Gel blasters are illegal across Australia in all States and Territories except for Queensland which is the only place in Australia that allows people to have a gel blaster without a permit or licence because it is not classified as a firearm or weapon although it is still illegal to carry one in public sight unless there is a reasonable excuse. This article outlines the legal requirements and conditions you must comply with to get a gel blaster in each state and territory of Australia, including penalties for failing to comply.
GEL BLASTER GUNS | GEL BLASTER AUSTRALIA LEGAL GUIDE
What is a Gel Blaster?
Gel blasters are generally spring powered battery operated plastic toy guns. When the trigger is pressed, its spring-loaded hammer strikes the valve at the middle of the "grenade" base which releases the canister's stored gas via its cap holes. This then propels and sprays out gels towards an aimed target. A gel blaster can normally shoot soft gel projectiles of up to about 250 feet a second. It is similar to an airsoft automatic electric gun (AEG) or a gas blowback airsoft, but unlike airsoft guns, the gel blaster gun has an uneven spherical shape and it's lighter weight and bigger projectile size causes a lower muzzle velocity. This makes them probably the safest amongst the other types of airsoft and BB guns.
Gel blasters are also commonly called gel guns, hydro blasters or gelsoft guns. It's projectiles are 6-8mm superabsorbent polymer water beads (also called hydrogel balls, gel balls or water bullets).
Are gel blasters legal in NSW?
New South Wales laws recognise gel blasters as a "firearm" and are illegal to possess or use unless you have a valid licence or permit to authorise you to have it. As explained earlier, there are conditions and requirements that must first be satisfied before a licence or permit can be issued by the NSW Commissioner of Police. Illegally having a gel blaster can result in being charged by police, appearing in court and facing penalties of up to 5 years jail and/or $5,500 fine.
Metal Get Blaster | Full Metal Gel Blasters
Metal gel blasters are more effective than the plastic gel blasters because the metal gel that's shot out of the blaster is far more durable, accurate and reliable. It's heavier weight and projectile size causes a higher muzzle velocity, and because of the metal, are more dangerous than the plastic ones.
Desert Eagle Gel Blaster
A desert eagle gel blaster is a type of gel blaster built with a premium quality nylon shell, metal pistol grip, simulated blowback and an excellent firing rate. They are well built, affordable and simple to use. They also usually contain a gel ball magazine, rechargeable battery, and USB charging cable. They have a firing range of about 20 plus metres with 7-9mm ammo size.
Vector Gel Blaster
The Vector gel blaster is a type of gel blaster that can have 3 firing modes, great removable accessories, gel priming function and a safety switch. The firing modes include auto, burst, and single. It's material is fully nylon, contains a led torch, magazine fed gel balls, infrared scope, foldable butt stock, re-chargeable battery, 7.4v battery and charger and a firing range of between 20 -30 metres. It usually takes gel balls.
HPA Gel Blaster
A HPA gel blaster is a high pressure air type of pneumatic gel blaster using externally supplied high pressure. In contrast to depending on motor and pistons to compress the air in the gearbox, the HPA utilises a single fixed air supply. The compressed air goes into the blaster, into the HPA engine, allowing the airflow to be controlled with a rate of fire to propel the gels out of the barrel. It is a more effective gel blaster than the normal.
Gel Blaster Balls, Ammo, Battery and Accessories
Gel blaster balls and ammo are sometimes called gel beads,
hydrogel balls or gels with 6-8mm diameter absorbent polymer water
beads generally made from sodium polyacrylate. They are considered
cleaner and more environmentally friendly than paintball or airsoft
BB ammo. This is because they are made from non-toxic biodegradable
materials and contain over 90% water. They burst when impact is
made and cause no residue or mess as a result. They also dissipate
after a short period of time. When gel blaster balls are soaked in
water, they can grow up to 200 -400 times its original size into
jelly looking orbs. They are also used in gardens and vases.
Failing to properly hydrate the gel balls will usually mean that
the gel blaster wont function as it should. It's recommended to
soak it overnight.
Gel blaster's usually take 11.1v and 7.4v batteries. It is recommended to charge the battery for 1-4 hours, but no more, with the correct charger. Gel blaster accessories range from gel balls, bottle speed loader, batteries, face masks, ultra-hard gels, chargeable cables, pistol leg holster, red dot allow scope, upgrade kit, combat vest, magazines and more.
