Georgia Courts have gone back and forth through the years as to what constitutes an offensive weapon as well as if replica or toys can be considered offensive weapons. After years of debating, it has been established that an offensive weapon includes not only weapons which are offensive per se, but also embraces other instrumentalities not normally considered to be offensive in and of themselves but which may be found by a jury likely to produce death or great bodily injury depending on the manner and means of their use.
Weapons that have been found to be offensive per se include a machete, sword, knife, and gun. These have been categorized as offensive per se because they do not have innocent qualities to them. Weapons that have honest qualities to them are things like ordinary razors, or penknives because they have an innocent purpose. The Court decided that hands and feet do not constitute weapons under the armed robbery statute.
The test for other unconventional weapons is whether the manner in which it was used constituted an offensive weapon. Whether an instrument represents a deadly or offensive weapon is one for the jury’s determination. Over the years, a starter pistol, nun chucks, tire tool, screwdriver, pellet gun, and skillet are just some of the things the jury found to be an offensive and/or a deadly weapon.
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