‘Recycled’ gun a mystery for police, Saanich man

A heirloom gun belonging to Gordon Head man that was supposed to be in a locked gun safe wound up at a recycling facility.

Saanich police have a mystery on their hands after a decades-old .455-calibre Webley revolver, an heirloom belonging to Gordon Head man that was supposed to be in a locked gun safe, wound up at a recycling facility.

On July 19, an employee from a recycling facility on Bridge Street in Victoria came upon the weapon while sorting metal and brought it in to the Saanich police department.

Sgt. Steve Eassie says investigators tracked down the gun’s rightful owner, an 81-year-old Saanich man, using the serial number.

“He had no idea the gun had been removed from the gun safe on his premises. It’s a mystery as to how the gun would’ve ended up in metal recycling,” he said.

“Speculation is it had been stolen from the residence at some point, and the thief tried to obtain ammunition, which is no longer available, and so they tried to dispose of it. There’s not a lot of other explanations as to why it would be out of the residence.”

The national gun amnesty month in June saw 22 rifles, 13 handguns, 12 shotguns and one replica gun turned in to the Saanich Police Department. Eassie says throwing an unwanted gun into a recycling bin is not the proper way to dispose of it.

“Any time that anyone comes across a firearm that they have no interest in keeping, contact police and we will make ourselves available to attend and retrieve that weapon,” he said. “Had there been ammunition available for this particular firearm, if fallen into the wrong hands it could have obviously been used for another purpose.”

Police remain in possession of the revolver, pegged at at least 65 years old, but Eassie says it will be returned to its owner.

kslavin@saanichnews.com