Both Spain's Civil Guard and the Royal Gibraltar Police confirmed on Thursday that a Civil Guard officer had drawn his standard-issue sidearm briefly yesterday, after a driver nervously jumped the border-crossing check point in Gibraltar.
The Sun reported the incident first, publishing a video uploaded to social media of a police officer pointing a pistol at someone somewhere near the border.
The Royal Gibraltar Police said it could "confirm that the incident depicted on a video which began circulating on social media yesterday, showing a gun being pointed by a Guardia Civil officer on the Spanish side of the Gibraltar and Spain border, occurred during the afternoon of the 5th of April 2017".
A spokeswoman for the Civil Guard told The Spain Report the incident had occurred at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
Both police forces confirmed the driver was an Irish national.
The Civil Guard said he was driving a Spanish-registered vehicle and had changed customs queues without warning, from the "nothing to declare" lane into the "goods to declare" lane, as he crossed from Gibraltar into Spain.
"The man jumped the check point", the spokeswoman said: "and later said he was in a rush and had got a bit nervous".
All officers from the different police forces in Spain (local, regional, national and Civil Guard) carry weapons whilst on duty.
"The car was driving towards the officers", she added, explaining the Spanish officer had just been following protocol for those situations: "you never know who you are facing when that happens".
He placed his pistol back in its holster after a few seconds, on seeing that the driver was complying with his instructions.
The man was not arrested and was allowed to continue his journey after the incident.
The incident occurred after several days of heightened diplomatic and media tensions over the Rock, following the inclusion by the European Union of a Gibraltar clause in its draft Brexit negotiation guidelines and statements made by Lord Howard and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon on Sunday talk shows in the UK.
Spain's Foreign Secretary, Alfonso Dastis, said on Monday that leaders in Britain were "losing their temper" over the matter.
After publishing a vitriolic column by former editor Kelvin Mackenzie—in which he labelled Spaniards "donkey rogerers" and called for a tax on Rioja, the expulsion of Spaniards from the UK and the cancellation of June's state visit by King Felipe and Queen Letizia—The Sun launched a bilingual "Gibraltar campaign" on Tuesday, with the slogan "hands off our rock".