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Outrage as police lock up two men over Christmas for buying toy guns

Police who locked up two fathers over Christmas for buying toy guns have been criticised by thousands of people.

The guns included replica pistols, rifles, and sub-machine guns that looked realistic but only fired harmless gel rounds and are legal outside of NSW.

The men spent the night in a jail, one on Christmas Day, while accused wife killer Chris Dawson and alleged rapists were free on bail. 

Thousands of people have slammed police for locking up two fathers over Christmas for buying toy guns as presents for their children

The guns included replica pistols, rifles, and sub-machine guns (pictured) that looked realistic but only fired harmless gel rounds

The guns included replica pistols, rifles, and sub-machine guns (pictured) that looked realistic but only fired harmless gel rounds

NSW Highway Patrol pulled over the first man about 1.45am on Sunday in Tweed Heads as discovered 14 guns in his car’s boot.

The 31-year-old man was a passenger and allegedly admitted owning all the guns which he bought over the border in Queensland – where they are legal.

‘[He] stated he had purchased them for his son for Christmas,’ police wrote in a Facebook post that attracted widespread outrage.

Police also found 0.35g of marijuana they alleged belonged to the same man from Coffs Harbour. 

He was denied bail and face court on Christmas Eve charged with 14 counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm.

Then on Christmas Day another man was pulled over for a random breath test in South Tweed Heads and police noticed the stock of a rifle on the back seat. 

NSW Highway Patrol pulled over the first man about 1.45am on Sunday in Tweed Heads as discovered 14 guns in his car's boot (one pictured)

NSW Highway Patrol pulled over the first man about 1.45am on Sunday in Tweed Heads as discovered 14 guns in his car’s boot (one pictured)

The 31-year-old man was a passenger and allegedly admitted owning all the guns (including this set) which he bought over the border in Queensland

The 31-year-old man was a passenger and allegedly admitted owning all the guns (including this set) which he bought over the border in Queensland

The man was denied bail and face court on Christmas Eve charged with 14 counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm

The man was denied bail and face court on Christmas Eve charged with 14 counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm

A search uncovered an ‘imitation military assault rifle’ and a toy Glock pistol, both configured to fire gel rounds.

The 24-year-old was also refused bail and spent Christmas in lockup until he faced court charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

‘Gel blasters’ are legal to buy and own in Queensland and other states of Australia, but are considered firearms in NSW and effectively banned. 

Police announced the arrests on Facebook with photos of the toy guns, and were immediately condemned for ‘ruining Christmas’.

Both posts attracted thousands of comments, the vast majority of which strongly criticised police for appearing to brag about the arrests.

‘Australian police are such an embarrassment… hide from real crimes, ignore others, but arrest a guy with toy guns,’ one commenter wrote.

'Gel blasters' are legal to buy and own in Queensland and other states of Australia, but are considered firearms in NSW and effectively banned

‘Gel blasters’ are legal to buy and own in Queensland and other states of Australia, but are considered firearms in NSW and effectively banned

Both Facebook posts attracted thousands of comments, the vast majority of which strongly criticised police for appearing to brag about the arrests

Both Facebook posts attracted thousands of comments, the vast majority of which strongly criticised police for appearing to brag about the arrests

Gell blasters are similar to airsoft rifles and nerf guns except their ammunition is essentially a bag of water that explodes on impact

Gell blasters are similar to airsoft rifles and nerf guns except their ammunition is essentially a bag of water that explodes on impact

‘How can you sleep at night knowing you are literally talking TOYS away from families at Christmas?’ another wrote.

‘What a waste of police time and taxpayers money, good on you guys for ruining this man and his sons Christmas,’ a third wrote.

A fourth wrote: ‘Leaving a little boy without toys or a father for Christmas, yeah real heroic.’

The NSW branch of the Liberal Democrats political party also poured scorn on police gleefully boasting about the arrests.

‘This is what our taxpayer money is used for? So glad that the police are saving us from the scary replica gel ball blasters,’ it said.

They are considered a softer alternative to airsoft and paintball suitable for children, which can both cause bruises on impact

They are considered a softer alternative to airsoft and paintball suitable for children, which can both cause bruises on impact

Police also found 0.35g of marijuana (pictured) they alleged belonged to the first man

Police also found 0.35g of marijuana (pictured) they alleged belonged to the first man

Comments indicated the men were freed on bail after their court appearances and intended to fight the charges.

Gell blasters are similar to airsoft rifles and nerf guns except their ammunition is essentially a bag of water that explodes on impact.

They are considered a softer alternative to airsoft and paintball suitable for children, which can both cause bruises on impact. 

Early this year, Australian customs stopped classifying them as firearms, allowing them to be more easily imported. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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