Nerf guns are a popular toy for children and adults alike. They are often used for target practice, foam-filled battles between friends, and just are generally fun little toys.
But are Nerf guns illegal in Australia?
The answer is very complicated, but in this article, we’ll tear it down and take a closer look at the legality issues facing Nerf guns in Australia so that you can be better educated about the issues facing this once innocent toy.
Let’s get to it!
Are Nerf Guns Illegal In Australia
To fully understand the legality issues of nerf guns in Australia, we need to take a step back and look at the somewhat bizarre actions taken over the past several years.
In 2021, South Australia’s Firearms Regulations 2017 legislation was updated, requiring that all gel blasters (Nerf guns that fire super-absorbent polymer pellets) be registered with the state’s police.
However, it was later found that many traditional Nerf blasters could fire these controversial gel pellets without being modified. So that begs the question, “do these models of Nerf guns also need to be registered?”
Truthfully, nobody really knows.
As the law is understood, you should only need to register a traditional dart-firing Nerf gun if you intend to load it with gel pellets. If you do load an unregistered Nerf gun with gel pellets, you could face serious firearm charges similar to those of owning a real and fatal gun.
However, many have been told conflicting information. Some are told that all and any Nerf blasters that are capable of shooting gel pellets MUST be licensed.
The only real way to tell is to call your local police station and ask.
Are Gel Blasters Legal in Australia
Gel blasters are still legal in North Australia. However, in South Australia, you must register it with your local south Australian police.
They are considered an “Imitation Firearm,” and failure to license them could land you with some serious firearm charges.
Imitation Firearm vs. Firearm Toy
To fully understand the way Southern Australia looks at toy guns, let’s look at how they are categorized.
They fall into one of two categories: Imitation firearms and firearm toys. Let’s quickly explore the difference.
An “Imitation Firearm“ is any device that can be reasonably mistaken as a firearm (but, of course, isn’t). As we know, some toys are designed to look like (or imitate) a real gun—these are classified as imitation firearms.
While these toys do employ colored grips or plugs on the barrel (typically orange), Victoria officials feel “it’s not sufficient.“
A “Toy Firearm” is any device that resembles a firearm but, in normal circumstances, can not be reasonably mistaken as a firearm.
These are your typical colored and odd-looking Nerf guns that, to even the most untrained eye, are apparently toys.
To sum up, if you own a gel blaster you and live in Southern Australia, you will need to register it—similar to a real firearm. Failure to do so could land you in serious trouble.
If you own a traditional nerf gun, contact your local police station to determine what steps you need to comply with to use it without incident
But wherever you fall on the political spectrum, I think we can all agree things are getting a little out of hand, and as Pink Floyd once said, “leave them kids alone!”
Thanks for reading, and happy Nerfing!