CAMPBELL COUNTY (WATE) -- Two boys are in trouble with the law in Campbell County for shooting a gun that uses a spring to launch a plastic pellet. At issue is whether the shots were fired in fun or with malicious intent.
The plastic pellet fired by a gun didn't hurt the subject in a 6 News test Thursday. But Campbell County police consider the toy guns deadly.
"He said you know if you were 18, I'd be taking you to jail today," says Larry Humphrey, uncle of one of the boys involved, Josh Humphrey.
Josh Humphrey and a friend were shooting each other with an airsoft pellet gun bought for $15 at a local flea market.
A neighbor saw the boys playing, called police and said they were shooting at her. "The police report says you were shooting at houses and cars. Were you?" 6 News asked Josh.
"No," he says. "No. It possibly could have hit them but not intentionally."
Police charged both boys.
Humphrey was charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, a charge that sent the 14 year old to court Thursday morning.
"He's like, I didn't know you could get in trouble for playing with a toy. I was like, well Josh, I didn't either," his uncle says. "You've got a kid playing with a toy now he's looking at a class C felony if he's convicted. It amazes me."
Police confiscated both guns.
The charge surprised the toy seller at the flea market in LaFollette. "I was flabbergasted because it is a toy," she says. "I've been shot with it. They sting that's about it. No deadly injuries, no deadly injuries whatsoever."
6 News tried repeatedly Thursday to contact the officer who wrote the citation but he didn't return the calls.
Although airsoft BB guns rarely cause more than a bruise, they can blind, cripple or maim in exceptional circumstances.
It is recommended that anyone using an airsoft gun should always wear safety goggles and not look directly at the gun barrel.