Possession or Use of a Prohibited Weapon
[Section 7 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998]
Maximum Penalty: 14 years imprisonment
Offence: A person must hold a permit to posses or use the weapon; even with a permit a person must have a genuine reason for possessing the weapon at that time. The offence is a table 2 offence. It is also an offence for a person who comes into possession of an unauthorised weapon and does not immediately surrender said weapon to the police.
The list of prohibited weapons can be found in the Schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998.
Defences: It is a defence if the person establishes that they had a valid permit as well as a valid reason for the possession of the weapon in accordance with the permit. It can also be a defence if the person was in the process of surrendering the weapon to the authorities.
Penalty: Factors affecting penalties include the method of concealment, the weapon involved and whether it was used in conjunction with any other offences.
Consideration is also given to prior criminal record and personal circumstances such as medical and employment status.