Paintball law ups its game

Have your say on new paintball industry laws for NSW.

Thousands of people recreationally and competitively enjoy paintball each year, in authorised urban and regional venues across NSW.

Late last year, we reviewed the laws* governing the sport. We asked for feedback by public consultation on how we could make it safer for players and the community, while offering industry an even playing field with interstate and international counterparts.

The draft Paintball Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) takes on the recommendations from the consultation. The Bill aims to:

  • strengthen how effective the laws* are
  • create an even playing field for NSW and interstate paintball marker suppliers
  • introduce exemptions to be considered on a case-by-case basis, allowing markers to be used outside of paintball venues, where there is low risk to public safety
  • improve safety and clarify the original intent of the law.

Your feedback will help us understand how the proposed laws might affect the industry and the community.

Tell us what you think

We want to hear from past and current paintball venue operators, marker owners, industry bodies, as well as anyone with an interest in the paintball industry in NSW.

Have your say by doing a quick poll or completing a survey. For more information, we have developed an Explanatory paper designed to help you draft a written submission. Please also refer to the Documents and links box (on the right).

The consultation is open until 5.00 pm, Wednesday 1 February 2023.


* Paintball Act 2018

Have your say on new paintball industry laws for NSW.

Thousands of people recreationally and competitively enjoy paintball each year, in authorised urban and regional venues across NSW.

Late last year, we reviewed the laws* governing the sport. We asked for feedback by public consultation on how we could make it safer for players and the community, while offering industry an even playing field with interstate and international counterparts.

The draft Paintball Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) takes on the recommendations from the consultation. The Bill aims to:

  • strengthen how effective the laws* are
  • create an even playing field for NSW and interstate paintball marker suppliers
  • introduce exemptions to be considered on a case-by-case basis, allowing markers to be used outside of paintball venues, where there is low risk to public safety
  • improve safety and clarify the original intent of the law.

Your feedback will help us understand how the proposed laws might affect the industry and the community.

Tell us what you think

We want to hear from past and current paintball venue operators, marker owners, industry bodies, as well as anyone with an interest in the paintball industry in NSW.

Have your say by doing a quick poll or completing a survey. For more information, we have developed an Explanatory paper designed to help you draft a written submission. Please also refer to the Documents and links box (on the right).

The consultation is open until 5.00 pm, Wednesday 1 February 2023.


* Paintball Act 2018

This engagement is now closed. Thank you for participating and sharing your feedback and comments.

If you have a question on the Bill, ask here and a member of our team will get back to you. Content is moderated before it is posted to ensure the discussion remains on topic.

  • I see that you say “ any paintball marker that is modified and results in substantially duplicating the appearance…” My question is: if it comes standard out of the factory looking like a firearm in any reasonable manner, and has not been modified, is it still illegal?

    Jason asked 22 days ago

    Thank you for your question.

    Some models of paintball markers (including those from the factory) can look like a firearm. These may be considered imitation firearms under section 4D of the Firearms Act 1996

    Without authorisation from the Commissioner of Police, it is an offence to possess or use these types of markers in NSW.

    For more information, please contact NSW Police Force Firearms Registry Customer Service Line on 1300 362 562.

  • Do you need them locked up in a cabinet?

    5ltrgtmustang asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    In NSW, paintball markers must be stored:

    • in an inoperable state 
    • in a strong lockable metal container that is locked to prevent access. 

    The Bill proposes to strengthen the transportation requirements to clarify that a paintball marker must be transported in a strong lockable bag. This is in addition to other existing transportation requirements in the Act.

    For more about paintball marker ownership requirements, please visit the NSW Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.

  • What are the laws with disposing of a paintball marker to an overseas do I need to dispose through an authorised dealer?

    Noodle asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    At the time of this post in NSW, the disposal of paintball markers in NSW must only be carried out by an authorised supplier. 

    An authorised supplier is an individual who holds:

    • a paintball venue permit
    • a firearms dealer licence (under the Firearms Act 1996)
    • a weapons dealer permit (under the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998)

    Penalties for unauthorised disposal of paintball markers is 200 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months (or both).

    When disposing a paintball marker, an authorised supplier must notify NSW Fair Trading within 7 days.

    For information on how to safely dispose of a paintball marker and notify NSW Fair Trading, please visit the Service NSW website.

