Child struck by projectile

Child struck by projectile
This is a toy gun sold by Orbeez, manufacturer of gel blasters / ORBEEZ

After a 12-year-old child was struck by a water-based projectile at Hollywood Cinema Saturday night, Henry County Sheriff Wayne Davis has issued a warning that it’s a crime to shoot an unsuspecting person with a air-powered gel blaster. Many of the guns look real and pose a hazard for police officers who can easily mistake the toys for a real gun. Davis said a social media challenge is going around encouraging youngsters to shoot strangers. Davis says his deputies will arrest anyone caught participating in the act.

Henry County Sheriff’s Office release:

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has received several complaints involving the use of Orbeez gel blasters. There has been a dangerous social media trend called the “Orbeez Challenge” that encourages shooting strangers with Orbeez gel blasters.

These air-powered blasters are designed to fire gel projectiles or small, water absorbing beads. These beads sting the individual and can cause serious injury when fired from the air-powered blasters.

Many of these gel blasters resemble real-functioning firearms. There is a severe danger that a law enforcement officer could mistake one of these blasters for a real gun. That danger goes up exponentially if someone chooses to use these in a public area such as a business or school.

Law Enforcement or other citizens could mistake the Orbeez blasters for real weapons, endangering everyone involved. We are concerned that people may retaliate or protect themselves, not knowing if there is a danger to themselves or others.

These gel blasters were designed to be fun for kids when used appropriately, such as in your backyard with willing participants.

It can become a criminal act punishable by law to shoot unwilling participants.

We will work to identify and arrest anyone who uses the gel blasters to assault people or cause fear or panic in our community. We encourage parents to discuss the dangers of this type of activity with their children.