FAQ

1. Is airsoft legal in Western Australia?

No, airsoft is not legal in Western Australia. The WA Airsoft Bill is yet to pass.

2. What's happening with the WA Airsoft Bill?

Check out this timeline

3. You shouldn't need a firearm licence to own an airsoft marker!

Yes, we agree. Unfortunately, the rest of the Parliament does not.

And if we want to legalise airsoft, we need to take their views into account.

If you don't like that, you should help to elect more Liberal Democrats to Parliament.

That way, we can draft legislation that better reflects our values.

4. Appearance laws are the biggest obstacle!

No, they're not.

Appearance laws are a problem if, let's say, you're a firearm owner and you want to get a 'military-style' firearm.

But, the appearance laws (that contained within the WA firearm regulations) are not a problem if you want to play airsoft.

Why? Because we've overcome that obstacle through the definition of an airsoft marker in Section 4A(1) which says that:

In this Act -

airsoft marker means a firearm, whether or not it has a military appearance...

s 4A(1), Firearms Amendment (Airsoft) Bill 2019

In other words, we've enshrined within the bill itself - not the regulation - the definition of an airsoft marker.

And given that legislation takes precedence over regulation, any restrictions within the regulations on the appearance of a firearm won't apply to airsoft markers.

5. You need to work with [insert firearm organisation] to legalise airsoft!

Nope. Nope, we don't.

In order to legalise airsoft, you need to pass a bill.

In order to pass a bill in Western Australia, you a need a majority of votes in both houses of Parliament.

No firearm organisation occupies a single seat in the WA Parliament. None.

Instead, these are the organisations that occupy seats in the WA Parliament:

  • WA Liberals
  • WA Labor
  • WA Nationals
  • WA Greens
  • Pauline Hanson's One Nation
  • Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
  • Western Australia Party

Those are the organisations with whom we need to work. Full stop.

And if anyone tells you otherwise, they're probably just a grifter who wants to sell you something.

6. Can you legalise gel blasters while you're at it?

Not at the moment, no.

Our bill is already drafted, and it's too late to make changes of a significant nature.

That being said, we support the legalisation of gel ball blasters, and we're prepared to look at the issue if and when Aaron Stonehouse is re-elected for a second term.

7. You made a mistake in your bill with airsoft pellets!

Yes, we're aware that we said that 'airsoft pellets need to be at least 6 mm in diamater'.

And yes, we recently learnt that airsoft pellets are actually 5.95 in diameter (so that they can fit inside of the barrel).

We've drafted an amendment to lower that threshold to 5.90 mm, and we will introduce that amendment when our bill comes up for debate.

8. When will airsoft be legalised in Western Australia?

That's really hard to say.

Remember, we're dealing with a political process.

Our bill could very well come up for debate, and get voted down. Which means that airsoft won't become legal anytime soon.

Instead of asking the question, 'when will airsoft be legalised?' You should really ask yourself, 'what can I do to help legalise airsoft?

And there's a couple of things that you can do:

9. Will airsoft legalisation spread to other states?

That depends.

10. That depends on what?

That depends on whether you elect a Liberal Democrat in your state.

The major parties don't care about airsoft. If they did, they would have done something about it by now.

Only the Liberal Democrats care about airsoft, and only the Liberal Democrats have done something about it.

If you want to make progress on airsoft in your state, you have to elect a Liberal Democrat. Want proof? Look at WA.

11. Ackchyually, airsoft markers are not a firearm, so airsoft is already legal in WA

Cool. Test that out in court.

Lawyer up. Take the state to court. And let us know how you go.

But, until you do that. That's just your personal opinion, and it's not an opinion of the court. Which means that airsoft is still illegal, and you can't play it.

12. What about the federal customs regulations?

Yes, those are a problem, but they're not a terminal problem.

For example, if the WA Airsoft Bill passed in its current form, airsoft would be legal in WA, however there would be a number of very stringent conditions.

Namely, the following:

  • You'd need to obtain written permission from the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department in order to import an airsoft marker that has a fully-automatic capability or which resembles an airsoft marker that has a fully automatic capability
  • You'd need to obtain a police certification in order to import airsoft pellets
  • You'd only be able to import airsoft markers that are affixed with a serial number

At this point in time, our expectation is that the Commonwealth would amend the customs regulations in order to fulfill the spirit of the WA Airsoft Bill.

They did this way back when paintball was legalised, so we believe that this is a reasonable expectation on our part:

To better align the Principal Regulations regarding semi-automatic paintball markers with State and Territory legislation, in November 2003 Police Ministers agreed that the Principal Regulations should be amended to allow the importation of semi-automatic paintball markers

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 1)

In the event that the Commonwealth does not play ball, that's yet another reason for you to elect a Liberal Democrat to the federal Parliament in Canberra.

13. The NFA (National Firearms Agreement) is a problem!

The NFA is a problem for a whole host of reasons, but not necessarily when it comes to the legalisation of airsoft.

Remember, the NFA is not legally binding. Only the instruments that emerged as a result of the NFA (state laws) are legally binding.

What really matters is the attitude and sincerity of the Government of the day in your state.

For example, if the WA Airsoft Bill passed, that means that the Government of the day in Western Australia would have supported the legalisation of airsoft.

If the Government of the day supports the legalisation of airsoft, then it doesn't matter what the NFA says.

i.e. the NFA is only a problem if the Government thinks and says that it's a problem.

14. Why did the Labor Party filibuster the WA Airsoft Bill?

We have no idea. You'll have to ask them that question.

15. The Labor Party said that you 'didn't overcome' federal regulations?

Okay, and tell us how exactly is a single state MP from WA meant to 'overcome' federal regulations?

At the end of the day, someone has to do something first.

That's how it happened with paintball. A state did something first, and the Commonwealth came along shortly afterwards and did their bit.

More often than not, state politicians use the federal government as way to 'kick the can down the road' and do nothing on legislation.

16. We need to convince WA Police to support airsoft!

Good luck with that.

In any case, you shouldn't have to convince a police force as to why you should have rights.

If you have to do that, you should stop and think about the state of the country in which you live.

17. Sign this [online] petition to legalise airsoft!

Dude, you do realise that Western Australia is the only state in Australia where online petitions are not legally valid?

There's little point in signing one, if you can't actually table it in parliament.

Otherwise, you're just directing peoples energies in a place where they can't productively channel it.

18. Why didn't you draft your bill exactly the way that WA Police wanted it to be drafted?

Because we're not communists.

We'd rather pass no bill at all, than be architects of the most restrictive regime for airsoft in the world.

19. Seriously, what's the likelihood or airsoft becoming legal in Australia?

There's probably no tougher feat to accomplish in Australia than the liberalisation of our firearm laws.

Yes, yes, we know: airsoft markers are not firearms. However, they are currently viewed as such in the eyes of the law, and given that we want to change the law, we need to work within that paradigm.

However, we wouldn't have started our campaign unless we believed that we had a realistic chance of pulling it off.

So, we're willing to do the hard yards. The question is, are you willing to support us?

20. Can you move over to [insert state] and do the same thing over here?

Nope, do it yourself.

We're Western Australians. We want to legalise airsoft in Western Australia.

We enjoy living here, and we have no intention of moving to another state.

So, don't be lazy. Do the hard yards, get organised, and undertake some political action!