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Knife Laws in Canberra?

By banjo - 15 May 2011 14

Can someone please enlighten me as to what the knife laws are here in the ACT?

I always carry a multi tool with me which I use for work and the occasional peice of fruit, I also keep a large Swiss army knife in the car (that one has a locking blade) because it’s damn handy to do so.

But I have been thinking lately about the legalities around carrying MT’s and SAK’s and was wondering what the law is here?

I could find info on the other states but not here. Thanks!

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Knife Laws in Canberra?
Moir 5:25 pm 31 May 15

I was told by a police officer the wording is not “in his or her possession”, but “on your person” and I was told that that means on you, in your hand or a pocket of your clothing or in a bag you are holding, carrying or wearing, and if you are found with a knife on your person the penalties can apply. However, you are allowed to have a knife on your person if you have a good reason as has been discussed or you store the knife in the boot or some other part of your car when you are not using it.

Giralang101 9:31 pm 08 Aug 11

Hi Banjo,
I was checking the knife laws in the ACT too and I only just found this post.

I was a cop for 15yrs and worked as an investigator in the private sector for 10 yrs. Not withstanding by background I find the current knife legislation pretty scary. ANY laws that make law abiding citizens liable to prosecution based solely upon the opinion of a police officer is just too open to abuse

I can promise you that police officers have ‘bad hair’ days like everyone else and if my children were prosecuted for carrying a Swiss army knife under what most of us would consider to be reasonable circumstances, I’d be very upset.

This kind of legislation is passed by politicians who want to appear ‘hard’ on law and order issues.

What is needed is for our courts to be allowed to sentence offenders convicted of assaults with knives etc using the CURRENT legislation.

Regards

georgesgenitals 7:03 am 16 May 11

LSWCHP said :

georgesgenitals said :

I guess that a normal, law-abiding citizen wouldn’t be carrying a knife or multitool unless they had a reason anyway. I have plenty of knives and multitools, but I don’t tend to carry them around – they live in the toolbox with all the other hand tools.

About 30 years I did some part time work for a mate who was an electronics tradesman. In those pre multitool days he told me to always carry a swiss army knife while working for him. I bought a SAK and I’ve been carrying it every since. It’s in my pocket now, and the only time I don’t have it on me is when I’m not wearing clothes.

It has a blade about 2 inches long, as well as screw drivers, scissors, tweezers, an awl etc. I use it constantly for everything from opening packages to trimming my fingernails. People at work regularly ask me if I have my knife, as the need to borrow it. It opened a thousand bottles of wine in the days when wine bottles had corks.

I think I’ll just keep on carrying it in my pocket.

Sounds to me, then, like you are a reasonable human with a reasonable excuse.

Punter 1:32 am 16 May 11

Check the dictionary in the Crimes Act for the definition of knife. You’ll find your multitool falls under the definition (c):

knife includes—
(a) a knife blade; and
(b) a razor blade; and
(c) any other blade;
but does not include a knife of a class or description excluded from
this definition by the regulations.

BTW, regulations do not exclude multitools. It, therefore comes down to ‘reasonable excuse, which the definition is tightened to fair, common sense purposes. We don’t really want the lunatic masses running around with ‘weapons’.

I would think if Police aren’t going to ‘hassle’ folks who have knives, they wouldn’t be doing their job in ensuring the wrong kind of people aren’t carrying knives, wouldn’t you agree Dannybear?

LSWCHP 9:54 pm 15 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

I guess that a normal, law-abiding citizen wouldn’t be carrying a knife or multitool unless they had a reason anyway. I have plenty of knives and multitools, but I don’t tend to carry them around – they live in the toolbox with all the other hand tools.

About 30 years I did some part time work for a mate who was an electronics tradesman. In those pre multitool days he told me to always carry a swiss army knife while working for him. I bought a SAK and I’ve been carrying it every since. It’s in my pocket now, and the only time I don’t have it on me is when I’m not wearing clothes.

