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Possession Of Knife In A Public Place Or School - QLD

What the law says

Sections 51 of the Weapons Act Queensland states:

  1. A person must not physically possess a knife in a public place or school, unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
    In this section
    a knife includes a thing with a sharpened point or blade that is reasonably capable of
    • (a) Being held in 1 or both hands; or
    • (b) being used to wound or threaten to wound anyone when held in 1 or both hands.
    A school means any part of the premises of-
    • (a) a State educational institution under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006; or
    • (b) a non-State school under the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001.

Principles and Object of Act

  1. The principles underlying this act are as follows-
    • (a) weapon possession and the use are subordinate to the need to ensure public and individual safety;
    • (b) public and individual safety is improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of weapons and requiring the safe and secure storage and carriage of weapons.
  2. The object of this act is to prevent the misuse of weapons.

How object is to be achieved for firearms

The object of this Act is to achieve for firearms by-

  • (a) prohibiting the possession and use of all automatic and self loading rifles and automatic and self loading shotguns except in special circumstances; and
  • (b) establishing an integrated licensing and registration scheme for firearms; and
  • (c) requiring each person who wishes to possess a firearm under a licence to demonstrate a genuine reason for possessing the firearm; and
  • (d) providing strict requirements that must be satisfied for-
    • (i) licences authorising possession of firearms; and
    • (ii) the acquisition and sale of firearms; and
  • (e) ensuring that firearms are stored and carried in a safe and secure way

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The accused possessed a knife in a public place or school .

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty is 20 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is can only be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The accused had a reasonable excuse to have a knife in a public place or school -
    • (a) to perform a lawful activity, duty or employment; or
    • (b) to participate in a lawful entertainment, recreation or sport; or
    • (c) for exhibiting the knife; or
    • (d) for use for a lawful purpose.
  2. Identification i.e. not the accused.
  3. The accused did not know a knife was in his possession.
  4. The accused honestly and reasonably but mistakenly believed the thing was not a knife.
  5. The knife was not in the accused's control.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Possession of Knife in a Public Place or School matters)

 

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