Gel Blaster Sydney
Gel blasters are available in Sydney across many firearms online stores, including, Tactical Edge, Tac Toys, and Gelsoft Australia. The firearms laws in Sydney are governed by the Firearms Act of New South Wales, and it prohibits anyone from having or using a gel blaster without a valid firearms licence or permit. The penalties include up to 5-years jail. Queensland firearms laws do not consider gel blasters to be a "firearm". This means that people in Qld are allowed to have a gel blaster without a firearms licence or permit, however, they must not be carried in sight of public.
GEL BLASTER SHOPS AND STORES
Gel blasters are strictly controlled in NSW according to the Firearms Act and Regulations. To deal in gel blasters i.e. selling or supplying you are required to have a firearms dealers licence in NSW. The shop or store that supplies gel blasters, including online shops, must have a valid licence to legally sell and supply them. They can also only sell and supply gel blasters to those who have an appropriate firearms licence of a category for the gel blaster gun. Heavy penalties apply if you illegally sell or supply a gel blaster in NSW. Here is a short list of shops and stores:
- Tactoys Gel Blaster
- Bankstown Gun Shop
- Tactical Edge Hobbies
- X-Force Tactical
- Gel Blasters Direct
- Gelsoft Australia
Air Soft Guns, BB Guns and Gel Blasters
Other than Queensland and South Australia, it is illegal to
possess or use an air soft gun, BB gun or gel blaster gun in any
other State or Territory of Australia unless you have a valid
firearms licence or permit. In NSW, these types of guns are defined
as "firearms" under section 4 Firearms
Act 1996 (NSW) ('Firearms Act'). Airsoft guns, BB guns and
Gel blasters are either spring powered and/or use compressed air to
propel a projectile without the means of an explosive.
An "air gun" is defined as a gun if it can propel a projectile by means of a spring, or any gas or mixture of gases, including air but not a gas or mixture of gases generated by an explosive, provided it's operated or designed for operation by means of a trigger or similar device.
Under NSW Firearms laws, you're not allowed to possess or use a firearm unless you hold a firearms licence or permit. This attracts up to 14-years imprisonment if the firearm is a pistol or prohibited firearm, and up to 5-years imprisonment if the firearm is any other firearm. These penalties are prescribed by sections 7 and 7A Firearms Act 1996 (NSW). The same penalties apply if you breach a firearms licence condition or you end up using or possessing a firearm for a purpose other than the purpose you originally established to get the licence in the first place. Once you have a firearms licence or permit, you must also register and obtain a permit to acquire the airsoft gun, BB gun or gel blaster type firearm.
Possessing, acquiring or supplying an unregistered BB gun, gel blaster or airsoft gun attract penalties of up to 5-years imprisonment. If the gun is considered a pistol, the maximum penalty is 14-years imprisonment. These offences can also carry up to a $5,500 fine. A defence to this is if you didn't know, nor could you reasonably be expected to have known that the guns were unregistered (if you were not the owner of it at the time).
Self Defence and BB Guns, Airsoft Guns or Gel Blaster Firearms
It is illegal to have or use a gel blaster, BB gun, or airsoft gun for self-defence or protection purposes in New South Wales. As BB guns, air soft guns, gel blasters are all considered "firearms", their use and possession are highly regulated. Getting a "licence" for these types of guns for protection or self-defence purposes is prohibited under section 12 Firearms Act. Getting a permit for these types of guns for protection is not necessarily prohibited but clause 12 Firearms Regulation says that the NSW Commissioner "may" refuse a permit to a person to use or possess it if the purpose of getting one is for personal protection, protection of property or for the protection of any other person.
Getting Licences or Permits for Gel Blasters, Airsofts or BB guns
To get a licence or permit for a gel blaster, BB gun or airsoft gun in NSW, you must apply to the NSW Commissioner of Police and demonstrate:
- For gun licences, a "genuine reason" must be shown for needing these types of guns. A list of genuine reasons is outlined in the table to section 12 Firearms Act. Examples include sports or target shooting. For self-defence or protection is not considered a "genuine reason".
- For gun permits, a "legitimate reason" must be shown for needing these types of guns. Examples of legitimate reasons to have and use these types of guns may include film, tv or theatrical production purposes.
In addition, you must also satisfy the requirements of sections 10, 11, 12 and 29 Firearms Act to be granted a licence or permit. These requirements include having no criminal conviction in the past ten years, and certain safety and storage requirements.
Amongst those requirements, you must be a fit and proper person, and be someone who can be trusted to have the gun without danger to public safety or the peace, and you must also not have an Apprehended Violence Order against you within the last 10 years, nor be subject to a good behaviour bond, community correction order or conditional release order or a firearms prohibition order.
