RCMP testing of new weapon catches B.C. officials off guard

A 40-millimetre ‘less lethal weapon’ similar to one already seen in police hands on B.C. streets is being pilot-project-tested by RCMP in all provinces except Quebec until May 2019.

It’s an issue that’s causing concern for civil liberties advocates and political activists.

And B.C.’s top elected officials know nothing about it.

The weapon is an addition to the crowd-control arsenals regional police already have.

The device is the 40mm extended range impact weapon (ERIW) for use in general duty policing.

The ERIW uses sponge-tipped rounds in a plastic casing and employ smokeless powder as a propellant.The projectiles are fired from a launcher looking similar to an assault rifle.

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