All States and Territories except for Western Australia have Similar weapons laws that make it illegal to carry or use a weapon unless you hold a valid permit or licence or approved exemption for that State or Territory. Heavy criminal penalties apply. Western Australia is the only state that allows people to carry pepper spray or OC sprays without a permit for self-defence . This article also outlines the weapons licensing laws in Australia.
WEAPONS LICENSING LAWS IN AUSTRALIA
Weapons laws are similar with some variances across States and Territories of Australia. Generally, the weapons laws across Australia make it illegal to possess or use weapons such as dangerous knives, pepper spray/OC spray/capsicum spray, knuckle dusters, grenades and other types of deadly weapons unless you have a special permit or fall under an exception. Here we outline the laws and penalties on weapons across some of Australia's States and Territories.
ILLEGAL WEAPONS | USE OF WEAPONS IN NSW
It's illegal to use or possess a prohibited weapon without an authorised permit. It is also illegal to possess or use a prohibited weapon for a reason outside the "genuine reason" you were issued a permit for (or if you breach a permit condition). Penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment apply, as prescribed by section 7 Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW) (' Weapons Prohibition Act 1998').
Any person who possesses a prohibited weapon must, on the demand of a police officer, at any time, immediately produce the weapon or any permit for inspection, according to section 27 Weapons Act. Failure to do this attracts a maximum penalty of 12 months' imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine. Before a person can be guilty of this offence, the police officer is required to first explain that the failure to comply with the demand is an offence when making the demand.
Weapons Licensing Permit Laws
The weapons permit scheme is similar to the firearms licensing scheme outlined earlier in this article. The requirements and conditions required to get a permit, application process, fees, registration process, safety and storage requirements are also similar to the firearms laws.
To get a weapons permit, you must fall within a "permit category" and have a "genuine reason" to use and possess the prohibited weapon.
The "genuine reasons" required to get hold of a weapons permit are almost identical to the genuine reason for a firearms licence. The table to section 11 Weapons Act outlines the "genuine reasons" for a prohibited weapons permit, including sporting/recreational, business/employment, films/tv/theatrical purposes, animal management.
There are 3 main categories of permits called, "general permits", "weapons dealer permits" and "theatrical weapons armourer permits". The Weapons Prohibition Regulations also outline other types of general permit.
- General permit: Authorised you to use or possess a prohibited weapon of the kind specified in the permit for purposes established by you as the genuine reason.
- Weapons dealer permit: Authorises you and any employees to possess, sell, buy or manufacture prohibited weapons of the kind specified in the permit if it's in the course or carrying business as a weapons dealer and only at the premises specified in the permit or any such premises approved.
- Theatrical weapons armourer permit: Authorises you and any employees in the course or carrying business as a theatrical weapons armourer to use, possess, buy, sell or manufacture prohibited weapons of the kind specified in the permit, and authorises you to also supervise and train persons involved in a cinematographic, tv or theatrical production in the use of the weapon. This permit also allows those persons involved in the production to possess and use the weapon while under the supervision of the holder of the permit or authorised employee.
A prohibited weapons permit is issued by the NSW Commissioner of Police upon making an application.
Some of the conditions that must be satisfied in order to be issued a weapons permit include:
- You must be assessed as being a fit and proper person and be trusted to have possession of it without danger of public safety or peace,
- You must complete a satisfactory and approved training and safety course,
- You must be capable of meeting the adequate storage and safety requirements,
- You must not have been convicted within the last 10 years,
- You must not have or had an apprehended violence order against you within the last 10 years,
- You must not currently be subject to a good behaviour bond, weapons prohibition order, or be a registrable person under the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000.
Some weapons permit conditions under clause 13 Weapons Act require the following to be complied with when travelling or conveying a prohibited weapon:
- take all reasonable precautions to make sure that it's not stolen or lost,
- any projectile designed to be fired from it must be kept separate from the prohibited weapon,
- if conveying it by person or by public transport, it must be contained in an obstructive locked container,
- if conveying it by vehicle (not public transport), it must be kept in a locked compartment within the vehicle, or in a locked container within or properly secured to the vehicle and must not be able to be seen while it's being transported.
The fees payable for a weapons permit range from $25 for administrative fees to $127 for the permit application fee.
