The cancel and ban culture of Australia has never been more prominent. Western Australia is at the top of the nanny states looking to ban or heavily restrict anything that resembles, smells or sounds like a firearm.
From July 3, gel blaster toys in Western Australia, which fire small gel balls, will be classed as prohibited weapons that no one can own.
This new law will see WA going further than any other state in response to concerns about their resemblance to real firearms.Anyone subsequently found in possession of a blaster will face a fine of up to $36,000 or three years’ jail.
Perth Now reported “an amnesty period will apply until July 3, allowing owners to hand the blasters into police stations without penalty”.
Police Minister Paul Papalia says officers are facing an unreasonable situation when confronted by the blasters, which can be indistinguishable from real guns.
“A tragedy is just waiting to happen with these things,” he told reporters on Monday.
Gel blaster advocates have slammed the decision.
“Basically the way they’ve described it in the press release today is that the only people who are interested in this sport are people who are willing to commit a crime,” Daniel McCrystal of the Perth Gel Blasters Group said.
Chris Sinclair of the Gel Blasters Association Australia said the ban was a “band-aid”.
“We’ve got a bunch of public servants that aren’t actually taking the greater interests of the public into account, and a bunch of weak-willed politicians that actually aren’t looking to get a full understanding of the picture,” he said.
The outlawing of the blasters is a regulatory change which does not require legislation to be amended.
Victoria does not allow replica firearms, while gel blaster owners must have a firearms licence in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania.
Queensland allows people to have gel blasters without a licence but they cannot be openly carried.
“I don’t want West Australian police officers to be put into a position where they arrive on a scene, having been called out by a concerned member of the public, and are unable to determine whether they’re confronting a real firearm or not.”