The Queensland government introduced new legislation, effective September 1st, 2024, regarding the sale of knives to minors (under 18 years). This included the classification of knives and control requirements for each classification.

Qld Retailers must familiarise themselves with their responsibilities under the Qld Legislation.

AFTA Members, both wholesale and retail, need to be aware that under these new laws:

  • It will become an offence to sell knives and other weapons to minors (under 18yo)
  • It will become an offence to use false identification to purchase these weapons.
  • It will become an offence to advertise weapons as ‘suitable for combat’.
  • Retailers will be required to securely store particular weapons prior to sale.
  • Retailers will be required to display signage regarding age restrictions for sales.

In addition, minimum Staff Training & Record Keeping requirements must be adhered to.

All staff must be instructed and warned that it is illegal to sell a controlled or restricted item to a minor; staff must acknowledge this in writing, and records must be kept even after the employee has left employment as per the Act.

There are information sessions available; click here to register. In addition, there is a Qld Police Q&A to assist members in making informed decisions.

Signage:

Retailers will require, at minimum, signs at the point of sale, front of store, and display area, which seem necessary for selling knives other than exempt knives to people under 18, which is prohibited.

Classifications:

Exempt Items:

Plastic or wooden knives designed for eating, knives with a rounded or dull edge such as a butter knife, and knives designed for use as a cheese knife are not restricted.

Controlled Items – not for sale to people under 18:

Knives with one single-sided blade, such as:

  • Kitchen or steak knife
  • Utility knife or box-cutter
  • Fishing knife
  • Craft scalpel
  • Cut-throat razor
  • A single-sided knife within a multi-tool or kit

Controlled – Secured Storage:
There are legal requirements for sellers for secure storage of the following items: a locked room, cage, counter or cabinet, or some form of secure tethering cord or device which allows customers to inspect but not remove the product. Sellers may also use empty packaging or images on display while the actual items are locked away.

  • a knife other than an exempt knife;
  • a dagger that has a double-edged blade;
  • a knife with a blade at each end;
  • a sword, machete or axe;
  • a sickle or scythe;
  • a spear gun;
  • a spear;

Restricted – Stored as above:

  • Any replica weapons under the Weapons Act, e.g. gel blasters which are not clearly identifiable as toys

8 Steps for Sellers :

  1. Assess your range for impacted items.
  2. Consider whether you need to sell these items.
  3. Ensure you do not sell to minors.
  4. Display signage about age restrictions.
  5. Instruct your staff and keep records.
  6. Check items are not promoted illegally.
  7. Ensure particular controlled items are securely stored.
  8. Check requirements for restricted items and weapons.

AFTA does not offer legal advice. Members must independently ensure they comply with the Qld Legislation legislative requirements.

Members should be aware that this will most likely become the legislated norm across Australia soon, and as such, members should prepare for change.