Gel blast fears: “It could lead to a fatal situation"
AN INCIDENT involving a teenager and a gel blaster stands as a reminder of the importance of using them legally.
In October last year police received multiple 000 calls in relation to a man walking around the Gladstone PCYC with a rifle.
The PCYC went into lockdown but it soon became evident it was a teenager in possession of a gel blaster.
The Queensland Government is asking residents to have their say about recommendations made by police to ensure the safe use of replica firearms and gel blasters.
Recommendations include transporting gel blasters in bags away from public view, storing them securely at home and having a reasonable excuse for their possession.
Under current legislation it is illegal to possess gel blasters in public or use them to cause fear.
Gladstone police Sergeant Wayne Butcher said it was "confronting" how similar gel blasters looked to firearms.
"The split-second police have to identify whether it's real or not can be minute," he said.
"Especially … if someone is walking around with a gel blaster at night time, our training is to stop the threat.
"It could lead to a fatal situation we don't want to be put in."
He said since the PCYC incident there hadn't been many issues with the hobby item, however they were increasing in prevalence.
He praised the efforts of gel blaster event organisers in Gladstone.
"From what I've heard they run a good thing at the club here," he said.
"It's just a few people that push the boundaries and do the wrong thing and spoil it for everyone else."