It is an offence for a person to carry an offensive weapon or have possession of a dangerous article without a lawful excuse [see Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 21C]. For more information about weapons offences, see CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC OFFENCES, Weapons.


As of 3 February 2012, it is an offence to sell a knife to a minor under the age of 16 years [see Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 21D(1)]. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of up to $20 000 or imprisonment for up to two years.

A knife for the purposes of this offence does not include a razor blade permanently enclosed in a cartridge or a disposable plastic or wooden knife used for eating [ See reg 8 Summary Offences Regulations 2016 (SA)].

It is a defence if the person selling the knife requested a prescribed form of evidence of age, such as a driver's licence or proof of age card, and the minor made a false statement or produced false evidence of their age, resulting in the sale [see s 21D(2)].

It is also an offence, as of 3 February 2013, for a person to market a knife to any person for sale or hire in such a way as indicates or suggests (by its name or description) the knife is suitable for combat or is otherwise likely to encourage the use of the knife as a weapon [see Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 21D(4)]. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of up to $20 000 or imprisonment for up to two years.


Any person who has a firearm in his or her possession without holding an appropriate licence is guilty of an offence under the Firearms Act 1977 (SA) s 11(1). A person under the age of 18 cannot normally hold a firearms licence [s 12(3)] but some exemptions apply.

A child aged between 12 and 17 years who is a member of a recognised firearms club and needs to hold a firearms licence for competitions held in another state or country, may apply for a one year licence (which is not renewable) [Firearms Regulations 2008 (SA) reg 24].

A child aged between 15 and 17 years whose employer or immediate family member has an appropriate licence and is engaged in primary production may apply for an A or B class firearms permit for use in the business of primary production [ss 12(4) and (4a)].

Children aged 10-17 years may use a registered firearm under the continuous supervision of a guardian (or other person approved by their gaurdian) who holds an appropriate licence [reg 23(1)(a)]. However, children aged 10-14 may only use an A class firearm in these circumstances [reg 23(2)]. Children aged 14 to 17 years may also use a firearm in very specific circumstances relating to coaching, sporting and theatrical or film productions [regs 23(1)(b), (f), (g) and (4)].

Weapons  :  Last Revised: Fri Jul 15th 2016
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.
Link to sa.gov.au - find what you're looking for

© Legal Services Commission - All Rights Reserved
Funded with the support of the Governments of Australia and South Australia Website by CeRDI