Originally published as a Mammoth Lakes Police Department Facebook post –
“Across the nation, a new TikTok challenge is taking hold called the # OrbeezChallenge and unfortunately, Mammoth Lakes is not immune. This “challenge” encourages children to load airsoft guns with polymer beads filled with water and then shoot their friends. In some reports, bystanders or vehicles have also been shot. Airsoft guns often resemble real firearms which creates a public safety hazard. The injuries from being shot with the beads can be quite severe.
Mammoth Lakes Police has received multiple calls of juveniles being seen with these weapons and firing them at each other and at property. On May 23rd, Officers conducted interviews with students at Mammoth Unified School District regarding an incident that took place on the evening of May 22nd. The incident, in summary, is that a 28-year-old Mammoth Lakes man asked a group of juveniles to stop firing the airsoft weapons. This led to an argument that turned physical and then resulted in the man suffering severe injuries from the attack. He was subsequently transported to Mammoth Hospital with wounds from both the beads as well as punch and kick injuries.
The Mammoth Lakes Police Department and Mammoth Unified School District are asking parents to speak with their children about the hazards of these weapons in addition to the real-life consequences that can come from injuring a person or damaging property after partaking in this activity.
It is also important for parents and minors to be aware of the following Town Ordinances and California Education Code:
MLTO 9.08.030 – Discharge of firearm or bow and arrow – Prohibited: It is unlawful for any person…to shoot, fire or discharge any firearm, or bow and arrow, in the town (of Mammoth Lakes) territory. “Firearm” means shotgun, rifle, pistol, crossbow, compressed air guns, pellet guns and BB guns, pistol or revolver from which shot, bullets or missiles are discharged by compressed air, explosive or combustible material, capable of propelling any shot, bullet or missile.
MLTO 9.32.020 – Curfew restrictions: A. It is unlawful to any minor to be present in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the town of Mammoth Lakes during curfew hours (10:00PM – 6:00AM).
Mammoth Unified School District will issue consequences to students that violate school rules and California Education Code. Per California Education Code, section 48900(m), a student may be suspended or expelled for possession of an “imitation firearm.” This section defines what an imitation firearm is as: “a replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the replica is a firearm.” ”