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Handgun found hidden in a bag of chips during traffic stop, B.C. Mounties say

Mounties shared photos of the chip bag and the gun in their news release. (Mission RCMP) Mounties shared photos of the chip bag and the gun in their news release. (Mission RCMP)
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A driver's failure to stop at a stop sign in Mission, B.C., last week resulted in the discovery and seizure of a 3D-printed handgun stashed inside a bag of Old Dutch ketchup chips, according to local Mounties.

The incident occurred just after midnight on Feb. 15 in a parking lot at the Junction Shopping Centre, according to Mission RCMP.

In a news release Wednesday, the detachment used the incident as an example of the hidden dangers sometimes lurking during otherwise routine traffic stops.

"Picture this," the release begins its description of last week's incident.

"You’re an officer on patrol in Mission, and it’s just after midnight. You see a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign. Is this someone who is tired and rushing to get home after working late, or did they fail to stop because they’re impaired? It’s your duty to ensure this person is safe to drive, so you pull over the car to check their sobriety."

The release goes on to explain, using second-person sentences throughout, that the officer encountered four adults in the car.

"You don’t know if they’re all good friends returning from a late dinner, or if the driver might be impaired, or if someone in the car has an arrest warrant and is determined not to go to jail," the release continues.

In this case, according to police, the responding officer determined that the driver had been driving while prohibited. There were also three other people in the car who were also known to police.

The officer ordered everyone out of the vehicle so it could be impounded, Mounties said, adding that once it was empty, the officer noticed "a canister of bear spray and a machete" in the back seat.

Further investigation led the officer to notice "an open chip bag, with part of an object sticking out the top of it," according to police.

Inside, the officer found a loaded, 3D-printed, nine-millimetre handgun, police said. They included photos of both the gun and the chip bag with their news release.

Mission RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Harrison Mohr described the situation as "a stark reminder of how dangerous a simple traffic stop can be."

"It’s not uncommon for police to encounter various hazards during traffic stops – whether it’s a weapon within reach of the occupants, a vehicle that flees at high speed, narrowly missing the officer standing roadside, or an impaired driver that staggers out into traffic," Mohr said in the release.

"No one likes getting pulled over, and if you have committed a minor traffic infraction and nothing more, you’ll likely be on your way soon. But please remember that no matter the time of day or night, the type of vehicle, or the reason for the traffic stop, our officers don’t know what or who they might be dealing with when they first walk up to your window."

Police said their investigation is ongoing, and charges have not yet been recommended. 

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