Gel blasters will begin to be regulated as imitation firearms in South Australia from tomorrow, following a crackdown by SAPOL.
The change will mean that gel blasters will be treated like other firearms, with owners given the option to either surrender theirs or apply for a registration and firearms license.
Gel blasters use compressed air to fire projectiles and are known for their incredible likeness to real guns, with many resembling dangerous, semi-automatic weapons.
The new regulations will come into from Friday, police estimated that there are about 62,000 of the blasters in South Australia.
Police Firearms Branch Superintendent Stephen Howard said that gel blasters are similar enough to real guns to cause concern.
“A gel blaster can easily be mistaken for a real firearm, with potential to cause concern in the community and trigger a police response that could involve the use of police firearms, or other tactical options,” Supt Howard said.
The news comes in the wake of a string of police reports involving the imitation firearms over recent years.
The guns, also known as hydro-blasters, have been involved in 180 reported incidents over the past two years, including the shooting of a ten-year-old girl at a public playground by unknown assailants.
Those who decide to hand over their gel blasters will have a six-month amnesty to surrender them to a police station.