SYDNEY, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- The state government of Australia's Queensland announced on Sunday that new laws would be introduced to parliament to restrict the sale of knives and replica firearms to juveniles in a bid to combat youth offending.
Under the proposed laws, the sale of knives, and certain other bladed items such as machetes, axes, swords, and replica firearms, including gel blasters, to people aged under 18 years old becomes an offence.
"Reducing the accessibility of these items to young people will disrupt and deter violent offences while enhancing community safety. Under the proposed legislation, anyone attempting to use false identification to purchase one of these items could also be charged with an offence," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
The proposal came after Queensland Police Service seized 350 weapons over six months.
Since March 30 this year, more than 2,900 handheld scanner operations have been conducted, with over 31,800 people having been scanned. As a result, there were 904 people charged with almost 1,600 offences, mostly related to weapon and drug matters.
"With every wanding operation we see an opportunity to educate on the impacts of knife crime and intervene in the lives of those who are making the poor decision to carry a weapon," said Paul Hart, acting assistant commissioner and acting commander of Youth Crime Taskforce at Queensland Police Service.
The officer noted that the new laws would allow officers to take action against those unlawfully selling weapons to young people, who may intend to use them to commit violent offences.
Released by the Queensland Government Statistician's Officer in April, an independent report showed that in the 2021-2022 financial year, the state's rate of unique child offenders fell to 1,926.4 per 100,000 persons aged 10-17 years, the lowest level recorded over the 10 year time series. ■