Be safe on your plane – unlawful weapons

It is a criminal offence to carry some kinds of weapons at airports.

Unlawful weapons cannot be taken onto planes. 

People with unlawful weapons risk missing their flights and being arrested. Penalties for these offences include prison terms.

Refer to the ‘Unlawful weapons’ table to make sure you do not take anything illegal with you to the airport.

Unlawful weapons

Military ordinance

Description

What could happen?

 Military-ordinance

Military ordinances are weapons developed for the military, and include grenades, mines, mortars and smoke canisters.

Deactivated devices (e.g. empty shells) where the explosives have been removed, and imitations are also prohibited.

Airport security agencies will treat deactivated or imitation ordinances as active.

Military ordinances are not lawfully permitted to be possessed by members of the public. If you are found in possession of military ordinance, active, deactivated, or an imitation:

  • you will be denied access
  • the NZ Police will be alerted
  • you may be arrested.

Leave deactivated or imitation military ordinances at home. 


Improvised Explosive Device

   

 IED

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) can take multiple forms including the familiar image of a clock attached to sticks or blocks of explosives.

There are novelty clocks that have been designed to look like an IED.

Airport Security agencies at the airport will treat an imitation IED as if it was a real IED until they can be satisfied it is not.

Possession of an IED or imitation is an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment.

If you are found in possession of an IED or imitation IED it is highly likely that: 

  • you will miss your flight
  • you will be trespassed from the airport
  • the NZ Police will be alerted
  • you will be arrested.

Leave imitation IEDs at home.


Offensive weapons - knives

   

 

Knives

All sword sticks, bayonets, butterfly, double edged, ejector, flick, push and disguised knives are offensive weapons and prohibited from carriage.

Any knife with one of the following characteristics is prohibited:

  • Blade produced through use of centrifugal force
  • Spring mechanism produces blade
  • Double edged blades with each edge mirroring the other
  • Knife disguised to appear as a another object.

Possession of these knives at an airport is an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment and may result in:

  • the knife being seized
  • you missing your flight
  • the NZ Police being alerted
  • your arrest.

The NZ Police and Customs consider these knives to be offensive weapons. Any item (e.g. comb) designed to look like a knife or other weapon will be seized as an imitation.

If you have these types of weapons leave them at home.


 Offensive weapon - bludgeon

   

 

bludgeon

The following weapons are designed to bludgeon and are offensive weapons: 

  • baton
  • billy club
  • blackjack
  • cosh
  • cudgel
  • knuckle duster
  • mace
  • shilalie
  • other similar type weapon.

 

Possession of an offensive weapon developed for the sole purpose of bludgeoning another person is an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment and may result in:

  • the weapon being seized
  • you missing your flight
  • the NZ Police being alerted
  • your arrest.

If you have these types of weapons leave them at home.


Disabling weapons

   

 

disable

Disabling weapons use chemicals or an electric current to disable a person. They are unlawful for persons other than the Police to possess and include:

  • acid spray
  • animal repellant (containing pepper spray)
  • mace
  • pepper (OC) spray
  • tear gas
  • stun guns/batons
  • tasers.
 

Possession of disabling weapons is an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment and may result in: 

  • the weapon being seized
  • you missing your flight
  • the NZ Police being alerted
  • your arrest.

If you have these types of weapons leave them at home.