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Unauthorised Possession or Use of a Prohibited Weapon

Unauthorised Possession or Use of a Prohibited Weapon is an offence under Section 7 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You possessed or used a prohibited weapon, and
  2. You did not have a permit to do so

The offence covers possession or use by a permit holder for any purpose other than the ‘genuine reason’ given to obtain the permit.

Schedule 1 of the Act contains a long list of prohibited weapons which include:

  • flick knives, ballistic knives and sheath knives
  • Star knives, butterfly knives, trench knives and push daggers
  • Bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles and anything that propels or launches a weapon
  • Anything containing or expelling an explosive, incendiary, irritant, gas or smoke
  • Spear guns less than 45cm in length
  • Crossbows and slingshots (other than children’s toys)
  • Blow-guns, blow-pipes and darts capable of being projected from them
  • Maces (other than ceremonial) and flails
  • Whips comprised partly of metal and cat-o’-nine tails
  • Nunchakus (other than children’s toys)
  • Side-handle batons (other than children’s toys), extended and telescopic batons
  • Tasers and hand-held devices that administer electric shocks
  • Knuckle-dusters, sap gloves and studded gloves
  • Pepper spray and other devices capable of discharging an irritant
  • Body armour vests, including ‘bullet proof’ vests
  • Acoustic or light-emitting devices designed to disorient or cause incapacity
  • Handcuffs (other than children’s toys and those that can be released by the wearer)
  • Laser pointers with an output of more than 1 milliwatt
  • Portable tyre deflation devices, and silencers

Defence to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self-defence

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