Dametto savages Labor over gel blasters

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto with Chris from Tactical Gel Blasters Townsville.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has condemned the State Labor Government’s obsession with overregulating gel blasters in a fiery speech to parliament on Thursday night.

Mr Dametto said the government’s Corrective Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill was just part of an attempt to punish the vast majority of people who used their gel blasters safely and responsibly.

“Real crime is wreaking havoc throughout the seat of Hinchinbrook and parts of Townsville. The problem is that youth offenders are running around in stolen cars night in and night out, yet here we are taking away the opportunity for little Johnny and little Sarah to use their gel blasters,” he said.

“Once again, the government is going soft on crime yet going hard on toys because it is the low-hanging fruit. Young people have started businesses off the back of this idea of selling gel blasters and selling gel blaster equipment to people in the community, and they are enjoying this new-found industry. Do not tell me that we need to regulate this, because it will only break down small businesses.”

Earlier this year, Mr Dametto sponsored a parliamentary e-petition started by Silkwood man Craig Bainbridge that called on the House to reject a proposal for the regulation of gel blasters and that the “toy” exemption remains in the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997.

It attracted more than 11,000 signatures.

The Katter’s Australian Party MP said the fact gel blasters will now have to be locked up as if they are a real firearm was “ludicrous”.

“These are toys. They should be thrown in the toy box alongside the other toys, not locked up like firearms owned by someone with a weapons licence. What is next? Are we going to include water pistols in this regulation as well? They shoot a projectile. Are we going to ban rubber band guns being sold at local markets?,” he said.

“There have been some absolute tools who have gone out in public with gel blasters and they are the people who have caused a problem, but at the same time we do not have to pander to a couple of people who felt offended by seeing something that looked real out in the public space.

“There is already legislation and laws in place that can imprison a person for two years for taking one of these gel blasters out in public and firing them at a person who has not consented to it.

“Any police officer who has gone through proper weapons training would be able to tell the difference between a plastic gun and a real gun from about 15 or 20 metres out.

“We are heading into a situation here where it is a slippery slope and we are taking away people’s rights. I will not stand for it.”

Nick Dametto MP