The same factors that disqualify, suspend or revoke a person's firearms licence or permit outlined earlier in this article also apply to disqualifying a person from getting a weapons permit. This includes having an AVO or a conviction within the past ten years.
Are Self Defence Weapons in Australia Legal?
Other than body armour vests, weapons are illegal to carry or use for self-defence purposes in Australia generally. Western Australia is the only place in Australia that allow you to carry an OC, capsicum or pepper spray for self-defence purposes in circumstances you have reasonable grounds to apprehend or lawful excuse. Every other state and territory laws make it illegal to possess or use a prohibited weapon for self-defence or protection purposes.
In NSW possessing or using a prohibited weapon for self-defence, or for protecting someone else is not considered a "genuine reason" to have a weapons permit, unless the weapon is a body armour vest or similar article designed for anti-ballistic purposes i.e. to protect against electric shocks or conducted energy devices and is to be worn on or to cover any body part (but not including helmets or anti-ballistic articles used to protect the eyes or ears).
The same applies to women using weapons for self-defence purposes. This is still illegal without a valid permit in NSW, except for Western Australia.
What is a Prohibited Weapon?
What weapons are legal in Australia? Anything classified as a "prohibited Schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 outlines a list of weapons classified as "prohibited weapons", and includes the following:
- Flick knife or other similar device that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by any pressure applies to a button, spring or device in or attached to the handle of the knife,
- Ballistic knife that propels a knife-life blade of any material by any means other than an explosive,
- Sheath knife that has a sheath which withdraws into its handle by gravity or centrifugal force or if pressure is applied to a button, spring or device attached to or forming part of the sheath, handle or blade of the knife,
- Butterfly knife or "balisong" or any other device that consists of a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike that fits within 2 handles attached to the blade or spike by transverse pivot pins and is capable of being opened by gravity or centrifugal force,
- Star knife or any other device that consist of a number of angular points, blades or spikes disposed outwardly about a central axis point and that are designed to spin around the central axis point in flight when thrown at a target,
- Zombie knife or other device that has a multi-edged blade, including a serrated section of blade, and is advertised or otherwise made available for sale using images or words that suggest the knife or device is intended to be used for violence, whether actual or threatened, against a person or fictional creature (such as a zombie), or has, on the blade or handle, images, words or markings that suggest the knife or device is intended to be used for violence, whether actual or threatened, against a person or fictional creature (such as a zombie), or has been used to inflict violence,
- Any device intended for use by a military or defence force and that's designed to propel or launch a weapon referred to earlier in this list,
- Any bomb, grenade, rocket, missile or mine or other similar device (including tear-gas canister) that is in the nature of, or that expels or contains, an explosive, incendiary, irritant, gas or smoke, and whether or not it is live, has been deactivated or is spent. Bomb includes a device known as an improvised explosive device (IED),
- Flame thrower that's of military design or any other device that's capable of projecting ignited incendiary fuel,
- Spear gun having an overall length of less than 45cm being the length of the spear gun when it's not loaded with a spear,
- Crossbow or any similar device consisting of a bow fitted transversely on a stock that has a groove or barrel designed to direct an arrow or bolt,
- Slingshot, being a device consisting of an elasticised band secured to the forks of a "Y" shaped frame, other than a home-made slingshot for use by a child in the course of play,
- Saunders "Falcon" hunting sling, or any other device in the nature of a hunting sling, catapult or slingshot that's designed for use with, or a component part of which is, a brace that firsts or rests on the forearm or on another part of the body of the user, and supports the wrist against the tension of elastic material used to propel a projectile,
- Blow-gun or blow-pipe that's capable of projecting a dart, or any other device that consists of a pipe or tube through which missiles in the form of a dart are capable of being projected by the exhaled breath of the user or by any other means other than an explosive,
- Any dart capable of being projected from a blow-gun or blow-pipe,
- Farallon shark dart, or any other similar device that's designed to expel, on contact, any gas or other substance capable of causing bodily harm and which is reasonably capable of being carried concealed about the person,
- Dart projector known as the "Darchery dartslinger", or any other similar device that's designed to project a dart by means of an elasticised band,
