The Queensland Government currently has a “Public consultation on Gel Blasters and other Replica Firearms” underway.
The consultation/survey can be found here: https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/7300/view.html
It is very obvious to us the survey has been worded with a view to further restricting gel blasters and replica guns in Queensland, so it is important as many law-abiding firearms users (and people who are concerned about Government over-reach) provide helpful responses to the consultation.
Shooters Union Australia has a very simple position: Gel Blasters are toys and replica guns are harmless inert items; they cannot hurt anyone and they should not be restricted in any way.
To that end, we have put together some “answering points” for you to respond to the consultation with.
Please do not just copy/paste these responses; public servants know when this is happening and will disregard the responses.
Use these points to help you put the answers in your own words
If you need any help, contact us on [email protected]
QUESTION: What do you know about gel blasters?
ANSWERING POINT: They are toys which fire a harmless gel ball and cannot hurt anyone.
QUESTION: How do you think gel blaster and replica firearm ownership impacts on community safety?
ANSWERING POINT: It does not, especially considering cricket bat ownership and kitchen knife ownership are not deemed to impact community safety and they have actually killed and injured people, unlike gel blasters or replica guns.
QUESTION: Are you supportive of a sensible set of regulations around replica firearms and gel blasters to support a greater level of community safety?
ANSWER: Strongly Disagree
QUESTION: Please provide your opinion on there being a need for a person to have a reasonable excuse when possessing replica firearms and gel blasters (for example, a reasonable excuse may include being a member of a gel blaster club and taking part in club activities, military re-enactments etc)
ANSWERING POINT: People should not need a reason to own a gel blaster or replica gun. They are toys or decorative items; they cannot hurt anyone.
Also, we do not require baseball bat owners to be a member of a sports club, so why should we make people buying a toy be a member of a club?
QUESTION: How should replica firearms and gel blasters be required to be stored when not in use?
ANSWERING POINT: However the owner feels like it. They are toys and we should not be regulating how people store their toys.
QUESTION: Do you have any ideas on other ways to enhance community safety around the use of replica firearms and any suggestions to enhance the Queensland Police Service ongoing awareness campaign ‘Stop and Think’, which focuses on responsible ownership of gel blasters and replica firearms?
ANSWERING POINT: Educate the public that assault rifles and machine-guns have been illegal for a long time and are almost non-existent in Australia, so if people see one then it is almost certainly a gel blaster or replica and they should not be alarmed.
Also there are laws in place covering brandishing replica weapons (including gel blasters) in public, with prison terms attached, so there is no need for additional laws or regulations.
Finally, it’s worth noting people outside Queensland CAN make submissions to this consultation - so please, take the time to make a thoughtful submission, no matter where you live - as keeping Gel Blasters unrestricted in Queensland may be the key to making them available elsewhere in Australia too.