In this article we’re going to run through some of the main things you need to know about gel blasters, and in particular whether you need a licence to have one.
Now you’d think an article based on a yes/no question is going to be pretty short, right?
Well, let’s just see about that…
Do you Need a Licence for a Gel Blaster in Queensland or Not?
No, you don’t.
At least, most of the time.
With a few exceptions.
And don’t go moving to another State either…
The Specifics – Let’s Start with Gun Licensing in Queensland
We’ve already written a more detailed article about firearms in Queensland, so if you’re interested in the bigger picture then you should click here.
But as gel blasters (and airsoft – which is treated differently so let’s not confuse them) have become more and more popular, some questions needed to be answered.
In Queensland, however, you do not need a license or permit to purchase or use a gel blaster.
As you’ll see, this is different from every other State and Territory in the country, so to an extent Queensland stands by itself on this topic.
Instead of opting for a licensing regime to cover gel blasters, Queensland has instead headed down the path of an education campaign called “STOP”. This encourages users and potential users of gel blasters to consider the relevant issues before purchasing or using a gel blaster, like this:
- Safety – understand how gel blasters could harm others;
- The Legislation – become familiar with the relevant legislation (which, according to the QPS, is the Criminal Code Act, the Weapons Act and some associated regulations);
- Offences – know what offences could apply to the use of gel blasters (more on this below); and
- Penalties – understand the penalties for those offences.
But in short, you don’t need a licence to get a gel blaster in Queensland.
Are there Any Restrictions to Gel Blaster Ownership?
A gel blaster is classed as a replica weapon in Queensland.
So while you don’t strictly need a licence to own one, you do need to have a “reasonable excuse” to do so. For most people that means you need to be a member of an association that provides recreational activities involving gel blasters (to which certain restrictions also apply).
Alternatively, and less commonly, if you hold a collector’s licence and the gel blaster is to form part of your collection, then that will be a “reasonable excuse” also.
Are there Any Restrictions to Gel Blaster Usage in Queensland?
As with other replica weapons, you cannot necessarily just carry a gel blaster around with you and use them however you want.
Under the Weapons Act 1990 and Weapons Regulation 2016, you cannot:
- use a gel blaster in a way that is likely to cause death, injury or alarm to another person;
- use a gel blaster in a way that is likely to cause unlawful destruction to property;
- fire (discharge) a gel blaster anywhere near or towards a public place without a reasonable excuse;
- carry a gel blaster so it is exposed to view in a public place without reasonable excuse: and
- be under 18 years of age.
Penalties for Breaching Gel Blaster Laws
Many of the reports the Queensland Police Service get about people carrying firearms in public relate, in fact, to people carrying replica weapons.
The fact is that to many people gel blasters look indistinguishable from real guns.
As a result, there are fairly significant penalties for breaching the requirements we have set out above.
- Acquiring a gel blaster without a reasonable excuse can get you fined up to 10 penalty units (or $1437.50 at the time of publishing this article);
- Carrying an unconcealed gel blaster in public can attract a penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment;
- Pointing and firing a gel blaster at someone without their permission can attract up to 3-7 years imprisonment.
Gel Blaster Licencing Everywhere Else
Queensland’s solitary decision to avoid licensing does offer a few complications.
Since everywhere else in Australia DOES have gel blaster licencing laws, you need to be very careful about:
- buying a gel blaster in Queensland and taking it to another State; or
- exporting gel blasters from Queensland to other States.
If there is any chance you will be involved in taking a gel blaster or using it someone else in Australia then you should ensure you’re familiar with the laws where you are going.
Getting a Gel Blaster? Do this.
First, ensure you have a reasonable excuse to have one.
Next, understand how you are going to transport it from place to place in a way that complies with the relevant laws.
Next, understand how the gel blaster works so that you can know how and when it might cause unintended injury or damage to people or property.
Finally, know the circumstances in which you can lawfully use it.