Licensed Gun Owners & Sporting Clubs consider it bizarre that police in Victoria, QLD and NSW have been enforcing a ban on t-shirt cannons. Bans in Victoria and NSW place t-shirt cannons in a similar category to weapons including shotguns, RPGs, bazookas and mortars. It’s absolute nonsense.
In Victoria, they are considered a Category E Firearm. In NSW they are prohibited under Schedule 1, Item 4(9) of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998. In Queensland they are considered Category B Firearms, along with shotguns.
In both VIC and NSW, you need to apply for a permit to use a T-shirt cannon. In Victoria, in particular, police have said that they are too dangerous and they will not grant permits. The bans have been in place at AFL matches since 2016, when Victoria Police were first made aware of the t-shirt cannons. At the same time, a basketball team in Queensland also had their t-shirt cannon confiscated under similar laws.
In Victoria, the ban occurred after an off duty police officer attended a game at the MCG and saw the t-shirt cannons in action. At the time, the North Melbourne Football Club had just purchased a 12 round t-shirt cannon. In QLD, the ban happened after a man complained when he was barred from importing a t-shirt cannon into the country.
Insiders and fans alike have generally considered the ban a massive overreaction. Police find a flying T-shirt “too dangerous” at a stadium where cricket is also played. Being hit in the face by a cricket ball is more likely to injure someone then being hit in the face by a t-shirt.
The only known death from a t-shirt cannon happened in fictional TV series The Simpsons, where the Flanders family lost matriarch Maude in a t-shirt cannon accident. It’s wondered whether police on Australia’s east-cost refer to this implausible ban as “Maude’s Law.”
In 2016 at least 5 AFL Club bosses were threatened with fines and jail time if they did not hand over their club’s tshirt cannons.
Prison sentences for up to four years and fines exceeding $37,000 could have been handed out but Victoria police offered instead to destroy guns which were handed in willingly. Bizarre.