Safe Keeping and Storage Requirements for BB Guns, Gel Blasters and Airsoft Guns
Contravening any safe keeping and storage laws concerning BB guns, gel blasters or airsoft guns attract maximum penalties from one year to two years jail and/or fines between $2,200-$5,500. After getting a valid permit or licence, registering the gun, and obtaining a permit to acquire the gun, you must then also comply with the safe keeping and storage requirements under part 4 Firearms Act. Some of these include the following:
- You must take reasonable precautions to make sure that the gun is safely kept, not stolen or lost and that it doesn't come into someone else's possession who isn't authorised to have it.
- Certain licence types have certain safe keeping and storage conditions. For example, a category A firearm licence for an air rifle firearm safe keeping and storage condition requires that when you're not carrying or using the air rifle, to store it in an approved type of locked receptacle constructed of hard wood or steel which isn't easily penetrable. If the receptacle weighs under one hundred and fifty kilograms while empty, it has to be fixed to prevent easy removal. The locks are required to be of an approved solid metal. The ammunition for it must be stored in an approved locked container and kept separate from the receptacle.
- When being transported, for example, if the gun is an air pistol, the Firearms Regulations require it to not be loaded with ammunition, it must be stored separate from the ammunition, it must be rendered temporarily incapable of firing by removing the bolt or firing mechanism or by the use of a restraining device, such as a trigger lock or it must be stored in a locked container properly secured to the vehicle being used for transporting it.
When Does a Gel Blaster, BB Gun or Airsoft Gun Licence or Permit Expire?
If the gel blaster, BB gun or air soft gun is authorised under a "licence" (not permit), the licence generally expires after 5-years from issue of the licence. Some types of licences have different expiry periods. You can apply for a 2-years licence instead of a 5 year licence if the licence is a category A, B, C, D, H or collector licence. This doesn't apply to category D licences for vertebrate pest animal control or probationary pistol licences. If the gel blaster, BB gun or air soft gun is authorised under a "permit" (not a licence), the permit is generally valid for 5-years before it expires.
Is it a Serious Crime to Possess or Use a BB gun, Airsoft gun or Gel Blaster Without a Licence or Permit?
Having or using a BB gun, airsoft gun or gel blaster without a valid licence or permit in NSW is considered very serious, which is reflected in the maximum penalty applicable and the standard non-parole periods applicable, ranging between 4 years to 10 years imprisonment standard non-parole periods. A 4-years standard non-parole period applies for unauthorised possession or use of an airsoft gun, gel blaster or BB gun. A 10-years standard non-parole period applies for unauthorised sale of these guns if they are considered a pistol or "prohibited firearm". The same standard non-parole period applies for unauthorised sale of these guns on an ongoing basis or for the unauthorised possession of more than 3 of these firearms any one of which is a pistol or prohibited firearm. The standard non-parole period represents a guide to the courts, not a mandatory requirement, as to the prescribed minimum jail time to impose before being eligible for release on parole if the seriousness of the offence falls within the mid-range of objective seriousness for like offences.
GEL BLASTER GOLD COAST | QUEENSLAND
Gel blasters in Qld are legal. This includes Brisbane, Toowoomba, Townsville, and Cairns. Unlike NSW, it is not illegal to possess or use a gel blaster in Queensland because a 'gel blaster' is not considered a firearm or weapon under the Qld firearm laws. That said, while you don't need to have a firearms licence to have and use a gel blaster in Qld, it is illegal to carry one in public sight. If carrying one you are required to have a reasonable excuse to have it, which can include recreational purposes i.e. club member or collector of replica guns. Otherwise, to lawfully possess or use a firearm in Queensland you must hold a valid licence. Illegally having a firearm in Qld attract heavy penalties ranging from 2 years to 13 years jail dependant on the number of firearms, according to section 50 Weapons Act 1990 (Qld).
GEL BLASTER PERTH WA LAWS
A gel blaster in Western Australia is not considered a 'firearm' under WA firearms laws. However, a gel blaster in WA is now deemed a "prohibited weapon" within schedule 1 Weapons Regulations 1999 (WA). This means, possession of a gel blaster in WA is illegal and carries penalties of up to 3 years imprisonment and/or $36,000 fine. With that said, you are only permitted to possess or use a gel blaster in WA if you fall within the exceptions in section 10 Weapons Act 1999 (WA), including, member of the police force, security officer, for display in a museum, collector of weapons, being lawfully entitled to sell a weapon, exemption for dramatic production. Otherwise, to possess, use or deal with firearms in WA, you must have a valid firearms licence. It is illegal to have or use a firearm in WA without holding a valid licence or permit. The WA police force are authorised to receive firearms licence application and issue firearms licences if certain conditions are satisfied. Penalties for illegally having or using a firearm in WA attract up to 3 years jail and/or up to $12,000 fine, prescribed by section 19 Firearms Act 1973 (WA).
