In Australia, police are seeing more knives at airports, but they don’t look like a typical dagger.
The Australian Federal Police reported that as many as 81 credit card knives — wallet-sized knives that look like plastic credit card cases — have been confiscated in the country’s airports, including 22 in the past month.
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan warned that it is an offense in all states and territories in Australia to buy or possess these types of knives, saying that they are not novelty items or toys. “They are a dangerous weapon,” he said, “they are illegal and they are banned from being taken on domestic and international flights.”
In Australia, fines and punishments vary depending on the state or territory that the person possessing the weapon lives in. In South Australia, possession of credit card knives can come with a fine of up to $2,500 AUD (about $2,200 USD); in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, being found with a credit card knife can result in a jail sentence of up to two years.
The knives are fairly easy for people to come by, selling for around $10 AUD online (about $8.90 USD).
“I think it is a shame that Australia seeks to limit violence by putting restrictive laws on the entire population. Violent criminals will find the means to injure others no matter the restrictions,” says Ryan Johnson, President, RMJ Tactical. “For the law abiding citizen it becomes necessary to learn defense with what is at hand. It makes no sense to try and sneak an impact weapon on a plane when a Nalgene bottle will serve the same purpose. It is mindset then, not implements that become important to personal safety for those who comply with ever restrictive laws.”
In the United States, these types of knives are not illegal, but they can be confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration in the nation’s airports.
At the Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio, TSA agents have confiscated items that include a sword concealed inside a cane, brass knuckles in the shape of a cat, and credit card knives, which are often purchased at gun and knife shows and are being found at TSA checkpoints nationwide.
In South Carolina, at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, similar items have also been found. Passengers are urged to turn prohibited items over to a friend or store them in a vehicle.
Besides the popular credit card knives, items discovered at GSP also include power drills, hand tools, guns, tactical fighting knives and grenades.