AN update on the changes to Queensland Gel Blaster and replica firearm legislation:
The changes to the Weapons Act will not come into effect until February 1, 2021 at the earliest - so right now, if you own a gel blaster or replica firearm you do not need to change anything - you don’t have to register it, sell it, lock it in a gun cabinet, etc.
Your gel blaster/replica is still currently classified as a toy (until the new legislation comes into effect), but obviously you should not take them out in public unless they are in a bag or do anything silly or attention-attracting with them. Be sensible, in other words.
We have been very busy over the past year fighting attempts to reclassify gel blasters, and put in a lengthy submission during the consultation period outlining our objections and issues with the changes. We also have been liaising with gel blaster industry representatives as well.
The new legislation is vague and badly worded, and relies on changes being made to the Weapons Categories Regulations 1997 and Weapons Regulation 2016. The Government has refused to elaborate on exactly what those changes will involve and we have already pointed out this is unacceptable.
We will be meeting with Weapons Licensing Branch in due course to discuss and find out more information about the planned changes and will keep you all posted.
In the meantime: Write to your MP and tell them you are unhappy with this legislation and want it changed; that you want the requirements for gel blasters and replica or deactivated firearms to be locked away removed, and that you are angry the Government ignored submissions from multiple organisations and citizens asking for the existing legislation not to be changed.
For the record, and for your information considering there is an election coming in October: The legislation was passed by the ALP using their parliamentary majority, supported by the Greens, it was voted against by all KAP, PHON and LNP MPs, who spoke at length about their objections to the bill and its changes.