POLICE Minister Paul Papalia announced the Government will outlaw gel blaster guns in Western Australia following rising concerns over incidents involving the misuse of the conventional firearm.
WA Police have requested under the Weapons Act, gel blasters will be made a ‘prohibited weapon’ and if found in possession of a blaster, people can receive a three year jail sentence or a fine up to $36,000.
Gel blasters are made to shott water-filled pellets and closely resemble conventional firearms.
Police have noted they have intelligence that criminal groups are importing gel blasters and modifying them into workable firearms.
Significant concerns the proliferation of gel blasters will result in a person wielding a gel blaster being shot by police or an innocent community member being shot by the blaster.
The State Government will offer an amnesty to owners of gel blasters, so they can safely surrender the weapons.
One local in Tambellup has “got on the front foot” by handing in his gel blaster gun to police.
Police Minister Paul Papalia said there have been 500 high level responses to active armed shooter incidents caused by the presence of gel blaster.
“This means serious crime and counter terrorist assets like the TRG are being diverted from their proper role,” he said.
“Someone in possession of a gel blaster in the community could be shot by Police fearing they are carrying a real weapon.”
“Criminals are also attracted to using gel blasters as fake weapons or to convert to useable firearms.
“The WA Police Force has requested that we ban gel blasters so we are taking that action.”