HUNDREDS HIT: New laws could cripple the industry warns MP.
HUNDREDS HIT: New laws could cripple the industry warns MP.

MP slams new gel blaster laws as ‘madness, overreach’

WARWICK business could be hit hard by new "unfathomable" gel blaster legislation, according to Member for Southern Downs James Lister.

The new laws, which went through Queensland parliament last week, mean those in possession of the popular toys need a reasonable excuse to carry one, the pretend guns cannot be visible in public and should be locked away when not being used.

Mr Lister slammed claims the new legislation would protect the community and users.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said in parliament.

"There are already laws on these statute books which enable police to deal with people who are brandishing replica firearms or going about arm to cause menace or alarm people.

"I have spoken to local police in my neck of the woods and none of them have been lying awake at night biting their fingernails over the progress of reform in the area of gel blasters."

Mr Lister noted his family was one of those who used gel blasters for "innocuous" recreational use.

"I finally disclosed to (my son) … that the Labor Government may take his gel blasters off him, because that's what this amounts to, and I tell you what you should see a nine-year-old boy who's been told that he may be deprived of his of favourite possession because of the whimsy and capriciousness of this rump of a government."

The Southern Downs MP also pointed out rulings which dictated owners be a member of a relevant association was unfair to regional Queenslanders.

"We have no gel blaster club in Stanthorpe and I speak for many people in my electorate who are too far away from gel blaster club, if one exists at all, to be able to fulfil the requirements under this bill.

"This is madness, it is overreach."

Mr Lister listed Tactical Warfare Gel Blasters and Accessories in Warwick as one of those local businesses that would suffer.

While owner Shane Worland declined to speak in detail on what the laws would mean for him, he said the effect of the industry would be inevitable.

"Without a doubt, of course it will affect us," he said.

"There are hundreds of businesses in our industry that will be affected."

The local industry has faced calls to ban the toy after a gun scare sent Warwick West into lockdown last year.

 

SEE OUR BEST STORIES IN PRINT: The Toowoomba Chronicle features the best stories from the Southern Downs each Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


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