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Bridgeport PD wants paintball gun control

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BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport police want the ability to arrest people who freeze paintballs before firing them at human targets.

Police say they seized a slew of paintball guns over the past two weeks, after a string of recent attacks blinded one man and injured several others.

Now they are taking aim at delinquents who freeze paintballs in a deliberate effort to cause serious damage or injury.

Victor Cacho, 41, says he witnessed the victim get blinded and was struck similarly himself at least eight times.

"I was thinking I was going to be dead in that moment," he recalls.

Police want lawmakers to make the act of freezing paintballs a crime. They argue that doing so converts a paintball gun, otherwise not considered a dangerous weapon, into an illegal weapon. 

"Your intent is to hurt that person," says Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez. "Something's got to give. We definitely need to change the law."

Paintball guns are currently considered "sporting markers," because they mark targets with paint, and not as weapons designed to cause bodily harm, police say.

"This is not acceptable behavior," Perez says. "Cease and desist, because I'm coming after you with my officers and we're going to put you away."

Police arrested one person in connection with the attacks but did not release his name because he is a minor. And they say they are stepping up patrols heading into Halloween.

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