Police issue advice over gel blasters in Tasmania

Tasmania Police is committed to firearms safety in our community.  Like the currently banned Airsoft firearms, Gel Blasters typically appear to be an imitation of a genuine firearm, made of plastic and/or metal which propels a projectile (a hydrated gel ball) at speeds as high as 300 feet/91 metres per second.

Most are high quality reproductions of genuine firearms, the remainder are clearly not imitations of firearms and are toys that would not be mistaken for being a real firearm.

The imitation firearm type Gel Blasters have been seized from many crime scenes across Australia.

Gel Blasters – they are air pistols or air rifles due to how they operate

The mechanism of a Gel Blaster has been assessed by Tasmania Police Ballistics as being a firearm, therefore they are air pistols or air rifles (depending on their appearance).

However, it has been noted that for the same reason, Nerf Guns (toys you can literally buy at a toy shop) are also, by their mechanism, a firearm. The Commissioner of Police has instructed that Nerf Guns are to be treated as toys, as they do not imitate/would not reasonably be mistaken for a real firearm.

In the same way, for Gel Blasters that are of cartoon or futuristic appearance that does not imitate/would not reasonably be mistaken for being a real firearm, the Commissioner has instructed that these are also to be treated as toys.

If you possess a Gel Blaster or any other article that is an imitation firearm, you may be committing an offence.

However, Tasmania has a permanent amnesty on firearms surrendered to police. To hand over such an article under amnesty, call your local station and arrange a time to drop off the article. When you attend, do not openly carry it into the police station, keep it inside a bag or similar.

If you possess a Gel Blaster or Nerf Gun that wouldn’t reasonably be mistaken for being a real firearm, you can have it and use it. Just use your common sense.

Don’t use it in a public place or in a place or a manner in which its use may cause alarm or make someone else think you are using a real firearm. Always wear safety equipment, Gel Blasters can and have caused permanent injury to Australians in recent years.

If police find you in possession of or using a Gel Blaster which is an imitation of a real firearm, you may be charged with an offence and the article will be seized from you. Amnesty is not available if police find you with the article, so ring us first to arrange the amnesty surrender.

Police will not take action against you for being in possession of the internal mechanism of a gel blaster, as by themselves these will not be mistaken for a genuine firearm.

There are offences for mailing firearms, so please do not attempt to mail a Gel Blaster (that is an imitation) or any firearm interstate, only a licensed firearms dealer can do this lawfully.

For more information, contact Firearms Services, 61732720.

Firearms Services

Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Phone: (03) 6173 2720

Email: firearms.services@police.tas.gov.au

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