Some might say that the most exciting part of a sporting event is when the T-shirt cannon rolls out onto the court/field. However, the Queensland, Australia, police doesn't share our love for promotional items being launched via ballistic devices. According to Stuff.co.nz, the Queensland Police Service seized the Townsville Crocodiles basketball team's T-shirt cannon, calling it a category B weapon.
The Townsville Crocodiles, part of Australia's National Basketball League, had been using a handmade PVC T-shirt launcher to deliver shirts to fans in its arena (which they call "The Swamp").
"The ballistics unit informed the venue that essentially it was a category B weapon, and it needed to be handed in, otherwise people in possession of it would be prosecuted," Rob Honan, general manager of the Crocodiles, said to Stuff.co.nz. "It was bewildering, but it is what it is. But it makes it harder for people to have fun."
He added that he believes the T-shirt cannon is the highest form of crowd engagement. The police disagreed.
"Category B weapons need to be licensed and registered, having established a genuine need for possession," the Queensland Police Service said, according to Stuff.co.nz. "Weapons of any category can only be manufactured by a licensed armorer."
Being a category B weapon means that this handmade launcher is in the same category as single-shot, center-fire rifles; double-barrel center-fire rifles; repeating center fire rifles; break-action shotguns; and center-file rifle combinations.
Honan added that the T-shirt cannon used a compressed air canister to launch items, like T-shirts, about 131 feet.
"I think you would be clutching at straws to think you could hurt someone," he said to Stuff.co.nz. "I think you would not get enough buildup of gas; it's just a PVC pipe, so it's not like a gun as such. This is really just a mechanism to get giveaways to the back of the crowd."
Before today's game against the Cairns Taipans (we're loving these team names), Honan said the team was looking into alternative launching methods, such as slingshots.