VicPol Corporate

Weapons definitions

Prohibited weapons

Prohibited weapons are items considered inappropriate for general possession and use without a Chief Commissioner's Approval or a Governor in Council Exemption Order.

Prohibited weapons are specifically listed in the Control of Weapons Act 1990 and Control of Weapons Regulations 2011.

Imitation firearms and body armour are both considered prohibited weapons.

Body armour

Body armour is a garment or item:

  • that is designed, intended or adapted for the purpose of protecting the body from the effects of a weapon, including a firearm; or
  • that is prescribed by the regulations to be body armour

Controlled weapons

Controlled weapons are weapons that can be possessed, carried and used for legitimate purposes but may pose a potential danger to the community. Controlled weapons are specifically listed in the Control of Weapons Act 1990 and Control of Weapons Regulations 2011.

Items classified as controlled weapons include:

  • a knife other than a knife that is a prohibited weapon
  • spear gun
  • baton or cudgel
  • bayonet
  • cattle prod

A person must not possess, carry or use a controlled weapon without a lawful excuse.

Dangerous articles

Dangerous articles include any item which is:

  • carried with the intention of being used as a weapon
  • adapted or modified so as to be capable of being used as a weapon

Any item can be considered a dangerous article if it meets the above definition. This may include any everyday items including tools, household items or sports equipment.

A person must not possess or carry dangerous articles in a public place without lawful excuse.

Lawful excuses

Lawful excuses include:

  • pursuit of any lawful employment, duty or activity
  • participation in any lawful sport, recreation or entertainment
  • the legitimate collection, display or exhibition of weapons

In relation to dangerous articles, it is also a lawful excuse to use the article for its intended purpose.

Self-defence is not a lawful excuse for carrying controlled weapon or dangerous articles.

Frequently asked questions

Reviewed 21 February 2019

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