It has a blade about 2 inches long, as well as screw drivers, scissors, tweezers, an awl etc. I use it constantly for everything from opening packages to trimming my fingernails. People at work regularly ask me if I have my knife, as the need to borrow it. It opened a thousand bottles of wine in the days when wine bottles had corks.

I think I’ll just keep on carrying it in my pocket.

Benaresq 9:34 pm 15 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

I have plenty of knives and multitools, but I don’t tend to carry them around – they live in the toolbox with all the other hand tools.

I’ve got one on my keyring and usually have one in the glovebox.

p1 7:56 pm 15 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

I guess that a normal, law-abiding citizen wouldn’t be carrying a knife or multitool unless they had a reason anyway. I have plenty of knives and multitools, but I don’t tend to carry them around – they live in the toolbox with all the other hand tools.

Um, I don’t have a multi- tool in the tool box. I have actual, large, single purpose tools in there. Multi-tools are great for when you are out and suddenly need pliers, a screwdriver, or (the horror) a knife. The problem with only carrying things you need, is that you never need it until you need it. Do you leave your spare tire at home too?

georgesgenitals 4:17 pm 15 May 11

I guess that a normal, law-abiding citizen wouldn’t be carrying a knife or multitool unless they had a reason anyway. I have plenty of knives and multitools, but I don’t tend to carry them around – they live in the toolbox with all the other hand tools.

banjo 3:03 pm 15 May 11

Yea I didn’t search for the legislation but thanks all for replying. So based on that it would need to be a knife only and not a multi tool with a knife in it to perhaps have to justify having it in the first place. I know in some countries it is the “locking blade” issue in regards to the knife law (I guess that makes it more weapon like?) with the irony being that any locking blade on a multi tool or Swiss army knife, which is most these days, is for your own safety when using it. Anyway it seems like our knife laws are quite reasonable.

Ozi 12:36 pm 15 May 11

A 5 minute search of the ACT legislation (google “ACT legislation”) would have found you an answer.

Section 382 of the Crimes Act 1900 – Possession of Knife in public place or school.
“A person shall not, without reasonable excuse, have a knife in his or her possession in a public place or school.”

Reasonable is up to the officer to determine, but can include use as part of work or preparation of food etc. Have a read of the legislation.

Mr Evil 11:42 am 15 May 11

I would assume a normal law abiding citizen isn’t likely to be hassled by the Police about carrying a knife or multitool in their car – unless you’re wearing a baseball cap with the peak pointing S/SW, the waist of your pants is so low that it’s around your ankles, the waistband of your undies is pulled up to just below your nipples, and you just so happen to be hanging around a skate park/bus interchange/shopping mall/dark alleyway at 2am.

p1 11:34 am 15 May 11

I carry one most of the time. I use it to cut things, which I consider a pretty good reason to need a knife.

I don’t take it to pubs or airports or schools though….

buzz819 10:57 am 15 May 11

Section 382, Crimes Act 1990

Possession of knife in public place or school
(1) A person shall not, without reasonable excuse, have a knife in his or
her possession in a public place or school.

Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units, imprisonment for 6 months or
both.

(2) Without limiting what may constitute a reasonable excuse, it is a
reasonable excuse for a person to have a knife in his or her
possession in a public place or school if—

(a) the possession is necessary or reasonable for, or for a purpose
incidental to—
(i) the lawful pursuit of the person’s occupation; or
(ii) the preparation or consumption of food; or
(iii) participation in a lawful entertainment, recreation or
sport; or
(iv) the exhibition of knives for retail or other trade purposes;
or
(v) an organised exhibition by knife collectors; or
(vi) the wearing of an official uniform; or
(vii) religious purposes; or
(b) the possession is of a prescribed kind.

(3) It is not a reasonable excuse for a person to have a knife in his or her
possession in a public place or school solely for the purpose of selfdefence
or the defence of another person.

dannybear 10:45 am 15 May 11

any blade of any size is illegal to carry without a reason, it doesnt matter if its locking or not but its really up to the cop to choose if they are going to hassle you about it or not, guilty until proven innocent I guess

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