Representation. A knife.
Representation. A knife.

The government of Western Australia is about to enact the strictest knife legislation in the nation, enabling law enforcement officers to use portable metal detectors to search anybody inside a restricted area at any time and any place for concealed weapons.

Knife Wanding Areas (KWAs) are zones that have been defined and will be set up permanently in areas like entertainment precincts. Senior police may also create KWAs on the fly in places like train stations, retail malls, and sporting events, according to

New legislation in Western Australia permits the police to search designated regions or even particular places for certain periods for hidden blades. Refusing a scan carries a significant fee or perhaps jail time, even if it's optional.

The premier of Western Australia, Roger Cook, justified the proposed tougher knife prohibitions as an essential step to ensure public safety. Focusing on offenders carrying blades in public areas, he reassured law-abiding individuals that they had "nothing to worry about." The new laws, which were modeled after Queensland's "Jack's Law" -- named after Queensland's Jack Beasley, who was fatally stabbed when he was 17 -- intend to discourage knife ownership by strengthening fines and granting police more authority to examine homes. This involves setting up makeshift "Knife Wanding Areas" in public areas and using portable metal detectors to scan anybody.

These tougher laws are designed to reduce knife crime by stiffening the penalties for unlawful weapon possession and sales to minors. However, critics have been worrying about disproportionate police force and possible racial profiling, following the passing of the law.

Australia has some of the strictest knife restrictions in the world. Specifics can vary, but in general, most states forbid carrying any kind of blade in public, unless there is a "reasonable excuse," such as while out for business or play. Small utility knives are legal in Queensland, although there are more extensive exemptions for professionals in Western Australia.