World News – UA – Gel blasters to be treated like weapons in South Africa following public shootings


Gel blasters will be regulated like other firearms in South Australia from tomorrow, as police crack down on guns following a series of incidents causing injury

All owners and new buyers of gel blasters will need to be licensed and stockpile weapons like regular weapons

Weapons – which can be designed to closely resemble assault rifles – will only be allowed to be used at authorized sites, including paintball facilities

AS police today announced that a gun amnesty will be extended to include gel blasters until April 2021, for those unwilling to keep guns or apply for licenses

Current owners have six months to license, but cannot use guns until they have one

Superintendent Stephen Howard has stated that firearms – also known as hydro-blasters – meet the definition of a firearm for regulatory purposes

He said there had been more than 180 reports involving guns in the past two years, including the murder of a 10-year-old girl in a playground by two men who did not have never been found

« Not only do they fire a projectile, but they also look like a firearm of a different category or class, » said Superintendent Howard

« People were committing crimes or doing stupid things with them… we shouldn’t wait for someone to be killed or seriously injured as a result of an incident involving gel blasters »

A man allegedly pointed a gel gun at another high-speed car on the Augusta highway in the upstate last month

Another victim sustained eye injuries when he was shot dead by a passing car north of Adelaide earlier this year

Superintendent Howard said SA police have a responsibility to protect the public from the threat of physical and psychological harm

« A lot of people say these are toys, but they are not toys These do not meet the definition, » he said

« You could threaten someone with a gel blaster, and the person would either be worried, ‘Am I going to get shot by a gel blaster or am I going to get shot by a real gun? ? ‘ »

He said while the decision would impact retailers, police announced today’s decision in February this year, when the import of gel blasters was banned

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Gel blaster

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