Gel Blaster Enthusiasts Potentially in the Firing Line of Queensland’s Replica Gun Laws

Over the past few years, interest in ‘gel blasters’ has grown in Queensland.  This rise in popularity has been followed by a rise in offences being brought by the Queensland Police due to gel blaster incidents.

Earlier this year, the Mackay Magistrates Court heard a matter involving the firing of a gel blaster in public which resulted in the offender being sentenced to 200 hours community service.

What are Gel Blasters?

Gel blasters are a type of replica gun that shoot a water based, gel projectile.  Visually, many gel blasters look remarkably similar to real firearms.  Gel blasters can be purchased in a large variety of styles from numerous vendors throughout Queensland.

Gel blasters are not considered lethal, however, they do have the capacity to cause significant eye injuries or minor lacerations if used inappropriately.

Gel blasters are commonly used for private recreational use.  However, the uptake of ‘gel balling’, which is an amateur sport similar to paintball, is also growing in Queensland.

Are Gel Blasters Illegal?

Queensland is the only state or territory in Australia where the ownership of gel blasters is legal without a permit or licence.

In Queensland, gel blasters fall under the category of ‘replica weapons’ and are classed as ‘Restricted items’ by the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997.

Under the Weapons Act 1990, gel blasters and other replica weapons can only be possessed or acquired where a person has a reasonable excuse to do so.  A reasonable excuse only exists where either:-

  1. The person is a member of an association that provides recreational activities involving gel blasters which the person participates in, and the activities are conducted in a way so not to be seen from a public place; or
  2. The person is the holder of a collector’s licence and the person’s reason for possession or acquisition of the gel blaster is for it to form a part of the person’s collection.

Possessing or acquiring a gel blaster without a reasonable excuse incurs the maximum penalty of a fine of $1,437.50.

The Weapons Act 1990 further makes it an offence to:-

  1. Carry a gel blaster so it is exposed to view in a public place, without a reasonable excuse;
  2. Discharge a gel blaster in, into, towards, over or through a public place, without a reasonable excuse; and
  3. Engage in conduct with a gel blaster which is likely to cause death, injury or alarm to another person or unlawful destruction or damage to property.

The above offences all carry with them the maximum penalty of a fine or imprisonment, the most severe of which is a fine of $28,750.00 or 4 years imprisonment.


The legislation makes it clear that the Government does not view gel blasters as mere toys.  Under the current laws, gel blasters should only be possessed or acquired in a restricted set of circumstances such as for use in organized gel balling events.

Gel blaster enthusiasts should take time to review the current laws to ensure that they are not at risk of offending.

Should you find yourself at risk of or having committed a gel blaster or other firearm offence, we encourage you to contact our office for advice.


turned_in_notCriminal Law, Gel Blasters, Guns, Weapons
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