NSW laws tough on knife-carrying
LAWS concerning the carrying of knives were toughened up in NSW in 2009 – the result of a Private Member's Bill drafted by Reverend Fred Nile following the near-fatal stabbing of 15-year-old schoolboy JohnDanieli after a party in Manly.
NSW now has the toughest knife laws in Australia.
It was an offence to carry dangerous implements, including a knife, in public, even before the Bill was passed into law, but the offence carried a $550 fine. Afterwards, first offenders caught with a knife faced two years in jail.
Police are allowed to frisk search someone they reasonably suspect of carrying a knife in a public place or a school.
Police may also ask to search students' bags or lockers.
It is an offence to refuse to be searched or to fail to produce anything that a police officer detects during a search.
Refusing to be searched for knives attracts a $5500 fine.
Reasonable excuses for carrying a knife include needing it for:
- Your work, study or training;
- Preparing or consuming food or drink;
- Lawful entertainment, recreation or sport, or;
- Genuine religious purposes.
The knife must be reasonably necessary at the time.
Self-defence is not a reasonable excuse.
Selling knives to people under 16 is illegal. The only exception is that retailers are allowed to sell a plastic knife designed as an eating utensil.
Conviction for injuring someone with a knife during an assault carries a jail sentence of up to 25 years.
There were 2319 stabbings across NSW in 2007.