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 2015 (SA) s 9. A person under the age of 18 cannot normally hold a firearms licence [s 14(3)] but some exceptions 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 obtain a category 1 (shooting club) licence for 3 years [Firearms Regulations 2017 (SA) reg 14(7)].
A child aged between 15 and 17 years whose employer or relative is the operator of a business in primary production may obtain and hold a category 5 (primary production) licence for an A or B class firearm, but may not acquire a firearm [reg 18(4)].
Children aged 10 to 14 years may use a registered firearm (category A or air handgun) under the continuous supervision of a guardian (or other person approved by their guardian) who holds an appropriate licence for the purpose for which the firearm is being used [s 8].
Children 14 to 17 years may also use a registered firearm (category A, B or H) under the continuous supervision of a guardian (or other person approved by their guardian) who holds an appropriate licence for the purpose for which the firearm is being used [s 8].
There is also provision for very specific circumstances relating to coaching, sporting and theatrical or film productions [reg 40].