Queensland police have responded to two gun scares in as many days involving people carrying gel blasters in public and concerned onlookers called officers because they believed the replica firearms were real.
Gel blasters are illegal across Australia except for Queensland, where changes in February 2021 allowed gel blasters to be purchased without a permit or licence because they were no longer classified as a weapon.
On Thursday night, a 12-year-old was arrested after police were called to Scarborough Street in Southport on the Gold Coast in response to reports a person was carrying a weapon.
Officers tracked the boy to a nearby address and found he had been carrying a gel blaster.
He was charged with going armed as to cause fear and will be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.
On Friday afternoon, two teenagers were arrested near the Pacific Fair shopping centre in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast after similar reports of a person seen carrying a weapon.
“Police can’t tell the difference between these things, these aren’t toys,” Inspector Mick Ackery said.
“We don’t believe there was malice intended by these people, I think it was more of a naivety and commonsense issue.”
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said on Saturday that police had elected to caution the two youths involved in the Pacific Fair incident, but officers “acted appropriately” in their response.