South Australia Police has called for owners to surrender their gel blasters or obtain licenses under new regulations.
Following last Wednesday’s announcement that gel blasters will now be considered firearms, about 100 gel blasters have been surrendered to SA Police.
SA Police’s Firearms Branch Superintendent, Stephen Howard says that there are some 62,000 imported gel blasters are yet to be handed in.
Owners can either surrender their gel blasters under amnesty until 7 April 2021 or obtain a license for its use.
There is no compensation for the surrender of gel blasters.
“However, it must be clarified that if you obtain a firearms licence for a Category A firearm (including gel blasters) you will not be able to own or operate all types of firearms,” Mr Howard says.
“If you only have category 4 within your licence then you can only own paintball or gel blaster firearms. Gel blasters will have to be stored in a level 1 safe, which retails for about $200.”
In a response to the change in regulation coming as a surprise to owners and businesses, Mr Howard says that the importation of gel blasters has been suspended by the Firearms Branch since February.
“The concern is that they look like firearms,” Mr Howard says.
“This is the concern for operational police if they confront people with gel blasters that look like firearms that fires lethal bullets.”
SA Police and TafeSA will be developing a gel blaster and paint ball specific course, which will be shorter and cheaper than the alternative firearms courses for those who wish to obtain a license.