MASON CITY — Police dispatchers sent officers to Prairie Playground at East Park recently after receiving a report that several young people had gathered and some were carrying guns.
When police arrived, they found older teens, shooting at each other with Airsoft guns.
Mason City code prevents the firing of weapons, or look-alikes that project a bullet or missile. Owning them is legal, shooting them isn’t.
“Basically, it was a harmless game,” said Capt. Mike McKelvey. “It happens occasionally. We inform them that there is a city code against shooting the look-alikes.”
The look-alikes are getting a lot of attention from both law enforcement and people in the court system.
Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen said the guns present “risky and dangerous” situations, even though they’re legal to own.
“Officers find them under car seats, or involved in incidents where they’re used to intimidate others,” Dalen said. “And they’re taking it very seriously.”
Neither McKelvey nor Dalen could say if one of the look alikes has been used in the commission of a crime.
“If officers, or people being intimidated, believe you’re using deadly force,” Dalen said, “they’re going to respond accordingly.”