GEL BLASTER VICTORIA LAWS
A gel blaster is considered a 'firearm' in Victoria, and as such, it is illegal to possess or use a gel blaster unless you hold a valid firearms licence. Having or using a firearm without a firearms licence in Victoria attracts penalties of up to two-years jail in the Local Magistrates Court for summary firearm offences. Heavier penalties apply for more serious firearms offences that are dealt with in higher courts. Victoria firearms laws define a firearm as a device that's made to discharge shot or a bullet or other missile by the expansion of gases produced in it by the ignition of strongly combustible materials or by compressed air or other gases, whether that's stored within the device in pressurised containers or within the device by mechanical means, according to section 3 Firearms Act 1996 (Vic). The same firearms laws apply for gel blasters in Melbourne.
GEL BLASTERS ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
South Australia gel blaster laws prohibit anyone from having or using a gel blaster unless you hold a valid South Australian firearms licence with a registered gel blaster under a specific firearm licence category. The licence categories range from "A" through to "H" and in order to fall under a specific category, you must establish a genuine reason for requiring the gel blaster. Genuine reasons may include recreational, shooting, collector etc. A licence category "A" includes gel blasters and paintball guns. Having or using a gel blaster illegally in South Australia can attract a penalty of up to 4 years jail and/or $20,000 fine for category "A" licences, according to the South Australian Firearms Act 2015 (SA). However, if the unauthorised possession or use of a gel blaster is heard and disposed of summarily in court, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail and/or up to $10,000 fine.
BB GUNS OPERATING MECHANISMS
BB guns are a type of air gun that shoots metallic spherical projectiles which are referred to as ball bearings (BBs). BB guns contain a smooth bore barrel with a calibre of 4.5mm and use steel balls (usually 4.3-4.4mm diameter, 0.33-0.35g weight). A difference between BB guns and airsoft guns is that unlike BB guns, airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets which are wrongly described as BB's. BB guns use metal BB's. The same operating mechanisms of an airsoft gun are used for BB guns.
Air Soft Guns Operating Mechanisms
unlike BB guns, an airsoft gun is a gun that shoots plastic pallets at a distance of about 350 feet per second and normally uses compressed air. The airsoft gun generates a small amount of pressurised air to create a force to pneumatically propel the ball bearing (BB) out of the inner barrel. How the airsoft gun generates the pressured air depends on the type of airsoft gun being used.
The four main types of air soft guns are:
- Airsoft electric gun (AEG),
- Gas blowback airsoft gun (GBB),
- Spring airsoft gun (springer),
- High-pressured airsoft gun (HPA).
Airsoft Electric Gun
An airsoft electric gun (AEG) uses a motor and gears to pull back the piston. It also usually has a battery inside the gun, so that when the trigger is pulled, it activates a switch connecting the current so that the motor will drive the gears to pull back the piston. It allows for a faster follow up shot and can also be used to shoot in full-auto.
Gas Blowback Airsoft Gun
A Gas Blowback Gun (GBB airsoft gun) are used in law enforcement and military training. It utilises a gas reservoirs storing pressurised gas (top gas/green gas). When the trigger is pulled, a knocker hits the valve on the gas reservoir releasing a small amount of pressurised gas into the GBB platform. The gas pushes the BB out of the chamber which causes it to fire. The remaining gas causes the pistol's slide or rifle's blot to move back allowing the gun to load another round for a follow up shot.
High Pressured Air Airsoft Gun
Similar to the GBB, the high pressures airsoft gun (HPA) uses a large gas reservoir to store the gas, much like a gas tank. Because it doesn't cool down, it's considered a consistent and stable type of airsoft gun. The air stored is highly pressurised.
Spring Airsoft Gun
Spring airsoft guns require you to manually cock the piston back in order to compress the spring. This allows for the stopper that locks the piston in place to be released when the trigger is pulled, causing the gun to fire. The follow up air is slow and this type of gun is typically used as airsoft sniper rifles. Air soft guns are typically used in airsoft sports. They shoot non-metallic spherical projectiles which are commonly known as BB's, that are made of plastic or biodegradable resin materials. The pellets have a much less penetrative and stopping power than the usual airguns and are regarded as safe to use in competition sports and recreational purposes with proper protective gear.