All in all, a productive meeting that gave us some information that we were otherwise lacking, even if the overall tone of it was the proliferation of bullshittery that Papalia has already spread far and wide.
The following is taken from my notes on the meeting (HEAVILY paraphrased) laid out with a header, or leading question or statement, ensuing reactions at the time and my thoughts/opinions on the matter. Hit “Show More” button to read each section.
Handshakes, now let’s get into it
1600 gel blaster incidents since 2017, 147 gel blaster-related call-outs this year?
If appearances matter, what about this?
This is for ‘public safety’ yet the public wasn’t considered.
What about when your own department labelled them ‘toys’?
So what would you recommend we do to get our sport back?
We went in knowing that this meeting wouldn’t change a thing as far as WAPOL’s stance goes and it hasn’t. But we were able to successfully confirm some aspects of this ban.
Claim: 147 gel blaster-related callouts, and 1600 gel blaster-related incidents since 2017.
Confirmed: Bullshit. Statistics are both from the ENTIRE COUNTRY, not just our state. Both are sourced from “Home Affairs” and are unconfirmed with the ability to do so restricted to the public.
[EDIT: Email received from Dale Bell this morning – 15/07/21 – claims statistics actually for WA. So question is now: Was the mistake in telling us that the statistics were “national” or was the mistake accidentally telling us the truth?]
Claim: Gel blasters can be converted to a working firearm.
Confirmed: Bullshit. Converting a gel blaster to a “working firearm” is a claim based around WAPOL’s consideration that gel blasters are firearms. Airsoft markers are also considered “firearms”, which would be the likeliest “firearm” that a gel blaster could be converted to.
Claim: Gel blasters can’t be registered because you can’t put serial numbers on them.
Confirmed: Bullshit. Proved false by South Australia’s recent regulatory changes. At meeting today neither attendee would confirm or deny this.
Claim: Gel blasters were banned based on their appearance and similarities to actual assault rifles and the high number of related incidents.
Confirmed: Bullshit. They banned gel blasters because they could. They used inflated and non-verifiable statistics and are ignoring other items of similar appearance… for now. But they aim to change that too in the future…
WAPOL is also planning on targeting more rights of firearms owners and the gel blaster ban is the first of many planned restrictions.
Next Step: We’re meeting with our lawyers next week and will hopefully update with more information then.