Gel blaster fake firearm popular among criminals

The gel blaster allegedly seized by police in Katherine this week. Picture: NT Police.
The gel blaster allegedly seized by police in Katherine this week. Picture: NT Police.

The toy firearm which was seized by police in Katherine this week is also causing fears across the country.

It appears the gel blasters are popular among alleged drug dealers as part of their criminal business of intimidation.

Weapons including a firearm, gel blasters and knives were found during a police raid near Albury, in southern NSW, this week which resulted in the arrest of a 22-year-old man.

Murray River police have linked the weapons haul to an alleged home invasion in the Albury area.

Officers conducted the raid on Tuesday and seized more than 80 items, including more than $50,000 cash, mobile phones, computers, drugs, a firearm and prohibited weapons.

The drugs allegedly include cannabis, cocaine and speed.

The 22-year-old man has been charged with 20 offences relating to possession and supply of prohibited drugs, deal with proceeds of crime, and possession of a firearm, ammunition and prohibited weapons.

NSW Police have reminded the public that gel blasters are defined as a firearm in NSW and cannot be possessed with the relevant licencing or permits.

Northern Territory Police this week also provided the same warning to residents after the Katherine raid uncovered the fake firearm.

Most concerning to police was the discovery of a AK-47 gel blaster rifle, along with the other weapons allegedly seized.

Detective Sen.-Sgt Lee Morgan said while all the offending is serious, police have particular concern about the gel blaster rifle.

"Gel blasters are often designed to have the appearance of a real firearm," Sen.-Sgt Morgan said.

"They have real potential to cause alarm, particularly when people possess them in a public place.

"If police were confronted with an uncooperative person in possession of a gel blaster in a hostile situation, the consequences could be catastrophic," he said.

Possession of gel blasters which resemble a real firearm in appearance constitutes an offence, police said.

Sen.-Sgt Morgan said the importation and possession of gel blasters in the NT remains an offence.

It might be illegal, but these replica firearms are easily accessible to anyone searching to buy them online, available as "toys" in Australia for as little $150.

In the Katherine raid on Monday, police arrested and charged a 31-year-old man with drug offences and possession of a prohibited weapon.

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This story Gel blaster fake firearm popular among criminals first appeared on Katherine Times.