Learn here the answer to is it legal to carry pepper spray in Australia
Pepper spray is a self-defence tool that has gained popularity worldwide due to its effectiveness in incapacitating attackers. However, it is important to know whether it is legal before considering purchasing and carrying pepper spray. In this blog, we will explore the answer: Is pepper spray legal in Australia?
Disclaimer: This blog is not a substitute for legal advice but rather a guide. Contact JJ Lawyers for a robust legal defence!
What does the law say in each state?
In which states are carrying pepper spray legal
Is pepper spray legal in Australia? Short answer, it’s illegal in most states (including NSW), with the legality of pepper spray varying from state to state.
While some states allow the possession and use of pepper spray, others have strict laws prohibiting it. Let’s explore the pepper spray laws in each state:
New South Wales
Possessing, using, or carrying pepper spray in New South Wales is illegal, as it is classified as a ‘prohibited weapon’. According to the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998, possessing or using a prohibited weapon, including pepper spray, is an offence. If convicted, an individual could face up to 14 years imprisonment.
However, one can lawfully possess pepper spray by obtaining a permit.
Is it legal to carry pepper spray in Australia? If you are in VIC, the short answer is no.
Possessing, using, or carrying it without a lawful excuse is illegal. Under the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (VIC), a person found possessing pepper spray without a lawful reason could face up to two years imprisonment.
Is pepper spray legal in Australia, particularly in QLD?
Like NSW, carrying, using, or possessing pepper spray in Queensland is illegal. According to the Weapons Act 1990 (QLD), pepper spray is classified as a restricted weapon. Individuals found possessing pepper spray could face up to 7 years of imprisonment.
Pepper spray is also illegal in South Australia, as it is classified as a ‘dangerous article’. According to clause 5 of the Summary Offences Regulations 2016 (SA), discharging an offensive, noxious or irritant liquid, powder, gas, or other substance without lawful excuse is an offence.
Maximum penalties can amount to up to 2 years imprisonment and a $10 000 fine.
Is it legal to carry pepper spray in Australia? The answer is yes if you live in Western Australia, as it is classified as a ‘controlled weapon’.
WA is the only state that allows the possession and use of pepper spray without a permit.
Pepper spray is classified as a controlled weapon in Tasmania, and possessing, using, or carrying it without a lawful excuse is illegal. Under the Police Offences Act 1935, a person found possessing pepper spray without a lawful excuse could face up to two years imprisonment.
Possessing, using, or carrying pepper spray in the Northern Territory is also illegal. According to the Weapons Control Act 2001 (NT), pepper spray is classified as a prohibited weapon, and individuals possessing it could face up to two years of imprisonment.
What is Pepper Spray?
Its contents and the forms it may take
Pepper spray is a self-defence tool containing oleoresin capsicum derived from chilli peppers. When sprayed in the face of an attacker, it causes a burning sensation in the eyes, throat, and skin, which can temporarily incapacitate them. Pepper spray comes in different forms, including sprays, gels, and foams.
As mentioned, pepper spray contains a chemical irritant called oleoresin capsicum derived from chilli peppers. The active ingredient in pepper spray is capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation and temporary blindness that it causes. Other ingredients in pepper spray can include water, fuel, and a solvent such as ethanol or isopropanol.
The concentration of capsaicin in pepper spray can vary depending on the product, with some containing as little as 0.18% and others containing up to 10%. Pepper spray’s potency can be affected by the concentration of capsaicin, with higher concentrations causing more intense burning.
If you’ve been charged with the unlawful possession of pepper spray, contact legal support, we’re available 24/7 to take your call – (02) 8005 3075
Penalties and Charges
The charges and penalties when you are found to carry pepper spray in Australia illegally
Now that you know the answer to is pepper spray legal in Australia, let us discuss the penalties and charges. These also vary depending on the state or territory.
In New South Wales, for example, carrying pepper spray without a lawful excuse is an offence under the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is two years imprisonment or 240 penalty units (currently $43,617.60).
Likewise, carrying pepper spray in Victoria is illegal under the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (VIC). In this state, the offence can be punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment.
In Queensland, pepper spray is classified as a weapon under the Weapons Act 1990 (QLD), and possessing or carrying it without a reasonable excuse is illegal. Here, they may charge you with up to 10 years of imprisonment.
Whilst in Western Australia, pepper spray is classified as a controlled weapon under the Weapons Regulations 1999. It is illegal to possess or carry pepper spray without a lawful excuse. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $4,000 or two years imprisonment.
Lastly, South Australia has different regulations regarding pepper spray. According to clause 5 of the Summary Offences Regulations 2016 (SA), discharging an offensive, noxious or irritant liquid, powder, or gas, including pepper spray, in a public place without reasonable excuse is an offence. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $2,500.
It is essential to understand that carrying pepper spray as a defensive weapon without a lawful excuse is a criminal offence in Australia. You can be arrested and charged and face serious consequences.
If you have to contact legal support, we’re available anytime to take your call – (02) 8005 3075
Need Legal Help?
You can get legal support for illegally carrying pepper spray in Australia
Now that you know the answer to pepper spray legal in Australia, remember the laws and regulations regarding this spray in your state or territory to avoid severe penalties and charges.
Don’t hesitate to act if you are among the many people illegally carrying pepper spray in Australia. The consequences of being caught with pepper spray can be severe, including fines and imprisonment.
At JJ Lawyers, we understand the complex laws and regulations regarding pepper spray in Australia. Our experienced team of lawyers can provide expert advice and representation to help you navigate this legal minefield.
Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact our criminal lawyers in Sydney today, and let us help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. With our help, you can face your legal challenges with confidence and peace of mind.
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