- Mace, or any other similar article that consists of a club or staff fitted with a flanged or spiked head, other than a ceremonial mace made for and used solely as a symbol of authority on ceremonial occasions,
- Flail, or any other similar article that consists of a staff or handle that has fitted to one end, by any means, a freely swinging striking part that is armed with spikes or studded with any protruding matter,
- Whip that has a lash which is comprised wholly or partly of any form of metal,
- A whip known as a "cat-o-nine-tails", or any other whip that consists of a handle to which there is attached any number of knotted lashes,
- Kung fu sticks or "nunchaku" or any other similar article consisting or 2 or more sticks or bars made of any material that are joined together by any means that allows the sticks or bars to swing independently of each other, but not including any such article that's produced and identified as a children's toy,
- Side-handled baton or any other similar article consisting of a baton, staff or rod that's made of any hard substance and has fitted to one side a handle, whether or not that handle is permanently fixed, but not including any such article that's produced and identified as a children's toy,
- Extendable or telescopic baton,
- Any hand-held defence or anti-personnel device that's designed to administer an electric shock on contact,
- Taser gun or other similar anti-personnel conducted energy device,
- A cartridge or similar device that's designed to propel probes or prongs from a taser gun,
- Knuckle-dusters or any other similar article that's made of any hard substance and that can be fitted over 2 or more knuckles of the hand of the user to protect the knuckles and increase the effect of a punch or other blow or that is adapted for use as such,
- Sap glove, or any other similar article, that consists of a glove (including a fingerless glove) that has a layer of powdered lead sewn under the outer covering and positioned over the knuckle area on the back of the glove,
- Studded glove, or any other similar article, that consist of a glove (including a fingerless glove) that has a number of raised studs or spikes made of a hard substance and positioned over the back of the glove to increase the effect of a punch or blow,
- Any device designed or intended as defence or anti-personnel
spray and that's capable of discharging by any means any
irritant matter comprising or containing any one or more of the
following substances in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form:
- Chloroacetophenone (CN)
- Orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS)
- Dypenylaminechloroarsone (DM or Adamsite)
- Oleoresin capsicum (OC)
- Any other device designed as a defence or anti-personnel spray and that's capable of discharging any irritant matter,
- Any acoustic or light-emitting anti-personnel device that's designed to cause permanent or temporary incapacity or to otherwise disorientate persons,
- Any object that substantially duplicates in appearance a bomb, grenade, rocket, missile or mine, but not including an object that's produced and identified as a children's toy,
- Walking stick or cane containing a sword or any other single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or of any material,
- Bowen knife belt or any other similar article consisting of a belt or belt buckle that conceals or disguises within the article a knife or a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or of any material,
- Any article or device that due to its appearance is capable of being mistaken for something else that isn't a weapon, but disguises and conceals within it a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or of any material,
- Handcuffs, including thumb and leg cuffs, being a set of ring-shaped shackles of any material (and connected by any means) that are designed to be work on the wrists, thumbs or ankles, but not including antique handcuffs, handcuffs produced and identified as children's toys, or handcuff that are designed to be released by the wearer (such as handcuffs used in theatrical productions),
- Silencers, detachable firearm magazine of a rimfire rifle magazine with a capacity of more than 15 rounds, or centre-fire self-loading rifle magazine with a capacity of more than 5 rounds (see list in clause 4(4) to schedule 1 for full list),
- Body armour vests or other similar article designed for anti-ballistic purposes or similar purposes (such as protection against electroshock or conducted energy devices) and to be worn on (or to cover) any part of the body, but not including helmets or anti-ballistic articles used to protect the eyes or ears,
- Any portable tyre deflation device, or any other similar portable device, that's designed to puncture, or that has been adapted for purposes of puncturing, the tyres of a motor vehicle when driver over the device,
- Laser pointer, or any other similar articles, that consists of a hand-held battery-operated device with a power output of more than 1 milliwatt, designed or adapted to emit a laser beam and that may be used for purposes of aiming, targeting or pointing,
- Any device regardless of its composition that's designed to propel or launch a bomb, grenade, rocket or missile by any means other than by means of an explosive, including a device known as a PVC cannon,
- A bump stock or any other gunstock that's designed to enable the rapid repeated firing of a self-loading firearm.
