South Australia’s bizarre new law means that simply going to the store, purchasing a Nerf gun, and inserting a pellet could land you in serious legal trouble.
Gel blasters were classified as firearms under a new law enacted last October.
This means that users of Nerf guns who insert gel balls into their toy guns technically possess a weapon that must be registered.
“There is no rationale for it. We’re considering filing firearms charges against anyone who goes down to the shops and purchases a Nerf gun,” Brett Herbert, owner of gel blast, told TN.
This month marks the end of a six-month amnesty period, and one gel blaster enthusiast has taken matters into his own hands.
Brad Phillips marched into the Gawler police station earlier this month and paid the $35 registration fee for his plastic gun.
“I inquired with SAPOL (South African Police) whether I would be required to register it, and they confirmed that I would,” Phillips told TN.
“I approached the Gawler police station and registered this Nerf Mega Big Shock.”
The red plastic was etched with a serial number.
Instead of inserting a Nerf ‘bullet’ into the toy gun, the user inserts a gel ball.
“Nerf guns and gel blasters both fire identically,” Phillips explained.
“You can simply put gels in these things and use them as a gel blaster,” Herbert added.
However, under the new legislation, it is illegal to load the Nerf with gel balls and fire it.
According to Phillips, police did not find the situation amusing.
“I’d say they’re more frustrated than amused,” Phillips said.
“I haven’t elicited a chuckle from SAPOL with any of the items I’ve brought in to register with them.
460 individuals have registered their gel blasters since October. There are estimated to be 62,000 people in South Africa who own gel blasters – many of whom have remained unregistered.
Meanwhile, the two gel blaster enthusiasts believe that the new rules are impeding the growth of a legitimate sport.
“Scrap it all together (the laws). Consider other parts of the world where skirmish sports are available,” Phillips said.
“It is a sport,” Herbert agreed. “It is a nationally recognised sport.”
South Australia Police have not yet issued a statement.
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