A father in Ontario, Canada is relieved, (and a little miffed) after a shakedown by Family and Children’s Services and the local police over his gun.

His – ahem – toy gun.

Four year old Neaveh Sansone drew a picture of a man holding a gun, then told her teacher that it was her father and his gun that he uses to “shoot bad guys and monsters.” The school immediately called Family and Children’s Services, which in turn contacted the police. When the father, 26 year old Jessie Sansone, arrived at school to pick his children up that day, he was arrested on the spot for possession of a firearm.

Sansone sat in a cell, waiting to be told exactly what the issue was – and in the meantime, police brought in Sansone’s pregnant wife and children to the station for questioning.

Sometime during the questioning process, the police got the idea that the gun was a toy pistol. The police later recovered the toy, which isn’t necessarily subject to firearm laws and licenses. Ya know, cause it’s a toy.

Inspector Kevin Thaler of Waterloo Regional Police doesn’t feel like he has egg on his face, saying that the kids all described what sounded like a real gun and were terrified by it. Sansone, of course, denies having a real gun.

“It’s a toy pistol,” said Sansone. “It’s completely transparent. It doesn’t even resemble a real gun, at all.”

Sansone was released, and the first thing his daughter said to him was, “daddy, are you mad at me?”

Sansone is angry at the school for calling authorities before asking him about the picture. “Their daddy is their hero, is their protector,” said Sansone, “and that’s what daddies should do in a little girl’s eyes. [They] protect the house and make sure the bad guys or the monsters don’t hurt them.”

“Nobody should take what a four-year-old says to that extreme anyways, especially if you are in the profession of dealing with children,” Sansone added.

The demon in Sansone’s closet: five years ago, he’d had a run-in with the law over an assault charge. Take that as you will.

Should schools contact families before getting the police involved? What do you think?