Other Prohibited Weapons Offences
The following are a list of prohibited weapons offences and penalties in NSW under Part 4 Weapons Act:
- 5 years imprisonment: buying a prohibited weapon without authorised permit to possess it.
- 12 months' imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine: buyer purchasing prohibited weapon from seller who does not have an authorised permit to possess it and has failed to see seller's permit or knows seller doesn't have authority.
- 14 years imprisonment: seller selling prohibited weapon to buyer who doesn't have authorised permit to possess it.
- 20 years imprisonment: seller selling military-style weapon to buyer who doesn't have authorised permit to possess it.
- 20 years imprisonment: seller selling military-style weapon to buyer who doesn't have authorised permit to possess it and does this on at least 3 occasions over a consecutive 12 month period.
- $5,500 fine: Person who doesn't hold permit sends prohibited weapon to another person.
- $5,500 fine: sender sends prohibited weapon to another person (the receiver) knowing it would reasonably be expected to know that receiver would be, because of receiving it at the place to which it is sent, guilty of any weapons offence under the Weapons Act or under any law applicable at that place.
- $5,500 fine: receiving a prohibited weapon without permit (unless it was sent to you without your knowledge or approval).
- $5,500 fine: advertising or publishing for sale of a prohibited weapon without stating that a permit is required to possess or use the weapon and without specifying the permit number of the person on whose behalf the weapon is being sold.
- 14 years imprisonment: manufacturing a prohibited weapon without permit.
- 20 years imprisonment: manufacturing military-style weapon without permit.
- 14 years imprisonment: possessing a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a prohibited weapon on a 3D printer or an electronic milling machine (unless authorised under a permit)
- 14 years imprisonment: possessing or using a prohibited weapon by remote control without permit.
- 20 years imprisonment: possessing or using military-style weapon by remote control without permit.
- 12 months' imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine: fail to immediately surrender any prohibited weapon that you come into possession of without being authorised to have it.
- 2 years imprisonment and/or $11,000 fine: falsely represent yourself to be a holder of a permit; forge or fraudulently alter a permit; give possession of a permit to another person for purposes of using it unlawfully; stealing a permit; or knowingly possessing a forged, fraudulently altered, borrowed or stolen permit.
Replica Weapons Australia
QLD replica weapons laws don't require you to hold a weapons permit to possess or use a replica weapon. If carrying one in public, it must not be visible in public and must be securely stored when not in use. You do require a reasonable excuse for possessing or using a replica weapon in Queensland.
WA replica weapons or imitation weapons in Western Australia are legal if you have a valid reason for having it. A legitimate valid reason can include collecting replica weapons for a hobby or display. You do not require a permit or licence for replica weapons in WA.
Qld and WA are the only places in Australia that don't require you to have a licence or permit to have or use replica or imitation weapons. All other states and territories in Australia require valid licences or permits to possess or use replica or imitation weapons. Failure to carry a valid licence or permit attract heavy criminal penalties.
WEAPONS LICENSING QUEENSLAND
Queensland's weapons laws require you to hold a valid weapons licence to possess or use a weapon in the state, including a gun, certain knifes', crossbow or paintball gun, according to the Weapons Act 1990 (Qld). Having a weapon without a valid weapons permit attracts maximum penalties from 2 years to 13 years jail, dependent upon the type of weapon and quantity of weapons you have. The weapons licensing in Brisbane applies in the same way.
Queensland Weapons Licensing
"Weapons" is defined to include firearms, or things prescribed by the Qld regulations to be a weapon. Unlike NSW, Qld include firearms as part of its definition of weapons. NSW have separated "prohibited weapons" from "firearms". To obtain a Queensland weapons licence, you must have a "lawful reason" to have or use the weapon. Lawful reasons include work purposes, recreational, sports or target shooting to name a few.
Queensland weapons licences are categorised into five main categories from "A" through to "H". there are other categories more specific which we will outline briefly further below. Each licence category requires you to show a genuine reason for why you need the weapon. Each category permits limited lawful reasons why particular types of weapons can be used. The Queensland Police Force have the power to issue or decline weapons licences in the State.
The weapons Act Qld is called The Weapons Act 1990 (Qld).
