I only just got into gelball last month, however for me it represented an opportunity. Several friends and I all decided to get into the sport at the same time this month, with the intent of enjoying the experience and promote our physical health in a way we could all enjoy. The fact it’s cheaper and safer than Paintball is a huge draw, and being able to have your own realistic-looking blasters makes everything so much easier to invest in. If you want a fun combat game, you’d aim for paintball. But if you want to play pretend and have some fun experiencing milsim with mates, gelball is absolutely the way to go.
It’s important to note, however, why the WA government and police believe gelball is potentially dangerous. The realistic designs can easily invoke fear, and as we’ve seen, there are people silly enough to use them in public. HOWEVER, I would note that due to the design of gelblasters, fear by aesthetic is the only threatening thing about them. They have less kinetic force than a Nerf dart and are far less accurate, not to mention the gelballs burst on impact, reducing their kinetic force further. From a physical harm point of view, they are absolutely useless. This is a fact that should be brought into consideration. A gelblaster also cannot be converted to a firearm, it is physically impossible without sourcing or making genuine firearm parts. The only gelblasters which would realistically be used in crimes are pistols due to their cheap make, realistic likelihood of it being real, and being easily concealable.
I propose a ban on pistol gelblasters, an age restriction on gelblaster ownership (hiring blasters in the PGBG should have no restriction), the ability for police to seize and ban public offenders property to prevent misuse (1 year ban for a first-time public offense, fines for each time after), and painted hop-ups on the tip of the blasters indicating that they are indeed toys. Use in private properties and registered venues such as the PGBG outdoor fields shouldn’t require the hop-up.
I’m just trying to offer a solution so that we can keep this hobby alive. I want to experience it myself, more than what little time I have left. Gelblasters are safe, fun, cheap and easy to use, and I highly recommend anyone who thinks these are a danger to try one out for themselves.