ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The rise in popularity of a toy known as a “SplatRBall” gun is raising concerns among police and community members in Roanoke.

The popular Gel Blaster Electric “SplatRBall” gun is a toy gun that shoots small pellets filled with gel or water. According to the Roanoke Police Department (RPD), one of the main concerns with the toys is people shooting the pellets at innocent bystanders.

Roanoke Police Sgt. Roszak from the RPD says there have been approximately 40 reports in the past week regarding innocent bystanders being shot at.

“This past weekend, we did have incidents downtown where they were being shot. Unsuspecting bystanders, were being shot at,” said Roszak.

With gun violence being an ongoing concern for many people, some say incidents like the ones involving the “SplatRBall” guns could incite panic.

Concerned citizen Mary Santiago believes “SplatRBall” guns may cause people to react rashly if they are shot with a pellet.

“My first reaction would be panic mode, you know, ‘am I being shot at?'” said Santiago.

Although Roanoke authorities have not reported any serious injuries resulting from these incidents, they do want people to know that they can still face a slew of charges.

“If you’re using them, you can be charged with assault, especially if you are shooting at innocent bystanders,” said Roszak.

In addition to potential assault and battery charges, the department says people could be charged with reckless driving, as well as shooting or throwing missiles at a car, train, or vessel.