Prohibited Weapons

An article is a prohibited weapon if it is described in schedule 1 of the Regulations (short list of prohibited weapons or list with full description) made pursuant to the Weapons Act.

The offence

It is rather straightforward in that a person commits an offence who -

  1. brings or sends a prohibited weapon into the State;
  2. carries or possesses a prohibited weapon;
  3. purchases, sells or supplies a prohibited weapon; or
  4. manufactures a prohibited weapon,

It is also an offence to attempt to do any of the above.

The penalty

The penalty is substantial - imprisonment for three years and a fine of $36,000.

The exemptions

The range of exceptions is very limited.  There are exemptions relating to specific employment situations of the police, museum personnel who may end up in possession of prohibited weapons in the course of their employment.  Those who need to deliver items two people entitled to them and taking prohibited weapons to the police.

The legislation does make provision for:

  • prescribing circumstances that provide an exception; and
  • exceptions for particular class of people.

The prescribed circumstances provision has been used to exclude the use of possession or carrying of an extendable baton by a holder of a security officer's licence issued in the terms of the relevant legislation and certain circumstances around that for teachers and trainees in order to get the necessary qualification.

The class of persons provision has been utilised by exempting -

  • collectors of prohibited weapons (regulation 9); and
  • prison officers in performance of their duties (regulation 10); and
  • blow pipes being used by people with disabilities (regulation 11); and
  • Federal and State police officers (regulation 12); and
  • people involved in dramatic productions (regulation 13); and
  • crossbow is for members of archery clubs (regulation 14);
  • crossbow possessed in performance of an occupation prior to 1 July 2011 and subject to certain other requirements (regulation 15);