I recently had cause to look at the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (not a common occurrence for me). I noticed that the consolidation (pre 1 July 2019) didn’t include amendments caused by the Modern Slavery Act and the Paintball Act. Now, the Modern Slavery Act I had heard of and it appears to be the subject of the month for newsletters and CLE presentations, but what was this Paintball Act all about? 

I had my suspicions that the legislation was a “godzilla v bambi” type reaction to someone’s paintball accident. I was a bit surprised to find out it was quite the opposite. The Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation made this clear in his second reading speech:

“The Paintball Bill 2018 appropriately reclassifies paintball markers by removing their classification as “prohibited firearms”, which currently sees them categorised and controlled in the same way as lethal weapons such as cannons and machine-guns [i.e they previously fell under the Firearms Act 1996] . Paintball markers are non-penetrative, non-lethal weapons used in low-risk recreational activities. This reclassification of paintball markers under the Paintball Bill 2018 is appropriate and proportionate to the risks they pose. However, this bill prescribes rigorous safety standards …” etc etc and reduces the minimum age of participants from 16 to 12 (although everyone under 18 needs parental consent)

By now, I was thinking “who lobbied for this?” The AUPBA clearly has more clout than I thought. 

Finally, just in case you’re wondering what a a “paintball marker” is….it is (section 4) “…. a sporting device for use in the sport known as paintball that can propel, or is designed to propel, a paintball by means of any gas or mixture of gases, including air (but not including a gas or mixture of gases generated by an explosive) and is operated or designed for operation by means of a trigger or similar device, but does not include….”

Creative commons acknowledgement for the photograph.




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