are-gel-blaster-guns-legal-in-queensland

I live in Queensland, Australia, and have recently gotten into gel blaster guns as a new hobby. Gel blasters are toy guns that shoot water-filled biodegradable gel pellets – think of them like a splatter-free version of paintball guns. They’ve exploded in popularity here in the last few years.

But there’s been a lot of confusion around whether gel blaster guns are actually legal here in Queensland or not. The laws changed recently, so as a gel blaster owner myself, let me clearly explain the current legislation.

What Are Gel Blaster Laws in Queensland?

Now onto the controversial part – the legality of gel blaster guns here in Queensland, Australia. In mid-2020, significant changes were made to how gel blasters are classified and regulated in QLD.

Essentially, gel blasters are now considered an actual firearm category in Queensland. This means to legally own and use a gel blaster gun, you need a valid firearm license, and your gel blasters must be registered.

what-are-gel-blaster-laws-in-queensland

The requirements came after amended firearm laws and classifications in QLD. Gel blasters specifically are now Category H firearms – the same category as paintball markers.

To wrap your head around it, here are the main gel blaster requirements under the current Queensland firearm legislation:

  • Must have a valid firearm license to legally possess gel blasters
  • Only people aged 18 years or older can own gel blasters
  • Unlicensed gel blaster owners have until 30 June 2021 to surrender them
  • Gel blasters must be registered individually on a firearm license
  • Gel blasters can only be used at approved fields/ranges or private property
  • Unregistered possession of a gel blaster carries up to $4000 in fines
  • Improper use of a gel blaster can result in criminal charges

As you can see, the Queensland gel blaster laws are now quite strict compared to most other Aussie states. There are some exceptions – like film/theater productions using gel blasters are exempt with proper permits. But otherwise, normal civilians must follow all these new gel blaster regulations.

Reasons Behind Stricter Gel Blaster Regulations

The question you might ask is – why did Queensland bring in these tougher gel blaster laws? There’s a few reasons behind the legal crackdown:

  • Police reports of gel blasters being mistaken for real guns in public, causing fear and Armed Police callouts. Officers claim they are nearly indistinguishable from firearms.
  • Rising crime incidents involving gel blasters used for shootings, intimidation, robbery, and more.
  • Injuries occur from people failing to follow gel blaster safety guidelines.
  • Desire to regulate them like paintball markers and other firearm types (Category H license required).
  • General community concern about unregulated gel blaster proliferation.

So in essence, the Queensland government hoped tighter legislation would cut down on gel blaster-related issues while still allowing responsible owners to partake legally.

Whether these stricter laws go too far or not is still hotly debated though among gel-blasting enthusiasts like myself. And as you’ll see, actually following all the new rules is no small burden.

Related Article: Are Gel Blasters Legal in Victoria?

Penalties for Breaking Gel Blaster Laws

To really underscore how seriously Queensland takes unregulated gel blaster possession – here are some huge fines and penalties that can apply if you break the gel blaster laws:

  • Up to $4000 in fines if caught with an unregistered gel blaster on your property.
  • Possible jail time if using an unlicensed gel blaster for any criminal activities.
  • Gel blasters can be seized/confiscated by police if rules are broken.
  • Criminal charges may apply if brandishing a gel blaster in public.
  • Serious fines for using a gel blaster outside of approved areas.
  • Licenses can be revoked and weapons confiscated if regulations are not followed.

And if you’re wondering – yes, these steep fines and charges have already been handed out! Queensland Police crack down hard on any unlicensed gel blaster owners or criminal misuse.

So proper registration and usage within the law is an absolute must for any gel blaster fans in QLD. Otherwise, you risk serious penalties. Not worth it!

How to Legally Use Gel Blasters in Queensland?

how-to-legally-use-gel-blasters-in-queensland

Now that we’ve covered the laws and penalties around gel blaster guns in Queensland, how do you actually use them legally? Do you need a license for a gel blaster in QLD? Here’s a quick guide to staying on the right side of the legislation:

Firstly, you need to have a current firearms license – a Category H license specifically. This costs around $75 for the application and processing.

With your firearms license approved, you can then register individual gel blasters as Category H weapons on your license for around $10 each.

Once licensed and registered, you can only use your gel blasters at approved gel ball shooting ranges or clubs with the proper safety equipment and supervision. These are popping up around Queensland since the laws changed.

You’re also allowed to use them on private property, so long as you have permission from the landowner and adhere to local council firing regulations. Definitely check your local laws first!

Transporting your gel blasters must be done legally too – which generally means unloaded and in a protective case or bag. Proper storage laws also apply to your license blasters when not in use.

And of course, the cardinal rule – never brandish your gel blaster in public, at someone else, or use it for any criminal purposes! That’s just asking for major trouble with the police and courts.

As a responsible gel blaster owner in QLD myself, I strictly follow all these rules to enjoy my hobby legally. It’s admittedly a tougher process now, but worth it in my opinion!

You May Also Read: Are Gel Blasters Still Illegal in 2023? USA or Australia

Advice for Gel Blaster Owners and Users in QLD

To wrap things up, here’s my advice for anyone who owns or wants to use gel blaster guns here in Queensland:

  • Double-check your local council laws on gel blaster use before firing on private properties. Some have additional restrictions.
  • Always wear protective eye equipment like safety glasses when doing gel blaster shooting. Those gels can really sting if you catch one in the eye! Trust me on that.
  • Avoid modifying your gel blasters to look even more like a real firearm. That’s just asking for trouble and police anxiety if they catch a glimpse.
  • Educate any children properly on safe handling/usage principles if getting them into gel blasting. Supervision is a must!
  • Consider joining an approved gel ball club or range to meet fellow enthusiasts and have a legal place to enjoy games and target practice.
  • Follow all firearms license and gel blaster registration rules to avoid huge fines. And use an approved case when transporting them.
  • Practice common sense and safety first above all else – don’t let the new regulations make you complacent about safety.

While the new gel blaster laws here in Queensland have certainly thrown a few hurdles up for the hobby, I still believe it can be enjoyed legally and safely if you put in the effort to comply. Hopefully, this overview has helped explain exactly where things stand on gel blaster legality for my fellow QLD gel ballers out there! Let me know if you have any other gel blaster questions.

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