Legislators in Massachusetts have introduced a series of bills to eliminate restrictions and licenses for those who wish to purchase pepper spray. Currently, the licenses and background checks that are required to purchase pepper spray are the same as those required to purchase firearms in the state. The state is working on stricter legislation to purchase guns, and does not believe that pepper spray ought to have the same requirements as firearms. Pepper spray is non-lethal, and is available to be purchased for self-defense purposes. When sprayed at an attacker’s face, it causes a burning sensation and inhibits vision long enough for a victim to escape or help to arrive. Some brands also contain a chemical that allows police to identify the person who has been sprayed, even if he or she leaves the scene. Massachusetts is the only state that requires a license to purchase defensive sprays, such as pepper spray or Mace. Currently, those who carry these sprays in the state must also carry a firearm identification card. Even the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and National Rifle Association affiliate Gun Owners’ Action League agree that the current law doesn’t make sense; the former believes it should be easier for civilians to obtain pepper spray, and the latter thinks it’s a waste of time and resources to require licensing for “what amounts to a spice.” photo credit: Pig Monkey via Creative Commons]]>
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