A bill that clarifies the definition of military-style semi-automatic guns and places controls on the importation of airguns that look like real pistols has passed a third reading in Parliament today.

Importers of such airguns will now be required to have a special police permit.

Police Minister Anne Tolley said the Arms (Military Style Semi-Automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Bill was the right balance between ensuring public safety while not penalising legitimate firearms users.

"Airguns that look like real pistols, MSSAs or restricted weapons are often used by criminals, and are easily mistaken for real weapons," said Mrs Tolley.


"Police advise that there is at least one incident every week where one of these airguns is presented, requiring an armed police response. This creates risks for officers and the public, and is also a drain on police resources."