18 Jan

New Gel Blaster Laws for Queensland

The number of replica firearms owned in Queensland has increased greatly since 2017, owing to the rise in popularity of ‘gel blasters’. These devices are only lawful in Queensland and South Australia and while the Gel blasters are intended as fun and cause negligible harm, they often closely resemble real firearms. It is this resemblance to firearms that has from time to time caused alarm to members of the public.

Gel blasters look identical to various handguns, shotguns and rifles from around the world.  The colour, size and detail of these gel blasters make it difficult for anyone to note the difference between a toy and a real firearm.

Qld Police – Stop and Think

Police have indicated that once they receive a reported sighting they are required to provide the same police response until they can determine that the weapon is not a real firearm. Acting Assistant Commissioner Brian Connors says more than 100 people have been charged with misusing a gel blaster over the last two years.

Currently the Weapons Act provides offences for the misuse of replica firearms but places no restrictions on possession or storage of these items. Accordingly it was not an offence to have them in clear sight while driving a car or in public. The proposals contained within the Weapons Legislation (Replica Firearms) Amendment Regulation 2020 (the Amendment Regulation) will seek to limit the manner in which they are:

  • possessed;
  • stored; and
  • transported.

The findings made in a coronial inquest in 2017 (Inquest into the deaths of Anthony William Young; Shaun Basil Kumeroa; Edward Wayne Logan; Laval Donovan Zimmer; and Troy Martin Foster) recommended that the Queensland Police Service consider the establishment of a regulatory scheme for replica firearms. The inquest investigated, among other matters, police use of lethal force involving a replica firearm.

The amendment regulation will categorise replica firearms as restricted items under the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 thereby regulating their possession and placing storage requirements on owners.

Category R Weapon

Section 8 ‘Category R’ of the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 makes replicas or facsimiles of machine guns and sub-machine guns, category R weapons. The Amendment Regulation will amend this section to provide that replicas of these weapons, that are not functioning firearms, are restricted items. This ensure that all replica firearms, that are not functioning firearms, are captured as restricted items.

Possessing a Gel Blaster

Pursuant to the provisions of section 67 of the Act, the amendments will have the effect of limiting lawful possession of a replica of a firearm to those with a reasonable excuse to do so. Section 67 prohibits the possession or acquisition of a restricted item without a reasonable excuse.

Failing to comply with the section makes a person liable to a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units.

Reasonable Excuse

While what constitutes a reasonable excuse is ultimately a matter for a court to determine, it is envisaged that many persons will continue to have a reasonable excuse to possess items captured by the policy. For example, possession by members of a gel ball club to take part in club activities, as part of a collection, for display at an RSL, or possession by a legitimate retail outlet for the purpose of selling to those entitled to use the items, are likely to be reasonable excuses for possession.

Storing a Gel Blaster

Section 142 ‘Storage measures and other precautions about access to restricted items’ of the Weapons Regulation 2016 requires that restricted items be stored in a locked container when not in physical possession and that owners take reasonable precautions to ensure the item is not accessible to persons who are not lawfully entitled to possess it.

Failing to comply with the section makes a person liable to a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units.

Stop and Think campaign

The Queensland Police have commenced the “Stop and Think” campaign ahead of the February 1 rollout of the amendments. They highlight the Penalties for Gel Blaster offences which can include:

  • Carrying an unconcealed Gel Blaster in public2 years imprisonment
  • Pointing and ring a Gel Blaster at another person without their permission 3–7 years imprisonment.


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For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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