Tuesday, 27 June 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
404. Mr. Boylan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the measures he will take to make the carrying of a knife in a public place a criminal act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18232/00]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): Section 9 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, 1990, provides that it is an offence to have, in any public place, any knife or any other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed. It is a defence for a person charged with this offence to prove that he or she had good reason or lawful authority for having the knife in a public place, or that he or she had the knife for use at work or for recreational purposes. The penalty on summary conviction for this offence is a fine of up to £1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
It is also an offence under section 9 of the 1990 Act for a person to have, in any public place, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, a flick-knife or any other article made or adapted for use for causing injury to or incapacitating a person. A person found guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or on conviction on indictment to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
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