Criminal Offences: Understanding Dangerous Weapons and the Law

Posted on: 24 February 2017

Criminal offences related to weapons can be serious. Therefore, you should understand the pertinent laws relating to carrying any weapons, particularly if you have been charged with this type of crime. In general, a weapon refers to any item that has been designed with the purpose to inflict physical damage on other people. This term is also used in legal setup to denote items that are not traditionally considered as weapons but can be used in this way. Here are the main categories of weapons that you should understand with regard to the law.


There are strict regulations imposed on all types of firearms in the country. Therefore, if anyone wants to possess gun, they must obtain a license and register the specific weapon. Generally, you must be at least eighteen years old to legally purchase or possess a firearm. However, there are exceptions for younger individuals who require a weapon for sports. If a minor would like to get the license, their parent or guardian must provide written approval. Moreover, they must belong to a shooting club and go through safety training. It is an offence for both minors and adults to have weapons without a license. If the police believe that you are holding a firearm illegally, they perform a search without a warrant.

Knives and Other Weapons

Knives, including kitchen tools and Swiss army knives, cannot be legally carried by civilians. In addition, other weapons such as cattle prods, blow guns, pepper spray, box cutters, swords, bayonets, imitation guns and even batons are restricted. In general, you will be charged with a criminal offence if you are found with any of these weapons and cannot provide a lawful excuse. The national laws do not allow possession of weapons for self-defence. Therefore, a legal excuse includes carrying a knife or other weapon for sports, weapons collection, exhibition and work.

Adaptable Dangerous Articles

There are dangerous articles that are not per se weapons but can be adapted for use in inflicting bodily damage. You will be charged with a crime if you are carrying such an item with the intention to utilise it as a weapon in any way. Common dangerous articles include items like hammers, cricket bats and axes. The same restrictions as the aforementioned category of the knives and other weapons apply. In simple terms, you must provide a plausible and lawful reason if you have a dangerous article.

For the best legal results, consult a lawyer for guidance if you have been charged with a weapon offence.