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UK man gets his toy gun mistaken by startled passerby, armed siege ensued

Gaming accessories are designed to help players feel realistically in action, be it a steering wheel controller for racing games or a light gun for first person shooters. But the next time you get into stance and fire aggressively at your monitor, you might want to watch out for how your neighbors might perceive such leisurely night in. A Liverpool, UK man was allegedly wielding a light gun meant for the game Shoot ‘Em Up from his home before a passerby mistook his toy for an actual firearm, resulting in an armed siege.

According to BBC, the startled passerby witnessed the gamer waving a “weapon” and “pointing it from a window.” The passerby immediately called 999, where police arrived for a short standoff in the residential neighborhood of Spellow Lane, Walton, Liverpool. Cops eventually detained the gamer only to find that his so-called “gun” was a gaming accessory.

“Merseyside Police takes all reports of gun crime seriously and if, as in this case, a member of the public reports that they believe someone is armed with a firearm and is pointing it from a window, officers will respond,” a police spokeswoman said. “In this instance, once officers gained entry to the property, they found that the imitation firearm was, in fact, from a computer console.” The police crew proceeded to give the gamer “suitable advice” and released him without charge.

With the realistic-ness of today’s toy gun designs, it’s easy to see why a fake firearm would look alarming at a glance. No longer are the days of the brightly-colored Nintendo Duck Hunt gun or pastel Time Crisis shooters. Merseyside police warned gamers that they should play carefully, especially when in plain view of the general public. “Merseyside Police would like to remind people that even imitation firearms, including toys, have the potential to cause fear of violence and intimidation and they should be mindful of this when using such items,” the spokeswoman said. “There is also the potential that members of the public could face being confronted with armed officers by not using such items sensibly and with regard for others.”