A Nanaimo BB gun owner has hopefully learned a lesson about the spirit of Christmas and not shooting guns inside city limits.
The man drew quite a response when he decided to discharge his new purchase Wednesday morning.
Nanaimo RCMP say they responded to a report of a firearm being discharged at approximately 9:15 a.m. on December 23, in the 3100 block of Barons Road.
The report drew a huge police response, including police service dogs and emergency response officers.
A witness told police she heard a loud pop and saw a man shoot what appeared to be a rifle. Officers moved the witness to safety and spotted a male suspect.
They engaged the man in conversation, entered his apartment and found two rifle-style BB guns, one of which had been recently fired.
The 66-year-old man, who was the lone occupant of the apartment, said he had recently purchased one of the BB guns for Christmas and was trying it out.
He said he had shot a tin can he had placed a short distance from his ground level balcony.
Officers admonished the man for his behaviour, saying the report drew seven officers away from regular duties. He was apologetic and said he hadn’t been thinking properly.
“In the spirit of Christmas and electing to use their discretionary powers, he was not charged and the BB guns were not seized,” Nanaimo RCMP said in a statement.
City of Nanaimo bylaws prohibit the discharge of any firearm that uses propellant or explosives within city limits, including compressed air guns or spring-loaded firearms.
The bylaw also applies to longbows and crossbows and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.
Luckily for this man, the Nanaimo RCMP were feeling the Christmas spirit. Hopefully, they will not have to return as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.