Australian Police Take Down Man for Walking with Miniature Toy Rifle

Australian Police Take Down Man for Walking with Miniature Toy Rifle
Australian Police Take Down Man for Walking with Miniature Toy Rifle

Australia -( On February 9th, 2019, Australian police officers swarmed a man walking along a busy, coastal, pedestrian walkway in Brighton, Australia. Police took down the man because of reports that he was armed with a rifle.

In a video from 7 News Adelaide, you can see the toy gun next to a female officer's boot.  Use the tiles/bricks the officer is standing on for scale. Video link on

The toy appears to be about a foot long, less than one/third scale. No reasonable person could mistake it for an actual, functioning rifle.

Brighton is an upscale, urban, coastal suburb of Melbourne, Australia, in the state of Victoria.

It is illegal in Victoria to own a replica or imitation firearm without a firearms license.

The following information is from the Victorian police website. The last update is given as 18 May, 2018.  From

Differentiating between an imitation firearm, replica firearms, and other firearm paraphernalia and toys:

There are a wide variety of firearm-themed items available on the market aimed at children or firearm enthusiasts. Depending on the overall appearance and function of these items, some may be classified as a registrable firearm, a replica firearm or an imitation firearm. These require an authority to possess, carry or sell in the State of Victoria regardless of the intent of the manufacturer.

The information contained within this page and downloadable Quick Guide to Imitation, Toy & Other firearm paraphernalia has been published to assist you to recognise the distinguishing characteristics of an imitation firearm as opposed to a toy or other firearm paraphernalia to assist you to comply with Victorian laws in this area.

Generally, if an item cannot be mistaken for a working firearm by a reasonable person and does not have the function of a firearm, it will be treated as a toy firearm or other firearm-themed paraphernalia and can be owned without a licence or other authority.

However, items that have the appearance of a working firearm, even where they do not function as one, are classified as imitation firearms. As imitation firearms can cause public alarm, only people with a Chief Commissioner's Weapons Approval or Governor in Council Exemption can possess, carry or offer them for sale in the State of Victoria.

Replica firearms are not the same as imitation firearms. They are working copies of an original firearm and anyone in possession of a replica must register it and be the holder of the appropriate firearms licence.

Not surprisingly, 7 News Adelaide gets the legal definition wrong.   They reported it was not a rifle, but a replica. It is not a replica because it is too small and is not a working copy. It is not an imitation firearm, because it is too small.

The man was not arrested on a criminal charge. It was reported he was taken in for a mental health evaluation.

A citizen opined to the 7 News Adelaide reporter that:

“The public doesn't know if it is real or not. The police have to assume that it is real.”

I disagree. If you are so ignorant about a technical matter, you probably should not be calling the equivalent of 911 about it.

Firearms have been successfully demonized in urban Australia, indeed, in much of the world. The demonization has been so complete that citizens feel no one can be trusted walking in a public area with a toy gun.  Australian media railed about a slightly larger, obvious toy AK being carried by a child, in 2015.

A soldier, training for a military exercise, in uniform, was caught up in the hysteria in Australia for carrying a very crude mock-up of a rifle, that would be impossible for a reasonable person to mistake for a working firearm.

Much of the purpose is to make the private carry of firearms socially unacceptable.  Australian crime has been exceptionally low for decades, both before and after their extreme gun laws.

In the United States, because of the Second Amendment, we are moving in the other direction. Open carry is becoming more and more acceptable. It was ruled as a core part of the Second Amendment in the Ninth Circuit, although the case as been appealed to the full Ninth Circuit, en banc.

I fear Australians, as with the English and Canadians, have allowed their traditional right to arms to be slowly and successfully legally ignored into nothingness.

As a consolation, the police in Australia were uniformly polite and easy to deal with when I was there, in 2017 and 2018.

As a foreigner, I earnestly worked at not breaking any laws.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 37 thoughts on “Australian Police Take Down Man for Walking with Miniature Toy Rifle

    1. Peeps, I doubt any of us was there and witnessed how the “scale model” was being presented to the public.
      Being that most of the AU citizenry have no hands on experience with firearms, it is reasonable that a “scale model” could be mistaken as real.

