Uptick in incidents involving gel ball blasters prompt warning from Canton Police

CANTON, Mass. — Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty has a warning for parents: don’t let your kids bring toy guns to school.

“As a parent, it’s a lot to follow on social media, you don’t always know what the latest thing going on is, so to be able to share that information with parents I think is critical,” said Chief Rafferty.

She’s getting more and more calls about students carrying ‘gel blasters’ or Orbeez guns around town.

“In the contemporary times we’re living in, these guns can really look like a real gun to a police officer responding to this,” said Chief Rafferty. “And obviously with people with Manchester last week, Nashville last week, everything we’re dealing with, the guns on the top are usually black, and they look like a real weapon.”

Chief Rafferty says these toy guns can easily be mistaken as the real thing, which would put students in danger, especially with the uptick in swatting calls at schools across the state following more school shootings nationwide.

“They look like legit machine guns and it’s scary to think about the action that could be taken against these kids,” said Gina Murry, a parent.

These gel blaster guns use small pellets that expand in water, but police say a new social media trend makes them even more dangerous when people freeze those gel pellets before firing them off.

“Then it becomes a BB gun of sorts, it’s much more dangerous because it could take out an eye,” said Chief Rafferty.

Chief Rafferty says any guns or even a replica is prohibited on all school property and students could face criminal charges for it.

She says not only as a police officer but also as a mom, she hopes other parents take this warning seriously.

“I think its good police are sending these notices home to parents because let’s be honest we don’t know what our kids are doing when they leave the house,” said Murray.

Chief Rafferty says the use of these toy guns will also be prohibited on all Town of Canton property, including town fields and the library along with schools.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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