What started as a late-night war game involving five teens, a 20-year-old and a collection of Airsoft replica firearms ended with all of them facing real guns drawn by real police officers.

What started as a late-night war game involving five teens, a 20-year-old and a collection of Airsoft replica firearms ended with all of them facing real guns drawn by real police officers.

Marysville police were called to the area of Scott Farms Boulevard and state Route 4 shortly after 11 p.m. July 10 after being told that several people with guns had been spotted.

According to a police report, the first officer who arrived saw two people crouched behind two mattresses. He turned a spotlight on them and saw they had guns, then drew his weapon and took cover behind his cruiser door.

After everything was sorted out, Police Chief Floyd Golden said he talked with Law Director Tim Aslaner, who decided not to press charges.

But he said the situation presented "a good lesson for people" on several fronts.

For one thing, he said, it is against city code to discharge "any air gun, rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol or other firearm within the corporate limits of the municipality unless it is in self-defense." Violations are considered fourth-degree misdemeanors. Penalties for conviction include fines of up to $250 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

For another, he said, law en-forcement officers don't consider an Airsoft gun to be a toy, but a replica that shoots projectiles.

"And it can hurt you," he said. "It shoots holes in the siding of houses. You can carry one down the street, but if it's reported, you can expect to be confronted by law enforcement responding to someone's concern."

Finally, he said, there is the fact that some parts of Marys-ville are within corporation limits but still are undeveloped.

"The corporation limit still encompasses some areas that are not developed and people don't understand they can't hunt in those areas because it looks like a woods. You still can't discharge a firearm within the city corporation limits," Golden said.

In the case of the July 10 war games, he said there were a lot of circumstances that led officers to take precautions.

"We got the call at 11 p.m., it was dark, in a residential area. The initial report was of several suspects," he said. "It wasn't like they were young kids. They were 19 and 20 years old. That's why this was handled the way it was. I feel it was handled properly."

One of the boys, 16, said he was not sure what law they were breaking, but he now knows what it feels like to be on his knees in handcuffs, answering questions from police officers.

"We had a little course set up," he said. "We weren't playing with real guns. We were just out there having fun."

His mother said she drove by about 15 minutes before the officers were at the scene and said large white targets made it clear to her there was a game going on. She told her son to be home by midnight and went home. Less than a half-hour later, she said, he did arrive home -- with a police escort.

"I didn't know what they did wrong," she said. "We have a lot of fields around here and it would be nice to know, as a parent, if they were not allowed to play in a field. It would be nice to know so your son doesn't get a gun drawn on him.

"That's serious -- I took that very serious," she said.

Golden said when police get a report such as this one, they have to respond to what's reported until they know otherwise.

He advises people to be aware of how things look.

"It's not illegal to have (Airsoft guns), but I certainly wouldn't modify them to look like a real weapon," Golden said. "If you are stopped by an officer, comply, and when it's settled, then you can explain what's happening."