© Guardian photo
The weapons may not have been "real" firearms but two filmmakers may face criminal charges for having them in public without a permit Monday afternoon in downtown Charlottetown.
A 52-year-old Charlottetown male and 20-year-old Moncton male were arrested in a high-risk takedown after city police received calls regarding two individuals with possible weapons in the downtown core at approximately 2:44 p.m. Monday.
Police located the two at the corner of Grafton Street and University Avenue at 2:50 p.m. and seized a number of fake handguns and a pellet gun with a scope, which Sgt. Tom Clow described as looking "very real."
It turned out the individuals were making a movie in the area but had failed to get a license permitting them to film.
Because of this, members of the public had perceived the weapons to be real and contacted police.
With authorities unaware of individuals filming in the area, Clow said the incident was extremely dangerous, putting both of the individuals as well as the public at risk.
"When you have a perceived weapon involved, it's what the public perceives it to be... and police have to respond accordingly," said Clow. "We're responding for the public's safety."
It was clear that members of the public perceived the guns to be real, with one Twitter user describing five police cruisers cornering an individual and seizing a rifle and at least one handgun.
The individuals were later released from police custody Monday afternoon pending further investigation. Clow said the incident could result in criminal charges.
Clow said that if an item is perceived as a weapon, then that's the category it falls in under the criminal code.
He added that with the high number of individuals now using social media, people should be careful in similar situations.
"People should use common sense," said Clow. "We have a lot of people who use social media, just use common sense in what you're using for props."