When Shooting Pellet Guns Could Get You Assault Charges

Police responded to two separate shootings in the Red River Valley in less than a week.

A woman in Grand Forks was injured by a stray pellet on Friday and a child was shot Monday night at Countryside Trailer Court in Fargo.

Whether it’s powered by compressed air, gas, or a spring, police say the firing of these pellets and airsoft guns within Fargo city limits is against the law.

But that’s not all.

The suspect in the shooting at Countryside may be facing juvenile assault charges.

Police say the shooting happened at the 600 block of the Countryside Trailer Court when a boy and his mom were going for a walk.

“In actuality it was a shooting, however it was what we determined to be a pellet, bee bee gun or an air soft,” says Deputy Chief Joe Anderson of the Fargo Police Department.

The suspect, who police say could be anywhere from 5 to 10 years old, shot the young victim in the back, leaving a large welt.

He did not need medical attention, but neighbors say he was pretty shaken up.

Deputy Chief Joe Anderson says this can be avoided with a simple chat.

“Parents to recognize, airsoft and bee bee guns can cause damage and injure someone significantly, and they need to be responsible and they need to teach their kids good firearm safety rules,” Anderson says.

Matt Nelson sells some airsoft and bee bee pistols at his pawn shop.

He says he only gets about 15 or 20 higher end ones a year, but the cheaper plastic ones come through a lot more.

“Those are pretty good, but we usually only sell those for six or eight bucks a piece, so they go pretty quick for kids,” says Nelson, who is a manager at Used-A-Bit Sales and Pawn.

Officials say children should be supervised when using these guns.

Nelson says people using them should stay safe and wear protective gear.

“I’ve been shot here once just for practice, but I’d wear some type of eye protection, so they do hurt a little bit, so,” Nelson says.

It’s not just kids buying them either.

“Anywhere from probably 18 to 40, the higher end ones, like some of the older ones, you’ll get a lot of the older generation coming in looking for more the collectable type piece,” Nelson says.

Officers say they still do not know who the Countryside suspect is and only have vague descriptions so far.

The case is still under investigation.

Grand Forks Police say the Grand Forks shooting was simply an accident.

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