Gel blaster owners in South Australia are now required to carry a gel blaster licence. In October last year, gel blasters were declared a regulated imitation firearm in South Australia. Previously treated as toys, gel blaster owners are now subject to the control, licence and requirements under the Firearms Act 2015 and Firearms Regulations 2017.
Residents of the state were given a 6 months amnesty period ending on the 7th of April 2021. During this time, owners are required to either surrender their toy to a police station, or register their blaster and carry the correct licences/permits.
Wanting to keep your gel blaster, however you’re not quite sure what’s required? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to do to legally own and use a gel blaster in South Australia!
What type of firearms / gel blaster licence is actually required and how do I get it?
Gel blasters now categorised as an air-gun, so South Australia Police (SAPOL) are directing owners to apply for a Category 4A (paintball) license for Category A firearms. With this, you are able to legally possess either a paintball or gel blaster firearm.
So, how do we go about getting this gel blaster licence? Here’s a brief step-by-step below!
- You will need to complete a PD303 Application Form.
- The form will then need to be handed to your local police station alongside 100 points of identification, and the application fee will need to be paid (approx. $100). There are two categories for identification – A and B. Applicants are required to bring at least one form of category A documentation, this includes: passport, birth certificate, Australian citizenship or licence.
To check the different type of accepted documentations for identification and their point value, please check the 100 Point Identification List provided by the South Australian Police.
- You will need to wait for an approval letter, requesting you to book a TAFE course in the safe handling, carriage and use of firearms to complete your training (“Firearm Paintball and Gel Blaster Course”) . Fortunately, it is only a 3 hour course which will cost around $55, and once done the instructor will send your results to SAPOL for you!
- From there, you will simply need to wait for your “data card” to come through from the Firearms Branch, and take this to a photo point with 100 points of original identification to get your licence photo taken.
- An interim gel blaster licence will be issued when you have your photo taken, and will remain in force for up to 90 days or until the photo licence is issued. Congratulations – you have finally completed and received your gel blaster licence!
How much does it cost to get a gel blaster licence? Approximately $155. How long will it take to get a gel blaster licence? It could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, however gel blaster firearm licenses are currently being prioritised due to the amnesty period ending in April this year. The application will be deemed insufficient or refused if no response within 6 months.
So, once this is done and you finally received your gel blaster licence – what’s next? Your gel blaster/s will need to be registered and are required to have a serial number imprinted. Here’s what you will need to do!
How do I register my gel blasters?
- You have finally received your gel blaster licence, and now you must register your imitation firearm. You will need to complete a PD306 Application Form. This is an application for a permit to acquire a firearm. Make sure to select the purpose of use as 4 – paintball shooting. And for those currently in possession of a gel blaster, make sure to mark the section ‘Person Transferring Possession’ with ‘Gel Blaster 2020’.
Under Section 23(3)(d) of the Firearms Act 2015, the Registrar may refuse an application to acquire a firearm if they are not satisfied you have a genuine reason to acquire the firearm – so just in case, it’s always best to make sure you have this in mind and ensure you’re part of a gel blaster club/community!
- Submit your application by post or at a police station for assessment.
- Once processed, the application will be returned with ‘approval details’ and a serial number. This number is to be engraved on the gel blaster.
- Return to your preferred police station within 14 days with the gel blaster (now engraved with the serial number) and your completed PD306. The transfer must be witness by an authorised person. There will be a registration fee payable at this point of approximately $40.
Prescribe persons who are able to witness this transfer include: an authorised officer of a recognised firearms club, a licenced firearms dealer or dealer’s employee, a police officer, or an authorised public service employee.
- SAPOL Firearms Branch will issue a registration certificate, and you are now free to possess and use this gel blaster at designated fields/clubs.
How much does it cost to get a gel blaster registered? Aside from the cost of engraving the toy, the processing fee for this registration is approximately $40-80 (depending whether the fee for a witness is applicable here). How long will it take to get a gel blaster registered? Like the gel blaster licence, this process could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
What’s next? Congratulations, you’re all done! You now have a gel blaster licence, and your gel blasters have been registered.
At the moment, gel blaster licence applications are of priority. In its entirety, this process could take around a month or so to complete should all the blocks fall perfectly into place.
Remember to keep in mind that gel blasters are required the same storage as a Category A Paintball firearm. A person in possession of up to 19 category A gel blasters and paint ball firearms will require a level 1 or other prescribed safe. These can retail for around $200 and can be purchased from you local firearm store or Bunnings.
Should you have any additional questions or require further advise/clarification into this, we would recommend contacting the SAPOL Firearms Branch direct to enquire. You can contact them by phone: 08 7322 3346 or email: [email protected].
To check where you can play gel blaster games, make sure to become a Gel Blaster Club member and check the events calendar!