New novelty umbrellas whose handles are made to look like weapons are raising concerns with the public and police across the country.
The Gunbrellas come in two handle styles: a shotgun and a samurai sword.
Niko Horning, who works at a Yorkville store where the weapon-inspried umbrellas are sold, said they got the product in about six months ago and have sold approximately twenty of them.
He said so far he has not heard of anyone getting into trouble walking down the street with the gunbrella; however he said he was stopped getting on the TTC with the samurai sword umbrella.
“They said you can’t bring swords onto the subway, and I said it’s not a sword it’s an umbrella,” he explained.
Horning added that sometimes having a weapon-inspired umbrella has positive side effects.
“It’s nice because when you’re walking down Yonge Street or walking through the Eaton Centre people seem to just part out of your way,” he said.
However, Toronto police say carrying an item that looks like a weapon can have dangerous results.
Const. Victor Kwong told CityNews if someone pulled one of these on police officers they may respond by using their weapons.
“Especially at a quick instance, or from a distance, it wouldn’t be any different than the real thing in front of you.”
Kwong said people should think twice about purchasing one.
“I think people should use their common sense. In times where people have been assaulted or even killed on gestures and words alone, I don’t think it’s all that smart to be carrying something like this around,” he explained. “Why present yourself in these situations when there are perfectly normal umbrellas.”
The gunbrella recently provoked a warning by police in British Columbia after Richmond RCMP officers were called to a bus stop after neighbours reported a boy walking down the street with a rifle.