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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:

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:

You either:

  • Brought into Victoria;
  • Caused to be brought or sent into Victoria;
  • Manufactured;
  • Sold;
  • Purchased;
  • Possessed; or
  • Used.

Body armour;

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;
  • Duress;
  • 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.

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