Police in Nanaimo seized two modified firearms on the same day in separate incidents.
A shotgun and rifle were seized Tuesday. While police say the incidents are unrelated, both the rifle and shotgun had their muzzles sawn off.
In one incident, Nanaimo RCMP say officers came across multiple people sitting on the steps of the Nanaimo Military Museum just after 8 a.m. Police say a conversation began between an officer and a member of the group, who had a jeweller’s hammer.
Police say the discussion “didn’t go well” as they found a loaded and sawed-off .22-calibre rifle in the person’s waistband. He was arrested and police say they found 16 additional rounds of ammunition.
Charges were laid against Robert McGeorge, 47, for possession of drugs and break-in tools.
In a different incident, officers responded to a report of a man who appeared to be passed out in a parked car on Rosamound Street.
When officers arrived, they suspected him of being impaired by drugs and detained him, according to police. After a search, they say they found various amounts of crack and powdered cocaine, MDMA and fentanyl.
Police say a loaded shotgun, with the muzzle sawn off, was also found inside the vehicle.
The 48-year-old Nanaimo man was held in custody and released the following day with pending charges, according to police.
Const. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP says the findings are becoming more common.
“Disturbingly, officers are finding more and more criminals who have taken to arming themselves with these dangerous modified weapons,” he said.