Half - million criminals created with the stroke of a pen in QLD
Don’t give dad a pocket knife for Christmas or he could end up in jail.
Katter’s Australian Party has warned anyone who wants to buy their Dad a new pocket knife this Christmas to think twice, otherwise they could be sending him to jail for up to two years after laws passed last month banned many folding pocket knives.
State leader Aidan McLindon condemned the ALP and LNP for joining forces on this legislation that could see as many as half a million Queenslanders in possession of illegal weapons.
“The day these laws come in to force, around 500,000 Queenslanders will instantly become criminals and have another thing to be worried about being arrested for,” Mr McLindon said.
“There are three main traps that have been set.
1. The first involves a new definition of a flick knife. It now includes any standard folding knife that opens if you give it a good hard shake. That covers a big portion of well-made or well-worn standard folding pocket knives. Owners of these knives can attempt to get around the law by tightening the hinge screws up so as the knife becomes difficult to open, but ultimately they run the risk of being charged with possession of a flick knife. How is the average bloke supposed to learn about this?
2. The second trap is a ban on knives capable of being opened with one hand that a Police Officer determines has been designed as a weapon. If the officer, at his or her sole discretion decides the knife was once designed as a weapon you are in breach of the weapons Act and will be charged.
3. The third trap relates to a reasonable excuse for carrying a knife in a public place and gives police the power to charge you if they don’t like your explanation of why you’re carrying your pocket knife.
Under the new legislation, people can apply for a special licence from the Queensland Police to keep their old pocket knife so long as they can demonstrate an occupational requirement, however staff in Weapons Licensing Branch are already months behind and industry groups fear further delays.
“This is unbelievable - tradies, farmers and fisherman are not going to apply for another licence and nor should they. These new laws are so confusing that they verge on the ridiculous and it’s no surprise people are sick of restrictions like this”, Mr McLindon said.
“It just shows just how out of control and out of touch the ALP and LNP are from the ordinary bloke.
“Katter’s Australian Party is committed to repealing the offending parts of this legislation when we are in Government and we will re-instate people’s right to go about their business without worrying about being arrested as they walk down the street. “
Industry groups are now calling for the laws to be repealed or for the government to fund a buyback. With an estimated 1,000,000 affected knives across Queensland, it could exceed $75,000,000 and would require a massive mobilisation of police resources as well as a public education campaign.