The possession or use of firearms, dangerous weapons and prohibited weapons except where authorised, is a serious criminal offence. Penalties can be severe, including imprisonment and a criminal conviction. Offences include unauthorised possession, possession of unregistered firearms, discharge of firearms in a public place or to endanger life, unauthorised manufacture and sale of firearms and more.


A firearm is broadly defined by legislation, as a gun or any other thing capable of projecting an explosive and it includes a blank firearm and an air gun as well as antique weapons. It also includes parts of a weapon such as a barrel of a gun. To lawfully possess a firearm, it must be registered, and the owner must have a licence. The firearm must be kept in an approved safe and separately from ammunition – which must also be locked away.

The maximum penalties for firearms offences is up to 14 years imprisonment.


A dangerous weapon or prohibited weapon includes, a slingshot, crossbow, flick knife, set of knuckle dusters and irritants such as mace. The maximum penalties for weapons offences is up to 14 years imprisonment.

Persons who are the subject of an apprehended violence order will be forced to surrender lawfully held weapons and their firearms licence for a period of 10 years.

A person charged with an offence involving a weapon or firearm will probably have their licence revoked – this could occur prior to the matter being determined by a court.

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