      Secondly, lets consider that the carrier is a skilled machinist.
      Given the size of the artifact, I can see it effectively capable of being .22, .380, 9mm, or any other semi-auto caliber.

      Having said this, how would you feel about something that could be a firearm being pointed at you ?

    2. Just a note on this story, and no disrespect to the author, as I have enjoyed his articles in the past. But you have listed all the laws and by-laws for Victoria, but this incident took place in Adelaide, South Australia, a totally different state with their own gun laws. I am not sure on their requirements regarding replicas and toys but I am more than happy with what the cops did to this F)(#W!T roaming the streets waving anything around because all this does is trigger some LIBT4&D leftist feminist to jump on every form of media outlet and go on about how her Burmese cat is too scared to go outside to poop for fear of a crazy gunman, and every other LIBT4&D leftist sheep jumping on her band wagon. Unfortunately these libtard idiots along with the idiot with the toy gun get all the exposure, not the decent law abiding gun owner and their views.
      As Manny said its a privilege not a right for us, but saying that, I own several rifles from .204 up to large calibre double rifles for large game and most calibres in between and I have never been knocked back from buying a rifle and I am able to hunt when ever I get the chance. The most significant change from when I got my first rifle at 14 to now, 50+ is that I don’t keep my gun leaning behind my bedroom door, they are all stored in a safe. No semi-auto for general sale, (I do still have a semi-auto licence & rifle) but I haven’t fired it in over 10 years, and there is a cooling off period / background check when applying for a new rifle. Nothing that I feel is an inconvenience…but that’s just my opinion, others may disagree! Just remember this was all brought about by a lunatic waving around a semi-auto and killing 35 civilians, maybe it was a good thing that idiot on the street of Adelaide could only get his hands on a toy rifle!!!. Saying that I sympathise with the US as I think they are headed down a completely different track, a compromise may be the only way to keep your firearms, a few simple changes to reduce the mass shootings and it might be enough to keep the extreme anti-gun morons at bay. That is an advantage we have over the US, we have no where near the amount of extreme left anti-gun people, I was based in the US in 94-95 and there was no anti-gun groups causing grief that I can recall all though it was a while ago.
      A few people hanging shit on Australia too…that’s ok you guys can come down and stay and we’ll go hunting, I’ll lend you a rifle because I’ll still have mine and yours would have been taken off you by then!! haha just stirring shit… I have lived in both countries and love them both. I hope for all you gun owners sake the 2nd remains stronger than ever!

    3. What we have here is a bit of hysteria from the city folk here in Melbourne, they follow the comrade Andrews all the way, unfortunately here in Australia we do not have written in our constitution the right to bare arms, as you do in the USA, after the American revolution the Poms got a little worried that the same would happen here in Australia, so they put the clamps on frearm ownership, even when Australia finally became a self governing country, the constitution still did not have the right to bare arms, What the media do not let on is that there are more firearms now in Australia than there were before the steal back in 1996,,(we firearm owners do not say BUY BACK) the amount of people applying for a firearm licence is huge, and this is what the anti’s do not like here in Australia. Unfortunately here in Australia we have people ( mainly city based) believing what they see in Hollywood movies regarding firearms , So in the USA, you firearm owners must keep the faith, and don’t allow the Democrats/Antis too get their way

    4. Does anyone see a similarity between: California vs the rest of the US, and the USA vs the rest of the world?
      … Go to the Down Under and get a boot jacked psychiatric evaluation for carrying a toy gun lol
      Trump is onto something, take the high speed rail away from California, and leave them stuck in traffic all day to leave us alone…

      What about all the people here in the US, who want to take away our toy soldiers/guns, violent themed anything, now anti 2A…

      Do you still remember what happened to Rosanne Barr, John Schnatter, and the News/Talk show hosts, who got the politically correct /PR boot..

