Blow for mace and pepper spray


November 24, 2017
Pepper spray

Jamaicans have, for the most part, ignored a petition calling for the legalisation of mace and pepper sprays.

Needing to get 15,000 signatures by Monday to trigger a response from Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the petition which, was launched on October 18, has attracted only 11 signatures.

"Having nothing to defend oneself makes one much more vulnerable to the criminal element. The government ties the law-abiding citizens' hands by preventing them from owning any of the two less lethal options," the petitioner said.

The petitioner reasoned that licensed firearm holders are sometimes attacked by criminals because they want to get their guns. According to the petitioner, there are persons who are fearful of the risks of owning or carrying a gun and would want the option of being allowed to carry less lethal weapons such as pepper spray or mace.

Pepper sprays are illegal, and the police said they will confiscated them if they are found on persons.

In February, women's rights advocate Latoya Nugent called on the Government to lift the ban on pepper spray.

"I would like to be able to carry a pepper spray in my bag," she said.

However, with days before the window for the 'pepper spray 'petition closes, Jamaicans may have missed an opportunity to advocate for change via the Jamaica House petition portal.

Dozens of petitions have been made since the portal was launched on July 24. However, only one the 'Save Cockpit Country' petition got the minimum number of signatures to required for the prime minister's intervention.

Holness announced in Parliament that no mining will be permitted in the Cockpit Country Protected Area.

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