Ensuring Gel Blasters remain classified as toys, a national permanent firearms amnesty and implementing digital firearms licences and PTAs topped the agenda of a recent Commonwealth- level meeting in Canberra attended by Shooters Union Australia.

Our vice president David Brown attended a Federal Firearms Stakeholder committee meeting in Canberra on February 28, following an invitation from Border Force representatives for Shooters Union to be involved alongside representatives from the shooting industry and Commonwealth

One of the top items on the agenda was the agreement to implement a national permanent firearms amnesty. At this stage, it is envisioned the amnesty will be run along the successful Queensland model, where guns are taken to firearms dealers and registered to a licence or surrendered to the dealer.

It was also reportedly agreed at the meeting that all states would move towards digital licensing and PTA systems; many are already well on the way to implementation.

The Commonwealth Government is also planning new firearms trafficking laws, with maximium penalties including life terms for particularly serious offences.

Mr Brown’s suggestion for better education on what gun parts require import approval and which ones do not was also well received and we will be following it up in due course.

One topic featured prominently at the meeting – namely gel blasters, and a general willingness to keep them considered as toys.

“The idea that gel blasters and airsoft guns are toys and are classified as such as very important to Shooters Union,” Mr Brown said. “Australia is the only civilised country in the world which restricts them – even the United
Kingdom and Communist China allow their citizens to own and use them.”

Mr Brown said it was very clear at the meeting that both industry and ABF did not want further restrictions and were even supportive of the toy importers getting a better deal.

“It became quite clear to me listening to the meeting and in subsequent conversations with the two gel blaster industry representatives that we, the firearm industry, need to support these retail groups in keeping gel blasters out of the ‘real’ firearms world,” Mr Brown said.

“It is in our interest because if gel blasters and airsoft guns end up restricted or banned because of their appearance, it could flow onto real firearms with hysterical media and anti-gun groups spouting their uninformed, hateful nonsense to the public and politicians.”

Shooters Union is about standing up for all shooters, and as part of that we are a vocal supporter of gel blaster and soft air/airsoft guns, and openly supports the gel blaster and airsoft industry in their efforts towards full, nationwide legalisation and acceptance.

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