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.



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