New Gel Blaster laws carry penalties up to seven years jail
New Gel Blaster laws are part of changes to replica firearm legislation aimed at keeping the public in Central Queensland and across the state safe.
Queensland is the only jurisdiction in Australia that doesn’t require owners of the ‘toy’ guns to possess a firearms licence.
Popularity of the lifelike guns, that shoot gel balls which grow to 8mm when immersed in water for four hours, has skyrocketed in the past year, with two stores opening in Gladstone and three in Rockhampton.
It is estimated there more than 1 million gel blasters in Australia and the industry is worth $200 million annually in Queensland, employing hundreds of people.
Since 2018, Queensland Police have taken action more than 100 times against people caught misusing the blasters and frightening members of the public.
The law reforms came after Queensland Police launched the ‘Stop and Think’ campaign, targeting owners of the guns.
Under the new legislation, carrying an unconcealed gel blaster in public carries a maximum penalty of two years jail, while firing a gel blaster at a person without their permission can carry a jail term of between three and seven years.
- Replica firearms, such as gel blasters, will not be classified as a firearm or category of weapon
- Replica firearms do not require a licence or need to be registered with Weapons Licensing
- When not in use, gel blasters must be stored securely, for example, in a locked cupboard or a bag, but not necessarily in a gun safe
- When being transported, a gel blaster has to be out of sight, for example, in the boot of a car or in a bag that does not silhouette a firearm
- Anyone owning a gel blaster must have a reasonable excuse for having one, for example, being a collector of replica weapons, or a member of a club that uses them recreationally.
Queensland Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Brian Connors said it was incredibly important people who owed replica firearms familiarised themselves with the new laws.
“Replica firearms, such as gel blasters, can look similar to handguns, shotguns and rifles from around the world,” he said.
“The ‘Stop and Think’ campaign will continue to promote the safe use of gel blasters as a popular pastime, support small businesses that sell equipment and supplies, and ensure community safety.
“The public’s safety is of the utmost importance.
“Gel blasters and other replicas can look very similar to real firearms, and we don’t want them used to threaten people or commit crimes.
“We want to see all owners adhering to the new legislation with responsible storage, transportation and use of gel blasters.
“We continue to encourage members of the public to report inappropriate behaviour.”