‘Blasters were scaring people’: MP defends new laws
MARYBOROUGH MP Bruce Saunders has hit back at claims new gelblaster regulations passed by the State Government are too tough.
The new laws, which went through Parliament this week, mean those in possession of the popular toys need a reasonable excuse to carry one and be a member of a relevant association.
The pretend guns cannot be visible in public and should be locked away when not being used.
The Opposition said the new laws have gone too far.
"They have completely lost the plot when we are regulating toy water pistols," LNP MP Jarrod Bleije said in state parliament.
"And I have to now join an association for my highly regulated toy water pistols."
Queensland and South Australia are the only states in Australia where the replica weapons, made of plastic and firing small water-soaked gel balls, are not banned.
Mr Saunders said in Maryborough, people had been frightened after seeing people walking the streets with the toys because they were so realistic.
Mr Saunders said the upside for gelblaster enthusiasts was organisations could now apply for funding like any other sporting organisation.
Aaron Weinheimer, who owns the Tactical Gelblaster store in Maryborough, said as far as he was concerned, very little would change in terms of responsible ownership of the toys.
He said people doing the wrong thing with the gelblasters should be punished.
Mr Weinheimer said it was those who behaved irresponsibly who were putting the sport and people's livelihoods at risk, not the new legislation.
"It's people being stupid with them," he said.
He said the sport had been fantastic for the many kids and adults who were doing the right thing.
He also said the days were over when every child belonged to a footy or cricket club and kids were looking for alternatives now.
"It's getting them playing outside again.
"Childhood obesity rates these days are gigantic."
Mr Weinheimer said gelblasters offered the chance to teach children about weapon safety and respect for actual firearms.