Police issue warning about illegal gel blaster firearms

Gel blasters

ACT Policing is reminding the public that replica firearms known as gel blasters are illegal in the ACT.

ACT Policing has seen an increase in the use and possession of gel blasters in 2019, including incidents where people were carrying them for personal protection, pointing them at neighbours and posting ‘selfies’ with them online.

Gel blasters, also referred to as ‘gel ball blasters’, are classified as prohibited firearms in the ACT as they mechanically function as air guns, and also as they closely resemble other military-style firearms.

ACT delegate to the Registrar of Firearms, Detective Sergeant Rodney Swain said he wanted to stress the seriousness of these incidents.

“If you are in possession of a gel blaster in public, you run the risk of police seeing it as a real firearm,” Detective Sergeant Swain said.

“Earlier this year a person holding a gel blaster was engaged by police, with a beanbag round used to subdue them.

“Given the realistic nature of the gel blaster being carried by this person, the incident could have ended a lot differently.

“While these items are legal in some Australian states and available from internet sellers, they are classed as illegal firearms in the ACT.

“It is illegal to possess them, it is illegal to import them into the ACT, and those who do will face severe penalties.”

Any person found in possession of a gel blaster may be charged under Section 42 (unauthorised possession/use of prohibited firearms) or Section 43 (unauthorised possession/use of firearms other than prohibited) of the Firearms Act 1996. These are serious offences, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.

It is also an offence to sell gel blasters in the ACT under Section 185 of the Firearms Act 1996 (firearms dealers to be licensed).

People in possession of a gel blaster should surrender them to the ACT Policing Exhibit Management Centre – 86 Vicars St Mitchell, ACT (Ph: 02 5126 9076). 

Anyone with information about the possession or sale of gel blasters or other illegal firearms is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Information can be provided anonymously.

NOTE: Similar to gel blasters, airsoft guns/rifles are also prohibited firearms in the ACT due to their lifelike appearance and firing mechanism.

Media enquiries

Police Media — (02) 5126 9070, act-police-media@afp.gov.au