Banned replica weapons being used in violent crimes in NSW
Gel guns and blasters have been involved in a series of domestic violence and criminal incidents, prompting demands for tighter restrictions on "deadly weapon replicas''.
The imitation guns, which shoot water-based gel bullets, are banned in NSW but legal in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
But the ban is being circumvented as evidenced by a recent spate of seizures of the lifelike looking toys in NSW including in one case where a woman was allegedly shot and bashed by her partner.
In another incident a man in Windsor was allegedly threatened and shot at by two men in another car when they stopped at the lights.
Gun Control Australia chair Piers Groves told The Daily Telegraph the weapons should be banned across the country.
"We need a national approach to these types of things. Having different rules in different states creates the problems we currently have," he said.
"Our view is that these are a really good example of how a new device can come into the market and is not conceived in our gun regulation.
"I think they should be banned across the country but if they are not banned they should be registered and regulated."
The guns are easily bought online from online classifieds or gel blaster shops.
One store based in Queensland boasts about providing a superior service to customers in Sydney where the items are banned.
The guns range in price from $30 to $1500 and are almost exact replicas of the deadly weapons they mimic.
"We have a selection of rifles, including a gel blaster aug (sic) for Sydney customers who love a solid body with multi-fire options," an ad on the company's website says.
"Our sales team will carefully package and quickly ship your selected shooter, such as our standard gel blaster AK, to Sydney to ensure you get the product you desire in good condition."
Alannah and Madeline Foundation campaign manager Stephen Bendle is worried the weapons normalise gun activity.
"Our concern is that they are legal and promoted as toys. They're highly attractive to young people," he said. "They normalise firearms as a fun activity, as opposed to a highly regulated privilege. Some websites glorify these guns as being cool fun things to have rather than a dangerous weapon."
Originally published as Banned replica weapons being used in violent crimes in NSW