Dear Lifehacker, I played paintball for the first time over the weekend and I am addicted. I'm considering getting into it a little more professionally but I've heard a paintball marker is considered a firearm and I don't want to buy something if it can get me in some hot water. Do I need a licence? Sincerely, Fortnite Brought Me Here.
Glad you found something you enjoy doing! Paintball is great, but I've been to one too many bucks shows where the potential groom gets pelted with the nasty little paint-filled fists to keep me from getting involved more regularly.
If you just want to get involved in paintball more regularly, you're obviously old enough to head to a paintball park and get going. Readers who may not have played before should check out the age limit in their state if they're looking to get active involved, because the age ranges from 10 to 16, depending on where you're living.
However, if you're looking to get serious, gere's what you need to know if you're looking to purchase your own paintball gun.
First of all, it depends which state you're based in! However, as of right now, paintball markers are considered firearms by Australian law. If you wish to purchase your own paintball marker, you need to ensure that you carry the appropriate licence. Just like driving a car or boat, without carrying an appropriate licence, you could run into significant trouble including fines or even imprisonment.
Here's the requirements to purchase and own a paintball marker, by each state:
- ACT: you need to acquire a Category A firearms licence.
- NSW: A Commissioner's Permit To Acquire is required.
- VIC: You will need to be 18 years of age and acquire the licence from Victoria Police.
- SA: A Class A firearms licence is required.
- QLD: You can get a Category A licence from Queensland Police.
- TAS: The most recent state to allow paintball and paintball marker purchases, you can grab a Category A, Reason 6 licence for paintball by attending Service Tasmania.
- WA: You will need a category E5 firearms licence. NT: The Northern Territory does not currently allow you to purchase a paintball marker unless you are operating a paintball park.
Notably, in NSW, Paintball law reforms were approved by cabinet last week which means late this year or early next year jurisdiction of paintball guns will move from NSW Police to the Department of Finance, Service and Innovation. Essentially, that means, paintball guns will no longer be considered firearms in NSW and the player age limit will be reduced to 12 years.