In the midst of a permanent national gun amnesty which began on July 1, two states still remain apart from the rest on the possession of replica firearms and gel blasters.
In South Australia and Queensland, a replica firearm or gel blaster is not classified as a firearm or category of weapon and do not need a licence.
But in the ACT, possessing the very same product without a firearms licence would have you placed before the courts - unless, of course, you hand it in now.
Relaxed Queensland replica firearm laws cost a man his life in September 2014 when, after a four-hour siege, New Zealander Shaun Kumeroa pointed his replica at police and was shot dead by tactical police. In May this year, a Brisbane man pointed a replica pistol at two police officers, who opened fire. The man fortunately survived.
In the coroner's inquest that followed the 2014 incident, a police weapons specialist's evidence told how police "always consider that a replica firearm is a real firearm" and that "generally, the fact that a firearm is a replica is only ascertained after the event".
Also revealed was the extent of the replica issue up north, with an estimated 811,000 replica firearms and gel blasters in the hands of Queensland owners.
ACT police won't speculate on how many gel blasters and/or replicas are in Canberra but Graeme Davis, who runs the ACT's longest-running paintball operation at Pialligo, estimates the number as "in the thousands".
Until gel blasters were made illegal in the ACT a few years ago, Mr Davis would hold specific tournaments and competition days for owners.
Now he sees gel blasters very rarely - but he knows there are plenty out there in the community.
"We still get the odd person turn up here [at Paintball Sports ACT] with their gel blaster asking if they could do some target shooting but I have to turn them away," he said.
"I'd lose my licence in a heartbeat if I allowed them to shoot here on my property."
But he says it was an "open secret" that on private properties out near Goulburn, gel blaster tournaments are held quite regularly with participants connecting on social media forums and getting together to shoot the tiny water-based beads at each other.
While gel blasters have a far lower muzzle velocity than standard paint ball marker guns, the big issue with these weapons for police - and a view which is shared by Mr Davis - is that they look uncannily like the real thing.
"I've seen a gel blaster and Glock handgun sitting alongside each other and believe me, you just cannot tell them apart," Mr Davis said.
"If you were staring down the barrel of one, you'd have to assume it's the real thing."
Mr Davis is quick to clarify that paintball marker guns like the Tippman FT-12 - "it's like the AK47 of the paintball world" - are a very different concept, but as a licensed gun dealer he still keeps them under lock and key in his armoury.
"Paintball markers have a much higher muzzle velocity and accuracy than a gel blaster but a Tippman looks nothing like a conventional firearm and that's how we want it to be," he said.
"The people who are into field competition paintball generally don't really care what their marker gun looks like; they want it to be as light as possible, and have optimum range and accuracy.
"But the people who buy gel blasters, I'd describe them as a different type of person; they are really into how the weapon looks. Many of them like the bad-ass, replica appearance thing, that's important to them.
"I don't understand it, but I do know there's thousands of them [gel blasters] out there."
Having gel blasters sold online from South Australia and Queensland into the ACT is a constant headache for local police and Firearms Registrar Detective Sergeant Rod Swain said that the current amnesty offers the opportunity for people to surrender their weapons without penalty.
"Now is the ideal time to surrender them," he said.
"Not doing so could see gel-blaster owners face serious charges."
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