Airsoft News: Airsoft rifle looks real; Port Angeles neighbors alarmed

PORT ANGELES -- A Port Angeles man unintentionally caused a scare by playing with a fake rifle while with a group of friends near an apartment building Thursday.

Five Port Angeles police units blocked the apartments near the intersection of C Street and Lauridsen Boulevard after a 9-1-1 caller reported a man or a group of people brandishing a "rifle of sorts" at the back of the apartments, Deputy Chief of Police Brian Smith said.

"Based on the initial information, it appeared to be something that looked like a semiautomatic rifle," Smith said.

After surrounding the building, police talked with the men, who were all adults.

No one was cited.

"It was a very realistic duplication of an SKS rifle," Smith said.

The Airsoft replica had a 30-round magazine -- identical to the look-alikes police use for training. The gun was heavy and lifelike with sturdy metal and a wooden stock.

"It was an extremely realistic semiautomatic rifle that any reasonable person would think was a functioning weapon," Smith said.

Fake guns typically have orange caps that distinguish them from a live weapon. This gun did not have an orange cap.

It's not illegal to have a replica gun, but it is illegal to point or brandish one in a threatening manner, Smith said.

"It's not a crime if it's not alarming people," he said.

Smith said the people playing with the gun "didn't have a lot of situational awareness."

"We spent some time talking to them," Smith said.

Source: Rob Ollikainen | Peninsula Daily News

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