  • What paintball markers are classified as illegal in nsw compared to the rest of the states and why are they illegal

    Addamo09 asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    Paintball is regulated differently across Australia. Expect for NSW, paintball markers are regulated by respective state and territory police. However, the particular laws differ between jurisdictions.

    For more information, please refer to the relevant Police department in your state or territory to learn whether a certain model or configuration of a paintball marker is legal.

    In NSW, any paintball marker that is modified and results in substantially duplicating the appearance of a firearm, could be considered an imitation firearm. Firearm offences apply to imitation firearms the same way they apply to firearms generally.

    Paintball marker permit holders should be aware of firearm laws that apply when shopping for a paintball marker. For more information, please contact NSW Police Force Firearms Registry Customer Service Line on 1300 362 562.

  • Will airsoft or gel ball be legal in australia, although these can look like real firearms there should be safety precautions taken such as, not being able to purchase one until the age of 16 and having orange tips on the front of said gel ball or airsoft gun.

    Thomas O'Donnell asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The Statutory Review of the Paintball Act 2018 (the Review) did not make a recommendation on whether to regulate Airsoft or Gel blasters in NSW. This is because Airsoft and Gel blasters are administered by the Minister for Police and was therefore outside the scope of the Review. The review was only restricted to the laws in NSW.

    To view a copy of the Report, please see the Statutory Review of the Paintball Act 2018.

  • In regards to the case by case exemptions, would using a paintball marker at a shooting range for the purpose of target practise and getting better and using a paintball marker be a possible exemption?

    John2022 asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The draft Bill implements recommendation 3 from the Statutory Review of the Paintball Act 2018. It seeks an amendment to allow the Secretary to provide a case-by-case exemption for uses of paintball markers outside of authorised venues. 

    This amendment would allow the use of paintball markers outside of authorised paintball venues that are low-risk and do not pose a threat to public safety, ensuring individuals carrying out activities that are for the public good are not breaking the law. For example, using paintball markers in university settings to conduct research into eye and face protection.

    For more information on the proposed amendments, please see the Explanatory Paper for the draft Paintball Amendment Bill 2022.

    We encourage you to have your say on the draft Bill by completing the online survey or providing a submission.


  • Also in regards to possible exemptions, would Paintball markers be able to be used in an appropriately fenced off backyard for target practice and to gain a better aptitude at using your marker? Paintball fields are few and far between and are usually pretty far away. It would convenient for players to be able to practice in the safety of their own back yard for free. I believe this would help bridge the gap between high skill players and beginners and be if it the industry as a whole.

    John2022 asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    Additional background on the proposed amendment to allow the Secretary to provide a case-by-case exemption for uses of paintball markers outside of authorised venues has been provided in a response to a previous question. 

    For more information on the proposed amendments, please see the Explanatory Paper for the draft Paintball Amendment Bill 2022.

    We encourage you to have your say on the draft Bill by completing the online survey or providing a submission.

  • Why have we made magazine feed markers illegal again I brought one to play recreational paintball and I am now not aloud to use it due to it being made illegal again I don't use it other then at a licensed venue what is the issue

    Jordan k asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    Under the Firearms Act 1996, any paintball marker that is modified that results in substantially duplicating the appearance of a firearm could be considered an imitation firearm. Firearms offences apply to imitation firearms the same way they apply to firearms generally. 

    Firearms laws are administered by the Minister for Police. Certain models or configurations may imitate the appearance of a firearm and therefore be considered an imitation firearm, which is an offence to possess or use without authorisation from the Commissioner of Police. 

    Paintball marker permit holders should be aware of the relevant firearms laws when shopping for a paintball marker. For more information, please contact NSW Police Force Firearms Registry Customer Service Line on 1300 362 562.

  • Is there any laws on magazine fed paintball markers?

    Njamesgoodwin asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    Under the Firearms Act 1996, any paintball marker that is modified that results in substantially duplicating the appearance of a firearm could be considered an imitation firearm. Firearms offences apply to imitation firearms the same way they apply to firearms generally. 

    Firearms laws are administered by the Minister for Police. Certain models or configurations may imitate the appearance of a firearm and therefore be considered an imitation firearm, which is an offence to possess or use without authorisation from the Commissioner of Police. 

    Paintball marker permit holders should be aware of the relevant firearms laws when shopping for a paintball marker. For more information, please contact NSW Police Force Firearms Registry Customer Service Line on 1300 362 562.