Control of Body Armour
In Victoria, control of body armour carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment or 240 penalty units. Individuals are usually charged with this offence if the police believe that a person is in possession of a bullet proof vest or a similar article of clothing (i.e. a bomb suit).
A Court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Control Body Armour:
The offence of control of body armour is contained in section 8A of the Control of Weapons Act 1990 which states:
A person must not:
- Bring body armour into Victoria; or
- Cause body armour to be brought or sent into Victoria; or
- Manufacture, sell or purchase body armour; or
- Possess or use body armour –
without an exemption.
Definition of Body Armour:
Body armour means 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.
What Actions Might Constitute Control Of Body Armour?
- Ordering a bullet proof vest online for delivery to an address in Victoria;
- Driving in a vehicle with a bomb suit on the passenger seat;
- Wearing medieval plate armour.
What the Police Must Prove:
To convict you of controlling body armour, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- Brought into Victoria;
- Caused to be brought or sent into Victoria;
- Possessed; or
Without an exemption.
Possible Defences for Control of Body Armour:
- The item does not fall within the definition of body armour;
- You had an exemption or approval under the Control of Weapons Act to have control of the body armour;
- Lack of intent/honest and reasonable mistake.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter ?
This is a summary matter and will be heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.