BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Police in Bloomington are issuing a warning over Orbeez guns, toy guns that shoot water or gel pellets.
According to Brandt Parsley, the public information officer at the Bloomington Police Department, police have received calls involving these types of guns on a daily basis for the past two weeks. Most of the calls involve pre-teens or teens.
Parsley said officers are particularly concerned with guns that have been spray-painted or designed to look like an actual firearm.
He said if children are walking around in public with these guns, citizens might be put on edge as it’s hard to tell a fake gun from a real gun and some have looked similar to actual firearms used in recent tragic events.
Many of the calls have involved a resident being struck with one of the gel/water pellets, or personal property being damaged as a result.
Parsley said if caught children can and will face criminal charges.
“As far as criminal charges go, you’d be subject to anything; it could be criminal damage to property all the way up to aggravated battery. If you’re in a public place and someone sustained a battery, you’d be subject to that. Very significant charges,” Parsley said.
He said toy guns should be distinguishable from real firearms.
If children in the area do own an Orbeez gun or similar toy, Parsley said it’s best to play with them on private property and preferably in a fenced-in yard.