Shaken Christian Brian has told of the terrifying moment armed police surrounded him after he was spotted with an air rifle.
Gun cops swooped on the builder as he worked on a job in Aldwick Felds following a tip from a concerned resident that he had a rifle.
But father-of-three Christian was innocently adjusting a new sight for his perfectly legal air rifle. The drama unfolded just two days after terrorists struck at London Bridge in an attack which left seven people dead.
Now Christian has praised the police and the person who called them to report what they had assumed was suspicious activity.
Christian, who was working with two colleagues at the time, told Bognor.News: “A friend gave me a sight for my air rifle and I sat in the van fixing it and adjusting it. Someone has obviously seen me and in the current climate caused by the terror threat has had reason to call police.
“Before we knew it armed police had us up against a wall and were shouting some cautionary instructions to us. It was very clear that they weren’t taking any chances.
“I explained as best I could what had happened and within about 20 minutes they were satisfied with the explanation and stood down. A policeman subsequently told me that it wasn’t perhaps the greatest idea to have a weapon, even an air rifle, on show in an urban area, especially with what has been going on.
“It was very dramatic but I fully support the action of both the police and the person who made the call. It is very reassuring, actually, to think that they could act so swiftly.”
A Sussex police spokesman said: “At 11.45am on Monday (5 June) we received a report that two men with a gun had been seen acting suspiciously by a van in the street at Aldwick Felds , Bognor. Local officers contained the immediate area and less than 20 minutes after the call armed officers arrived and spoke to the men, swiftly establishing that the gun was an air rifle and that there was no criminal intent. The caller acted in good faith and was thanked for his concern.”