      Maybe we’re being too damn sensitive… about being our selves and whether we might be different from other people.
      Let the politically correct be exiled for being politically incorrect for once. Im not saying to make ourselves odious to the rest of society either..
      All the public opinion/social conscience trash is just that.. Trash! We were all made in His image, but not all made to be just like the other one.. Even identical twins have differences.

      All the equal rights groups want tolerance until it comes to any right endowed by our creator.. Then they’re the ones who break, and create, any laws they can get away with, to be INTOLERANT.
      This has all come about since God was taken out of the Schools and the Courts…
      They’ve lost their way, have no self control, but want to control us.. because our conviction of right and wrong make them uncomfortable

      Maybe Trump is onto something after all.. play the game by their own rules.. Take over the News, radio, media, and the schools, even the courts and Gov… Doing it by the rule of law is getting us now where. .. ok, I’m over it 🙂

    5. This is exactly what the progressive liberals want us to be like. No thought processes, just do as your commander says. How insanely stupid can one country be. That is seen here because they are still tied to England’s apron strings by thought process if nothing else. They might as well join the EU and become slaves rather than just acting like they are.

    6. Socialism, liberalism, communism, democrats–all the same. If you surrender your right and GOD given mandate to keep and bear arms, this will be coming to America. Even toy guns scare the politicians and police because they are afraid the people might revolt. When a government is destructive to those ends, it is in the right of the people to change or abolish it…Please tell me you recognize those words! Gun control is NOT about gun control–it is about people control, maybe even thought control. That is what happens when you surrender your rights for a little security. You wind up with neither one. Anyone who would disarm the public is either in need of facts or they are just plain evil. Any legislator who would write treasonous laws, any judge who would go along with those treasonous laws and any one in enforcement who would enforce those treasonous laws is, by definition, treasonous. There is a penalty for treason. Either the day comes when that penalty is enforced or the day will come when we loose our rights and freedoms. Any righteous lawyers out there? Any righteous prosecutors out there? Any righteous law enforcement out there? There are things worth fighting for, worth killing for and worth dying for. Freedom is one of those things. I want peace. You want peace. But not at the price of our GOD given rights and freedoms. There is a peace that is only to be found on the other side of war. If that war must come, I will fight it. If war must come, let it be in my generation, that my children may know peace. There are laws that enslave men, as exampled in this article, and there are laws that set men free, as exampled in our constitution and amendments. Either what we know to be right and good and true IS right and good and true-for All mankind under GOD or there is no hope for freedom. If we surrender our firearms this will happen to America. Surrender my firearms, my ammo, my hi capacity magazines and gear? Nuts. Your out of your mind. Keep your guns and you keep your choices and your options open. Surrender your firearms and you, your children and their children will be slaves. Arm up, carry on.

    7. “The man was not arrested on a criminal charge. It was reported he was taken in for a mental health evaluation.”

      I’m immediately reminded of the Soviet Union determining dissidents were “mentally ill” and shipping them off for treatment at mental health facilities . . . which bore a striking resemblance to Siberian gulags.

      1. No real Aussies aren’t, trendy latte sipping morons living in the inner city are sissies at their mildest and an rabid wankers trying to force their version of the a reality on the rest of us at their worst.
        The cops look like a bunch of numpties and the idiots they found for they sound bite look even more stupid.

        Worse yet firearms violence in Australia is at its lowest ever, continuing the downward trend from the 90’s before law abiding people had their legally owned firearms stolen by the government.

        Unfortunately smugness and a feeling of self-entitlement has been growing exponentially over the sane time period creating morons like that.

