Activist Rights

Carrying a weapon

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A weapon may include anything that can be used, and is intended to be used as, a weapon (e.g. a broken bottle). Thus sticks, rocks and many common objects may be considered weapons. At protests, police have been known to charge activists carrying props, banners or articles for street theatre with possession of a “controlled” or “prohibited” weapon. This usually ends up in the media the next day.

Recent changes to the law relating to weapons (the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic)) have imposed severe restrictions on the carrying of objects which could be considered weapons. The carrying of knives is almost completely outlawed. It is not lawful to carry a knife for the purpose of self-defence. Weapons including flick knives, daggers, butterfly-knives and knuckle dusters are prohibited weapons which must not be made, sold, purchased, possessed or carried or used in Victoria.

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