, out of reach of children and unauthorized users. Use gun cases, locks, or safes for added security.

5. Distinguish from Real Firearms:

Ensure your replica gun is easily distinguishable from real firearms. Many replica guns come with bright markings or orange tips to indicate they are not real firearms. Do not remove the safety markings.

6. Follow Local Laws and Regulations:

Be aware of and comply with local laws regarding the ownership, transportation, and use of these replica guns. Regulations can vary widely, so it’s important to stay informed.

7. Communicate with Neighbors:

Inform your neighbors if you plan to use replica guns on your property. Clear communication can prevent misunderstandings and unnecessary panic or police involvement.

8. Supervise Minors:

Always supervise children and teenagers when they are using replica guns. Teach them about safe handling, proper use, and ensure they follow all safety protocols. Consider locking the replica gun up or making it inoperable in between uses when proper supervision is not available.

9. Use Protective Gear:

Always wear appropriate protective gear, especially eye and face protection, to prevent injuries. This is crucial during gameplay or target practice.

10. Know Your Replica Gun:

Familiarize yourself with the operation, safety features, and maintenance of your replica gun. Read the manual thoroughly and understand how to safely load, unload, and operate it.

See photo.