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Friday, October 29, 2010

Carrying an offensive weapon- Offences against Public Order

A person who, without lawful excuse, carries an offensive weapon or has in his or her possession or custody a housebreaking implement or who carries an article of disguise is guilty of an offence punishable by a fine of up to $2500 or six months imprisonment [Summary Offences Act 1953 s.15].
Some items such as knuckle-dusters, which have no innocent purpose, are naturally regarded as offensive, but just about anything can be an offensive weapon. A bottle, a stick, a closed pocket knife or even a baseball bat might be an offensive weapon if the person carrying it wants to use it as such or cannot establish an innocent reason for having it (see Verdiglione v Police [2007] SASC 349).
Carrying an offensive weapon for self-defence is not a lawful excuse. Similarly, many things can be classed as housebreaking implements. For example, a common household screwdriver could be a housebreaking implement, depending on the intention of the person who has it.
Other offences set out under section 15 of the Summary Offences Act 1953 , which carry more serious penalties, are:
·         In a public place and without lawful excuse, carrying or having control of:
·         A loaded firearm; or
·         A firearm and a loaded magazine that can be attached to and used in conjunction with the firearm.
The maximum penalty is $10,000 or imprisonment for two years.
·         Without lawful excuse:
·         Manufacturing, selling, distributing, supplying, or otherwise dealing in, dangerous articles; or
·         Having possession of, or using, a dangerous article.
The maximum penalty is $7,500 or imprisonment for 18 months.
Dangerous articles include blow guns, catapults, dart projectors and poisonous sprays. The full list of objects which are defined as dangerous articles is contained in Schedule 1 of the Summary Offences (Dangerous Articles and Prohibited Weapons) Regulations 2000 .
·         Without lawful excuse, at night, in or in the vicinity of licensed premises:
·         Carrying an offensive weapon; or
·         Possessing or using a dangerous article.
The maximum penalty is $10,000 or imprisonment for two years.
A person who is armed at night with a dangerous or offensive weapon intending to use the weapon to commit an offence against the person is guilty of an offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, or 10 years if previously convicted of an offence against the person or an offence under this section [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 s.270D].
A person who is, in suspicious circumstances, in possession of an article intending to use it to commit certain specified offences is also guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty depends on the maximum penalty for the intended offence [see Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 s270C].


  1. Something you don't hear much about in today's society but very interesting to know.

  2. There was like 2 people stabbed in my area just last week as if you don't hear a lot about this?


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