Hundreds of the illegal and realistic gel blasters are off South West streets since a new WA law came into effect in June. Bunbury Police have already destroyed more than 100 of the authentic-looking blasters, with hundreds awaiting destruction. South West District Police Inspector Martin Voyez said gel blasters were “a tragedy waiting to happen”. Police Minister Paul Papalia announced the ban on June 14, after many incidents involving gel blasters being mistaken for real firearms. “From a frontline police officer’s point of view, this is a tragedy waiting to happen,” Inspector Voyez said. “The similarities between gel blasters and real guns means officers would find it near impossible to spot the difference out on the ground.” He said the streets were safer. “We cannot tolerate this: putting officers and the wider community at risk,” Inspector Voyez said. “When one of my officers responds to a task, they may make the reasonable assumption that if a gel blaster is pointing at them, they are in possession of a firearm. I don’t want my officers to be placed in that position. “They strive to protect our community.” Owners were allowed a two-week amnesty to hand in their gel blasters without penalty, which expired on July 3. Anyone now found in possession of a gel blaster could face three years in jail or fines of up to $36,000. Between June 14 and July 16 WA Police officers took possession of 2923 gel blasters. Of these, 38 were seized during police call-outs.