Category R Weapons Queensland
Category R weapons in Queensland includes machine guns, fully automatic large calibre military weapons. Specifically, the following are "R" category weapons in Qld:
- Machine gun or sub machine gun that's fully automatic in its operation and actuated by energy developed when it's being fires or has multiple revolving barrels, and any replica or facsimile of a machine gun or submachine gun that's not a toy,
- A unit or device that's capable of being used for converting any firearm to a weapon outlined above,
- A firearm capable of firing 50 calibre BMG cartridge ammunition,
- An antipersonnel gas, and an antipersonnel substance, of a corrosive, noxious or irritant nature or that's capable of causing bodily harm, and any weapon capable of discharging the gas or substance by any means, other than a gas or substance and any weapon capable of discharging the gas or substance that's primarily designed for the control of native or feral animals,
- An acoustical antipersonnel device of an intensity that's capable of causing bodily harm,
- An electrical antipersonnel device of an intensity that's capable of causing bodily harm,
- A hand grenade, other than an inert hand grenade, and an antipersonnel mine,
- A silencer or other device or contrivance made or used, or capable of being used, or intended to be used, for reducing the sound caused by discharging a firearm,
- A rocket launcher, recoilless rifle, antitank rifle, a bazooka or a rocket propelled grenade type launcher,
- A mortar, all artillery and any incendiary or inflammable device containing any substance capable of causing bodily harm or damage to property, other than an incendiary or inflammable device primarily designed for vegetation management.
Category M Weapons Queensland
An "M" category weapons licence includes a crossbow, certain types of knives and other handheld articles capable of causing bodily harm. This includes the following:
- Any clothing, apparel, adornment, accessory or thing designed to disguise any weapon or other cutting or piercing instrument capable of causing bodily harm i.e. a bowen knife belt credit card knife,
- Any clothing, apparel, adornment, accessory or other thing designed for use as a weapon or a cutting or piercing instrument capable of causing bodily harm,
- Any knife so designed or constructed so as to be used as a weapon that while the knife is held in one hand, the blade may be released by that hand,
- Butterfly knife, a knife known as a 'balisong', a pantographic knife, or a similar device that consist of a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike that fits within two handles attached to the blade or spike by transverse pivot pins or pantographic linage and is capable of being opened by gravity or centrifugal force,
- Push knife
- Flick knife
- Star knife
- Incendiary or inflammable device containing any substance capable of causing bodily harm or damage to property that's primarily designed for vegetation management,
A complete list can be found in Part 12 of the Weapons Regulation 2016 (Qld).
PROHIBITED WEAPONS PERMIT VICTORIA
Victoria's weapons laws are governed by the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic), which outlines four main categories of weapons (other than firearms), and include "prohibited weapons" such as tasers, flick knives, butterfly knives, swords, throwing stars, extendable batons, slingshots and imitation firearms. It is illegal to possess or use these weapons unless you have an exemption from the Chief Commissioner (Vic Police). This carries penalties of up to two years jail (or four years jail if carried into or near licenced premises where alcohol is sold).
Other types of weapons include "controlled weapons", such as kitchen knives, spear guns, hunting knives, and cattle prods. It is illegal to have possession or carry these items unless you have a lawful excuse. This carries penalties of up to 12 months jail (or two years jail if carried into or near licences premises where alcohol is sold). When carrying such items, you must also ensure to do so in a safe and secure manner.
"Dangerous articles" are another types of weapon in Victoria and includes any lawful article such as a kitchen knife that becomes dangerous if used as a weapon. This can include golf clubs or hammers for instance. It's illegal to carry these articles in public with the intention to use it as a weapon. This attracts penalties of up to 6 months jail (12 months jail if carried into or near a licenced premises where alcohol is sold). You can lawfully carry and use these articles for its intended lawful purposes (for a lawful excuse). It is illegal to have or use these articles for self-defence purposes.
The fourth type of weapons category in Victoria is "body armour". It is illegal to have possession of body armour in Victoria unless you have the Chief Commissioner's approval (Vic Police). This attracts up to two years jail.
What Self-defence Weapons are Legal in Victoria?
