By Jin Kok

Queensland Police Minister Neil Roberts has announced changes to the state’s weapons laws that will see tighter controls and stricter penalties for weapons-related offenses.

Under the Bill introduced into Parliament today, penalties for behavourial offenses such as discharging a weapon in a public place, dangerous conduct with a weapon would double.

The Bill proposes the maximum penalty for these offenses will increase to four years imprisonment from the previous two years.

Mr Roberts says the amendments to the Weapon Act 1990 have to balance the need for community safety and the legitimate interests of weapon users and owners.

“The Bill that I have introduced today enhances community safety, …and sends a strong message of deterrence to those in the community who would commit weapons-related offenses,” he said.

The Bill will also tighten regulations surrounding the possession of high-capacity detachable magazines.

“This amendment will reduce the overall fire power available on the market and ensure Queensland is consistent with the national standards,” Mr Roberts said.

The changes would also address instances that a person could possess a knife in a public place for genuine religion purpose.

The Sikh religion requires baptised members to carry a small blunted knife that is worn underneath their clothing.