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Police trainer talks danger of pellet guns in shooting at Waukesha high school

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A police officer shot a Waukesha high school student this week, and it was later revealed the student had two pellet guns on him.

Pellet guns use air to propel the pellets, as opposed to firearms which use gunpowder.

Another name for them is airsoft guns.

The pellets are hard, and will sting, but are unlikely to cause serious harm.

Eugene Reyes uses pellet guns to train police officers at MATC, where he's the director of police training.

"It weighs the same, it looks the same," he said.

Police say a Waukesha South High School student pointed a pellet gun at an officer Monday.

Reyes says it's nearly impossible for an officer in that situation to know it's not a real gun.

"That officer's going to react the way they're trained, which is to address the threat," he said. "They're going to respond with deadly force. That's the bottom line."

The student survived.

He violated Waukesha South's student handbook for having weapons at school.

Pellet guns are available at many sporting goods stores. You have to be 18 years old to buy one.

Ordering online, Walmart won't ship to southeast Wisconsin and Fleet Farm requires a signature upon delivery.

Given rules like that as well as existing school policies, gun activists don't see Monday's incident as proof we need more gun control.

"There was a notion that this was a mass shooting averted and it wasn't a mass shooting averted," said Nik Clark, the president of Wisconsin Carry. "If this student had wanted to commit a mass shooting, they weren't going to do it with a pellet gun."

Clark wants cops out of schools altogether.

"Do we want to turn schools into semi prison-like settings?" he said. "I don't think that's the solution either."

Still, some districts are looking to add officers sooner rather than later.

Waterford brought one in Tuesday, and Brookfield Central has one starting in January.

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