Carrying a dangerous article or controlled weapon for self-defence or protection is illegal in Victoria. Self-defence is not classified as a lawful excuse to have possession of a weapon. Contrary to what people believe, it is also illegal to carry pepper spray or capsicum spray for protection or self-defence in Victoria. Pepper spray or capsicum spray are considered prohibited weapons in Victoria and can only be carried if you have a Governor in Council Exemption Order or approval from the Chief Commissioner (Vic Police).
WHAT IS A PROHIBITED WEAPON IN WA?
It is illegal attracting penalties of up to 3 years jail and/or $36,000 fine to carry, possess, purchase, sell, supply, manufacture or bring/send a prohibited weapon into Western Australia, prescribed by section 6 Weapons Act 1999 (WA). You are permitted to have or use a prohibited weapon in WA if you fall within any of the exceptions, including the following:
- Member of the police force,
- Security officer under the Public Transport Authority Act 2003,
- Collector of prohibited weapons,
- Prison officer,
- Aviation or maritime security officers,
- Dramatic productions i.e. theatrical, tv, film or other dramatic production.
"Prohibited weapons" include butterfly knife, blow pipe, ballistic knife, acoustic shock weapon, catapult, crossbow, disguised knife or sword, electric shock weapon, extendable baton, flick knife or switchblade, knuckle dusters, gas dart.
An capsicum spray, pepper spray or OC spray is not classified as a "prohibited weapon" in WA. It is considered a "controlled weapon" which means to have or use one you don't need to have a permit or be exempt. You are actually allowed to carry pepper spray for self-defence if in the circumstances you have reasonable grounds to apprehend may arise, according to clause 7 Weapons Regulations 1999 (WA).
DID YOU KNOW?
IS A SWISS ARMY KNIFE CONSIDERED A WEAPON?
The Weapons Act in NSW prohibit anyone, unless you have a permit, from carrying a prohibited weapon as defined in schedule 1, including flick knife that has a blade which opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by any pressure applies to a button, spring or device in or attached to the handle of the knife. The schedule lists other items classified as "prohibited weapons" in NSW. If the swiss army knife you have falls within the description of a "prohibited weapon" then it is illegal. Otherwise it is legal. This carries heavy criminal penalties.
Carrying a knife in public of any kind is a criminal offence in NSW carrying penalties of up to 2 years jail and/or $2,200 fine if dealt with in court, or a $550 penalty notice fine if police decide to instead issue you with a fine (this will mean you do not need to go to court and face criminal penalties if paid). You are legally allowed to carry a knife in public if you have a reasonable excuse which may include, genuine religious purposes, wearing an official uniform, organised exhibition by knife collectors, preparation or consumption of food or drink, participation in lawful entertainment, recreation or sport.
What Weapons are legal in NSW?
Anything that falls within the definition of a "prohibited weapon" in schedule 1 Weapons Act is illegal (unless you have a permit) in New South Wales. But anything outside that can also be considered illegal if it is considered an "offensive weapon" under the Crimes Act NSW. This includes any dangerous weapon (i.e. firearm or imitation firearm or prohibited weapon), or anything made or adapted for offensive purposes, or anything in the circumstances is used or intended for use or threatened to be used for offensive purposes, whether or not it's ordinarily used for offensive purposes or is capable of causing harm.
What self-defence weapons are legal in NSW?
It is illegal to have a prohibited weapon for self-defence purposes according to section 11 Weapons Act 1998. One of the exceptions to this is body-armour vests, which can legally be used for self-defence purposes even though it is considered a prohibited weapon in NSW.
What can I legally carry for self-defence in Australia?
Western Australia is the only place in Australia where pepper spray can be carried for self-defence if it's in circumstances you have reasonable grounds to apprehend or lawful excuse. This can mean a women walking across a park in the middle of the night on her own could amount to reasonable grounds to carry pepper spray for self-defence. In all other places in Australia it is illegal to carry any prohibited weapon for purposes of protection or self-defence.
Are crossbows legal in Australia?
A crossbow that consists of a bow fitted transversely on a stock that has a groove or barrel designed to direct an arrow or bolt is classified as a "prohibited weapon" and is illegal in NSW. To lawfully have or use a crossbow, you must hold a weapons permit. Heavy criminal penalties are prescribed under NSW weapons laws. Similar laws apply across all States and Territories of Australia concerning crossbows.