Today South Australia Police (SAPOL) has announced that Commissioner Grant Stevens, in his capacity as the Registrar of Firearms under the Firearms Act 2015, will declare gel blasters as a regulated imitation firearm from 8 October 2020.
SAPOL has further announced that there will be a firearms amnesty for gel blasters for six months ending on 7 April 2021. During this time South Australian’s are encouraged to either hand in their gel blasters or register them appropriately.
This is ultimately an operational decision for SAPOL.
For many months the South Australian Government has been proactive on this matter, seeking constant updates from SAPOL as they worked towards a settled regulatory position on gel blasters.
There is no question that gel blasters can pose a danger to the South Australian community. This has been highlighted by numerous dangerous incidents in recent times. Such incidents are simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Whilst it is acknowledged that some people may be disappointed by SAPOL’s announcement, the safety and security of the entire South Australian community is the number one priority for the Government.
Importantly, regulation of gel blasters strikes an appropriate balance that will allow enthusiasts and businesses to be able to continue to use and sell gel blasters after obtaining a firearms licence, similar to a paint-ball licence, and register their gel blasters.
Currently, gel blasters are regulated or banned in all states except Queensland.