CLASS Action, a shooters rights group, has criticised the interpretation of “firearms” in the 1996 Firearms Act that includes cap guns and air-soft guns. 

President of CLASS Action Peter Whelan has called for the Firearms Act to be changed so that law-abiding Australians can import, sell and own such toy guns.

Whelan said, “In most countries of the world such items are sold in toy, hobby and electronics stores. They do not use explosive material to fire a bullet, but because they may look realistic, some out of touch social engineers have decided they should be banned!”

This has led to a case now before the NSW courts, arising from the fact that police recruits used such toy guns to practice their holster and safety skills. One of the recruits, George Toussaint, is now accused of being in possession of an “illegal weapon”. If found guilty, he faces a lengthy jail term or $50,000 fine!

Whelan emphasised that this legislation wasted valuable police time and effort.

“If trainee police cannot be trusted with toy guns, how can they be trusted with real guns?” “Similarly, if young people can’t be trusted to own a toy cap or air soft gun, how can they be trusted to use a knife, or scissors, or drive a high powered car?”

“Considering that in Sydney during the past several days there have been attacks and murders using knives, the police priority should obviously not be on enforcing bans on toy guns.” 

Whelan explained that such laws make Australia a laughing stock, with people overseas imagining scenes involving police from The Toy Gun SWAT Team raiding toy shops and arresting the owners on “Illegal Weapons” charges!

CLASS Action calls on legislators to review the 1996 Firearms Act to exclude such terms as “replica” toy and air soft guns so they may be sold and owned without an innocent person risking a lengthy jail term.

 “The 1996 Firearms Act was prepared in haste and it is time to revise it to exclude such illogical definitions, which have no effect on reducing crime. For anyone to claim that such toy guns should be banned because they might be used in a crime is rather like banning digital cameras and mobile phones because they might be used for child pornography” explained Whelan. 

Submitted: Sydney  Wednesday, 31st January, 2007

Contact: Peter Whelan on (02) 9652 0415 or 0416 275 850