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Possess Prohibited Weapon


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW, possessing a prohibited weapon carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

The Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 sets out the requirement for individuals to possess permits for weapons and in some circumstances when an individual is exempt from holding a permit.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:


The offence of Possessing a Prohibited Weapon is contained in section 7(1) of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 which states: a person must not possess or use a prohibited weapon unless the person is authorised to do so by a permit.

Section 7(2) outlines that even if an individual holds a permit if the use of the weapon is outside of scope of what the permit allows, they will be guilty of an offence.


The definition of a ‘prohibited weapon’ includes an number of items including but not limited to certain types of knives, crossbows, bombs/grenades, anti-personnel spray and silencers. The full list of prohibited weapons is set out in Schedule 1 of the Act.


To convict you of a possess prohibited weapon charge, the Police must prove, beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you possessed or used a prohibited weapon as defined in Schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act; and
  • That the possession or use was without a permit;
  • The possession or use was with a permit but in contravention of the permit or not in connection with the purpose established for being the genuine reason for possessing or using the weapon.


Possible defences to a Possess Prohibited Weapon charge include but are not limited to:

  • Necessity
  • Duress
  • Self defence
  • You were lawfully authorised to possess the weapon (you have a permit)
  • You are exempt from the requirement to hold a permit


This matter is a Table 2 offence. This means that the matter will likely be dealt with at the Local Court, however, the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court, which will give rise to harsher penalties.

Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention: Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.

Intensive corrections order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Suspended sentence This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Community service order (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Good behaviour bond This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Fines When deciding the amount of a fine the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Section 10 avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.

where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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