by Nalini Haynes
Australia has gun laws that laws vary from state to state. Some laws have caused difficulties for cosplayers. I heard of one person who was arrested and charged for carrying an imitation firearm in a backpack that was poking out the top, while sitting in a coffee shop. Another person recently attended Critical Hit’s opening sale in costume with an imitation firearm in a thigh holster, resulting in police attendance.
If you intend to purchase, carry or sell imitation firearms in Victoria, you need to have an authority from Victoria Police. The police website says
There are a wide variety of firearm-themed items available on the market aimed at children and firearm enthusiasts. Depending on the overall appearance and function of these items, some may be classified as a registrable firearm or an imitation firearm (and therefore require an authority from Victoria Police) regardless of the intent of the manufacturers.
Items that do have the appearance of a working firearm but do not function as such are classified as imitation firearms. Whilst these items cannot cause death or injury they can nonetheless cause public alarm due to their closeness to a working firearm and therefore could be mistaken for a working firearm depending on the circumstances and level of knowledge of those in contact with it when carried or used within the community.
Contact authorities for more information. Unfortunately the link provided in this article (originally published in Dark Matter 4, July 2011) no longer exists.
Below: examples of imitation firearms for which authority is required.
Article originally published in Dark Matter issue 4, July 2011. Information may be out of date.