Stabbed by new knife laws

NEW knife laws, expected to come in to force next year, could see those in possession of a pocket knife in public facing a criminal record.

The ALP proposed the law change, with the LNP backing it all the way, but Katter's Australian Party has deemed it "utterly ridiculous".

The Weapons Act 1990 states 'a person may carry a pen knife or Swiss army knife for use for its normal utility purposes', but that will not be acceptable under the new laws.

The new law will state that anyone caught carrying a pocket knife in public could be forced to explain to police why they have it in their possession.

The new laws involve an expanded definition of a flick knife to include any knife that opens by being shaken and also knives deemed by police to have been designed as a weapon.

Co-owner of Warwick Outdoor and Sports Wayne Eastwell said knives were an important part of his retail operations and the law would not only damage sales, but did not make sense.

"It all comes down to common sense - saying a farmer can't carry a pocket knife is ridiculous," Mr Eastwell said.

"At the end of the day, if someone is going to attack someone with a knife they will, whether it be a pocket knife or a bread and butter knife."

"The only people this will affect is law-abiding people," he said.

Local farmer Tom Graham said he was firmly against the idea of banning pocket knives.

"I'm dead against it, it's ridiculous," Mr Graham said.

He said he always wore a knife on his belt, and without it he "wouldn't feel dressed".

"You can't print what I'd like to say about those people down in Canberra if that's what they're proposing," Mr Graham said.

National Public Relations Manager for Katter's Australian Party Scott Barrett said enforcing the law was a "restriction of freedom".

"It's purely a political game they're playing to give us further restrictions. It's not criminals that will be targeted by this; it's farmers and fishermen who might have a knife in their tackle box, or tradies who have one on their tool belt," he said.

Pocket knives that can only be opened with two hands will still be acceptable if they pass the police public place test, but those that qualify on the 'banned list' will have to be handed in, or owners risk being charged with possession of an illegal weapon.

Under the new legislation, people can apply for a special licence to carry their old pocket knife in public so long as they can demonstrate an occupational requirement.

State leader for Katter's Australian Party Aidan McLindon said that would affect as many as half a million Queenslanders.

"When these laws come into force, around 50,000 people will instantly become criminals," he said.


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