Canton

Canton Police Issue Warning About Orbeez Gel Pellet Guns, Ask Parents to Talk to Kids

The "Orbeez Challenge" encourages participants to use these toy guns to shoot at people, cars, and homes with gel-based beads or similar

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Police in Canton, Massachusetts, are the latest to raise the alarm about the dangers of popular Orbeez pellet gun toys, which have been the subject of social media challenges.

Orbeez are small, circular gel-based beads that can be shot from toy guns. They are marketed toward children, but police say the toys can easily be mistaken for a real gun, causing panic and confusion.

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The "Orbeez Challenge" encourages participants to use these toy guns to shoot at people, cars, and homes with gel-based beads or something similar. Canton police say some kids have turned to freezing the gel pellets, making them more dangerous when shot.

"Typically around this time of year, seniors in high school start doing challenges amongst themselves, as groups, they call it 'Senior Assassin,'" said Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty. "And whoever wins — the last person standing — gets a prize at the end of the day."

In response to the recent issues, Canton has banned these toys on all town properties, including recreational fields, and warns that having them could even lead to criminal charges.

"We are taking this issue extremely seriously. it is our sincere hope that by addressing this matter with your children and continuing to echo the importance of making good choices we can bring this concern to an end without any further incidents," a statement from police reads.

It goes on to ask parents and guardians to talk to kids about the potential consequences of participating in an "Orbeez challenge" and the potential harm that could come.

"It's terrifying," said parent Cheri Spintig. "Because guns are such a scary thing, especially now with all the different things that happen in schools. So a challenge that involves something that may look like a real gun is very scary."

Canton is not the first town to report issues with Orbeez. In Auburn, three minors were criminally charged after shooting at several middle school students. Other police departments have warned about shootings with gel pellet guns. The Concord Police Department said last year that three people were hit as part of an "Orbeez Challenge" TikTok trend. The following month, police in Malden said the water beads "can lead to criminal charges, as serious as felony," if fired at people or property.

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