Public safety is of paramount importance across Australia, so it's no surprise that carrying weapons in Queensland is a criminal offence. Here, we break down the stringent weapons law including penalties, as well as what you should do if you've been caught carrying a weapon in Queensland.
Is it a criminal offence to carry a weapon in Queensland?
In Queensland, it is illegal to carry weapons in public, as this both endangers other citizens and incites fear. Carrying weapons in public can hold a maximum sentence of more than ten years' imprisonment. Weapons are classified under eight categories, and include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Guns, including pistols, shot guns, air rifles, semiautomatics and submachine guns.
- Knives, including machetes, switch or flick knives and butterfly knives.
- Flammable devices for the purpose of causing harm.
- Any clothing or accessory used to disguise or support weapons.
There are many different offences relating to weapons in Queensland, and are governed under the Weapons Act 1990 (QLD), regulating of the sale of firearms, as well as the misuse of such weapons.
Unregistered guns and unlicensed users
In order to legally own and use a firearm in Australia, you need to have obtained a licence or user permit and have purchased your firearm from a licensed seller. In order to get a gun licence, you must be over 18 and complete a firearms safety course. Furthermore, you're legally obligated to have a safe space to keep your guns, fitted with a secure lock. There are licences for minors, however use of firearms are restricted to education and sport and must be under adult supervision.
The penalty for unlawfully possessing a weapon depends on the category in which it fits, as well as the quantity possessed. For example, carrying 10 or more semiautomatic firearms or hand grenades carries a maximum penalty of 13 years in jail, while unlawful possession of an air rifle may only result in maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment. If you have been accused of an offence relating to unlicensed firearms, it's imperative to reach out to expert lawyers immediately.
There are several instances where knives can be carried in public, including:
- Fishing purposes.
- Food preparation in public.
- Scouts who have knives as part of their uniform.
In Queensland, it's illegal to gift, sell or transport weapons without licence to do so. Especially where firearms are considered, unlawful supply may result in mandatory sentencing.
What should I do if I am accused of a weapons offence?
If you are accused of a weapons offence, it's vital to reach out to expert defence lawyers to protect your interests. The sooner you do so, the quicker your legal team can create a strategy to defend the charges against you. Potential lines of defence include:
- Arguing that there were valid reasons for a weapon to be held or used in public.
- Claiming that the accused didn't know carrying the weapon was an offence.
- Misidentification of the accused.
As Brisbane's leading defence law firm, Russo Lawyers are armed with the knowledge necessary to tackle a variety of weapons offences. We're confident in our ability to achieve a favourable outcome for our client's cases. With over 30 years' experience in various aspects of criminal law, we've made appearances in the Supreme, District and Magistrates Court, with many successful outcomes. For more information on our services and how our lawyers can help guide you through the legal process, reach out to our team.