From: Hannibal Police Department
Date: Monday, February 14, 2022
Contact: Lieutenant J.M. Grote
The Hannibal Police Department wants to increase public awareness of a dangerous trend in altering airsoft and “SplatRBall” guns. Recently Hannibal officers encountered a juvenile leaning out of a car window pointing what appeared to be a black semi-automatic rifle at another vehicle. The officers were able to safely stop the vehicle and remove the juvenile and other occupants from the vehicle. Upon investigation officers discovered multiple airsoft and SplatRBall guns that had been painted black. The occupants admitted to intentionally painting the guns black to appear realistic. The Hannibal Public School District issued a notification last week for the Hannibal High School campus banning these from school properties. The notification from the school and the recent incident with Hannibal Officers are not directly related. The Hannibal Police Department cautions those who modify these types of guns to look real. An armed citizen or law enforcement officer may mistake an altered gun as real which could result in very unfortunate outcomes for everyone involved.