In February 2021, new laws came into effect in Queensland to address the purchase, possession, storage and use of replica firearms. Replica firearms will not be classified as a firearm but will be a restricted item; having strict conditions applied to them. Amongst other things, the new laws will clarify the legal use of gel blasters which have become increasingly popular over recent years.
The Weapons Act 1990 (the Act) regulates or prohibits the purchase, possession, use, carrying and sale of certain weapons and items in Queensland. The object of the Act is to prevent the misuse of weapons.
The Act defines a weapon to include a firearm, or another thing prescribed under a regulation to be a weapon or within a category of weapons. Categories of weapons are listed in the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997.
Effective 1 February 2021, the Weapons Legislation (Replica Firearms) Amendment Regulation 2020 (the Amendment Regulation) categorises replica firearms (including replica guns and other replica weapons) as restricted items under the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997, thereby regulating their possession and placing storage requirements on owners.
The legislation details:
All replica firearms, even if they are not functioning firearms, are captured as restricted items.
Other restricted items under the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 (regulating possession, use, storage etc) include:
Anyone owning a gel blaster or other restricted items must have a reasonable excuse for having one.
A reasonable excuse may include (but is not limited to) for example, being a collector of replica weapons, or a member of a club that uses them recreationally.
The penalty for possessing or acquiring a restricted item without reasonable excuse is 10 penalty units ($1,334.50 as at March 2021).
If you’re being spoken to by police in relation to firearms offences or replica firearms offences, or you have been charged with an offence, getting expert legal advice early, is crucial.
Gilshenan & Luton have significant experience in criminal defence for firearms-related offences.
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This article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Gilshenan & Luton, Criminal Lawyers Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, Queensland.