Concerns are being raised over the sale of a screwdriver that looks like a replica of a gun available at a popular auto shop across Canada.
On August 19, Canada temporarily prohibit import of restricted small arms as a measure to treat and prevent armed violence. Originally, the federal government wanted to go even further and also ban toys with guns.
The 3.6-volt cordless screwdriver gun retails for $17.99 through Princess Auto stores, and even though it’s painted blue and the store calls it a novelty item, it looks like the real thing.
A concerned viewer saw a flyer for the article and contacted CTV News Toronto saying he felt the product should not be sold and should be removed from store shelves.
CTV News contacted Princess Auto and asked if they had any complaints about the sale of the item and if they had any concerns about the sale of a screwdriver that looks like a gun.
Heather Turnbull-Smith, Vice President of Learning and Corporate Communications at Princess Auto said: “Our 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver Gun is considered a novelty item. The screwdriver has been modified from the original manufacturing specifications of black to blue to further highlight the original intent and make it even less realistic.”
“From its side, the bits for the screwdriver are easily visible, further emphasizing its intended use. From the front, there is no cannon. There is a keyless chuck, instead of a barrel, to hold the bit. The label on the front indicates that the product is a screwdriver.”
Turnbull-Smith added, “Like all of our products, we stand behind them and customers can return or replace anything they’re not satisfied with.”
CTV News also contacted the Toronto Police Service and Media Relations Officer PC Cindy Chung said: “In general, we do not recommend purchasing an item that could be mistaken for a weapon or designed to look like a weapon. replica of a gun This could result in a dangerous situation for both the officers and the person wearing the item.”
CTV News bought the item to ask the public what they thought of it, and many people we spoke to in Toronto had questions about how much it looked like a real firearm.
“This seems very unnecessary. It almost looks like a toy, but I don’t know what they were thinking when they designed this,” Zack said.
John said, “I think there would be too many people who would try to use it as a weapon.”
Harold added: “Why would you do something that makes a screwdriver look like a gun? It’s just not safe.”
Victoria looked at the screwdriver gun and said, “I really don’t think this is something that should be put on the market.”
Hanan chimed in, “I’m very anti-gun, so to have a product that looks like a gun but isn’t, I think if I saw someone holding it, I’d be scared.”
While a product that looks like a toy gun or guns may appear harmless, police say they pose a challenge because counterfeits look like real firearms and, in a fast-moving situation, police have to treat them like the real thing, which could lead to tragic circumstances.