Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Australia’s “Common Sense” Gun Control Snares Nerf Blasters?

Monday, May 24, 2021

Australia’s “Common Sense” Gun Control Snares Nerf Blasters?

We all know that among modern firearm prohibitionists, the term “gun control” is out. As a writer for the New York Times recently explained, the word “control” has a “ring of repression” to it. True, he admitted, “It’s accurate: The legislation in question entails more government control over who can purchase guns and when and how.” But for those actively seeking to impose such “control” over their fellow citizens, the language is “off key” and “unhelpful.”

In other words, when you actually are trying to oppress people, you certainly don’t want to talk about it openly. The repression itself is fine, even necessary, of course. But it’s gauche to be too blatant about it.

What’s in is the term “common sense.” Thus, when candidate Joe Biden set forth the most sweeping, prohibitory gun control agenda America had ever seen from a presidential contender, he made sure to characterize the proposals merely as “common-sense gun safety policies.”

And so it is in Australia. There, firearm ownership requires a permit, which in turn requires the applicant to specify a “genuine reason.” The law further specifies that “personal protection is not a genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm.” This, according to the politician most responsible for the 1996 scheme that imposed these requirements, was “an exercise in common sense."

It was also, as gun controllers like to say, only the “first step.” Later expansions would eventually encompass non-firearms like paintball guns. When this led skirmish sport enthusiasts to adopt the even milder alternative of “gel blasters,” the state of South Australia passed a 2020 law to ensure they, too, came under the law’s authority. Current owners were given six months to surrender their gel blasters or obtain a “firearms” license for them. Use was also limited to “licenced [sic] venues.” This was, according to a South Australian police official, “common sense.”

The South Australian police (SAPOL) reported that 3,882 “gel blaster firearms” were surrendered during the amnesty period. Residents who already owned gel blasters applied for a total of 460 new “firearms” licenses for them, as well as 136 variations to existing licenses. SAPOL, however, admitted that their own estimates put the number of gel blasters circulating in the state at 62,000, while retailers estimated the true figure to be 350,000.  

Now, it seems, even Nerf guns may be implicated by South Australia’s bizarre and repressive “exercise in common sense.”

Nerf guns are popular toys that expel harmless foam darts or disks. With their cartoonish designs, prominent logos, bright colors, and sometimes translucent parts, they are easily and instantly distinguishable from real firearms.

But some Australian skirmish enthusiasts discovered that certain models of Nerf guns can fire gel pellets without modification. Local news reports note that this has led to concerns these Nerf guns are also regulated under the state’s firearms laws, requiring owners to have them licensed and registered with local authorities.  

Nerf Mega Bigshock owner Brad Phillips told 7 News Australia, “I asked SAPOL (SA Police) whether I’d have to register it and they said yes I would.” Phillips noted he then dutifully took his Nerf gun to the Gawler police station, which completed the necessary formalities to render it legal, which included etching a serial number into the plastic. The $35 fee they charged appears to be about twice the retail price of the toy in Australia.

South Australian police are now backpedaling on the interpretation of the law given to Phillips. A statement SAPOL provided to The Guardian insisted, “Nerf Blasters are toys and there is no requirement to register any model of nerf blaster.”

Whatever the case may be, it’s hard to see how any of this actually makes anybody safer, while it’s easy to see how it creates confusion, uncertainty, and a chilling effect for anybody who desires to exercise what shrinking sphere of “gun-related” conduct remains legal.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., the Biden administration took a long step in a similar direction by publishing a proposed rule that would unilaterally redefine what is considered a regulated “firearm” or “firearm frame or receiver” under federal law. We will have more information about this effort in other alerts, but suffice to say here that it would also create more perplexity and legal jeopardy among law-abiding citizens than clarity or crime reduction.

Of course, the man for whom Joe Biden served as vice president repeatedly invoked Australian gun control as a model the U.S. should emulate. Now, as president, Biden seems determined to turn that rhetoric into reality.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Australia Toy Guns
TRENDING NOW
With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

Colorado: Assault Weapons Ban Vote Happening This Week! Merchant Category Mandate Legislation Headed to the Governor

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Colorado: Assault Weapons Ban Vote Happening This Week! Merchant Category Mandate Legislation Headed to the Governor

The Colorado General Assembly continues to throttle down on gun control. Today, House Majority Leader Monica Duran announced that HB24-1292, the so-called “assault weapons” ban, could be voted on as soon as this week after lying ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

Maine: Wednesday: Floor Vote on Classifying Shotguns as "Machine Guns"

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Maine: Wednesday: Floor Vote on Classifying Shotguns as "Machine Guns"

Senator Anne Carney, Maine's leading gun grabber, is at it again.

NRA-ILA Scores Injunction Preventing Enforcement of CA Youth Firearms-Advertising Restriction

Friday, April 12, 2024

NRA-ILA Scores Injunction Preventing Enforcement of CA Youth Firearms-Advertising Restriction

Fairfax, Virginia – April 12, 2024…Today, NRA-ILA announced a significant legal victory protecting First Amendment and firearm-related rights, as a California district court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of California’s severe restrictions on the marketing of firearm-related products in the ...

The 97Percent Lie

News  

Monday, April 8, 2024

The 97Percent Lie

The newest kid on the block in the gun-ban movement is a group calling itself 97Percent, which claims it has “a deep commitment to promoting responsible gun ownership and enhancing public safety.” 

Colorado: School Employee Carry Ban Dies in Committee and Semi-Auto Ban Vote Today

Friday, April 12, 2024

Colorado: School Employee Carry Ban Dies in Committee and Semi-Auto Ban Vote Today

In a win for the residents of Colorado, HB24-1310 the ban on school employees carrying on school grounds, was tabled by the committee for the rest of this session. This legislation would have ended the very successful FASTER ...

Maine: Anti-Gun Bills Could be Voted on At Any Time

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Maine: Anti-Gun Bills Could be Voted on At Any Time

At any moment, the Maine House and Senate could vote on Michael Bloomberg's extreme slate of anti-gun bills.

NRA Statement on Recent DOJ/ATF Final Rule

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, April 11, 2024

NRA Statement on Recent DOJ/ATF Final Rule

This latest Biden Administration attack on law-abiding gun owners is a blatant attempt to coerce Americans to forego legal activity with firearms under threat of potential confiscation of their lawfully acquired and constitutionally protected property. ...

“Crime Guns” -- D.C.’s MPD Under an ATF Cloud

News  

Monday, April 8, 2024

“Crime Guns” -- D.C.’s MPD Under an ATF Cloud

Some reckonings are a long time coming. The District of Columbia’s irrational hostility to all things gun-related and to legitimate, licensed retail gun dealers in particular, has reportedly culminated with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.