‘These are toys’: New stats show reach of gel blaster crime
A North Queensland MP says gel blaster regulations are already strict enough after new statistics show the number of crimes the "toys" have been involved in.
A recent Question on Notice to Police Minister Mark Ryan stated 89 people across Queensland have been charged with a string of offences relating to the misuse of gel blasters from December 2017 to May this year.
Of the group, 31 offenders were charged with going armed to cause fear, 16 charges with dangerous conduct and 14 offenders charged with public nuisance.
Katter's Australian Party Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the new statistics showed the current legislation surrounding gel blasters was adequate, amid discussion from the State Government that the guns should be reclassed which would make them harder to obtain.
"That's a relatively small number … it doesn't matter what extra legislation we put in we will probably see a similar number of offences," Mr Dametto said.
"I am not happy to shift to a nanny state just because of a handful of fools."
Some of the remaining gel blaster-related offences included five offenders being charged with common assault, five were charged with robbery and five charged with having a weapon in a public place.
Mr Dametto recently submitted a petition to parliament calling to stop the regulation and potential of having them banned.
The petition gained more than 10,000 signatures, but Mr Ryan said the concerns had been addressed in the favour of the gel blaster industry.
Mr Ryan said the vast majority of gel blaster owners behaved responsibly, but there had been a spate of incidents involving misuse.
He said the State Government did not support a ban, but accepts advice from the Queensland Police Service that some sensible and responsible regulations are required.
Mr Dametto said no matter what legislation was in place, people would always commit crime.
"These are toys," he said.
"You could have the strongest legislation and people will still do what they want to do," he said.
Originally published as 'These are toys': New stats show reach of gel blaster crime