New Gel Blaster Trend Hits McIntosh


One of the newest trends to hit McIntosh is gel blasters. Graphic by Zara Morgan

Zara Morgan, Managing Editor/Features Editor

Recently, a new dangerous trend has hit Fayette County and has already led to injuries. The new trend involves items called “gel blasters.” Gel blasters are objects that have been classified as air rifles due to their function and are made to resemble guns. The gel blasters are designed to fire “Orbeez,” which are small gel projectiles. The trend of using these items has caught slight popularity in the Fayette County area, and has even reached places such as Tasmania, Australia.

On Tik Tok the trend has been dubbed, the “Orbeez Challenge.” During the trend, individuals film themselves participating in drive-by shootings using the guns. The Orbeez themselves are soft, squishy and nontoxic; however, when frozen or sent at high speeds they can cause injury.

0n March 14, an eight year old and a 10 year old suffered injuries to their abdomen and face from gel blasters. The results of the incident are two teens that are facing charges: one was fourteen-years-old and was charged with Aggravated Assault while the other was charged with Aggravated Assault (Party to a Crime) and Underage Operation of a Golf Cart. Additionally, one of the parents is being charged for allowing her son to drive his golf cart underage.

School resource officer Brandon Weatheresby sent a video statement regarding the gel blasters to the students at McIntosh. According to the video sent out, any student caught with a gel blaster while on school property will face punishments up to expulsion.

“[I] know that some of you bring these splat ball toys to school and have splat ball wars in the parking lot, but I wanted to let you know that if you bring a splat ball toy to school you can be suspended or expelled or you can also be charged,” Weathersby said. “It’s also illegal to shoot these [gel blasters] on city property and at persons. City property includes the path system and schools.”

Some students around McIntosh believe that the toy itself is harmless, but the use of such items should not start to bring harm to others.

“I think that just like any other toy you own, you can choose to operate it as you like until you start affecting other people’s lives,” senior Supriya Marwaha said. “The attention on them is needed because people who are trying to go about their day [are] being affected.”

In a statement sent out by the Peachtree City Police Department and Peachtree City Fire Rescue, the city urges parents to be aware of dangers of items such as gel blasters and to have conversations with their children regarding the issue.

“The Peachtree City Police Department reminds parents to have conversations with their children about the serious implications of this dangerous trend,” reads the statement. “All violations of city ordinance or state law regarding discharging of these weapons on city property or at unwilling participants will be prosecuted accordingly.”

At the end of the video sent by Weathersby, he urges students to keep the gel blasters at home. “Students, I know that you all like to have fun and play games, but please do these events at home or other appropriate places.”