      2. MB maybe you should get your facts straight before calling us pussies. I get your anger and frustration. Being a gun owner myself and having a licence and the privalige to shoot is where im coming from. We dont have a 2A to fall back on. Our country never fought a civil war or was established on a war. The people here fear guns as the criminals are the ones that get the illegal firearms from the black market. Ive lived in the states and i understand your feeling towards guns. Personally i think we should all carry. However, in Australia we are lucky to even be able to own a firearm. Its only through the shooters, fisheries and farmers party and all legal firearms owners that we have fought to keep our pivilage.
        There are alot of firearms owners in australia and we wouldnt disagree with your anger. However, to call us pussies you must be a big man as if you were here and said that we would give you a reason not to come back to this beautiful country. I have served in the defence force here and i have used all the weapons we needed to fight and as much as i would love to own an AR15 its not pissible unless ypu have a farm with fox,roo or ferral cat problems. Yes if you have a farm you can own a semi auto rifle.
        Give your self an uppercut and shut your big mouth till you get all the facts. Some [email protected]#$k tard carring anything in public that hes not being normal wearing a cammo shirt and pointing the toy at people is another [email protected]#$t that needs an uppercut. People here are tollerant to we as shooters if we act accordingly and yes its not a guntotting society. We cabt have weapons outside the safe under the bed or in the car without them being locked. If people break in to a house here and we shoit them we go to jail. Its a [email protected] position to be in. We usualky grab a knife or a cricket bat and bash the f#$kwhit trying to harm our family. Even a knife would be considered a no no in the courts for a defence plea. I agree its a sh#t state of affairs and most local robbers here cant get guns. The shootings in sydney have been gang and drug related and they are blackmarket weapons.
        So in summery you big mouthed fu#k remember to respect others even if we arent americans and if you call us a [email protected]#t you better have your knuckles up as youll be in for a fight.

        1. @Manny Sorry, no edit function, should read Australians ” cops “have become a bunch of sissies. ( I never said “pussies” maybe sissies doesn’t translate).. We feel for the people who want to live free, but you guys really need to get your LEO overlords in order, because it appears, you guys are still prisoners in your own country. Maybe a civil war is what you need, GB too, they are at the point the police are afraid of butter knives.

          1. I agree with you MB the cops do need more training and i do understand your point of view. However, we dont have the shooters alot in parliment or congress as USA does. We have enough to keep fighting for our privalige to own and shoot or hunt. The farm is the way to go here then all is good. Alot if city dewllers are ignorant and are not educated. We dont blame them and we understand the ignorance both from the cops and the general public.

      1. See, that was your first mistake, underestimating the stupidity of not not only the Aussie authorities but also the idiots that were interviewed who not only reacted like a bunch of sheep but would have been far better off it they’d just stood there and gone baaaaa, baaaaa.

    8. So if i buy a toy gun for my grandson and walk home, the police are going to throw me to the ground, cuff me and take me to jail? What the hell is this world coming to? Have we become so scared that we can’t have a toy? I remember playing cops and robbers as a kid. My grandson can’t do that as a 8 year old?

      1. If you are stupid enough to display and wave a weapon around out in public like this perp did! I have always believed in our American right to bear arms. However, if the incredibly stupid, ignorant, Ted Nuggets types of this country continue to go off the deep end, then expect to have more and more gun control. You all are screwing it up for peaceful law abiding citizens. Get it together!

    9. Good job by law enforcement! I just hope that he got thrown down really really hard on the concrete, scraped around good, and clinched down on those cuffs. A stupid human being.

    10. While open carry is a bad tactical choice, it gets the people used to seeing guns in public.
      If people see open carry in Walmart, in the streets and the mall, then we will not see this kind of hysteria in the states.
      That is one good reason for advocating for legal open carry.

        1. Sorry jack but no chains here just us Aussies. If you need to vent thats good. We dont have a 2a so we dont have any rights to firearns its a privaliage that can be taken away. I dont agree with alot of the politicly correct [email protected]#T. Our police are not the best at identifing firearms as they dont shoot enough and are strangled by our laws basicly they are taught politically correct BS and couldnt idenrify am m4 from a draganoff. But hey its what we have. The convict in chains is a great comment how about the yank with no smick(thats clue for you yanks).
          Kinda like calling all yanks yanks or ignorant [email protected]#ts. But hey each to his own. Remember alot yanks started off as brits in the 1600s.

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