Amendment would remove pepper spray restrictions

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved an amendment to ease certain restrictions for buying and carrying pepper spray or mace.

Pepper spray is legal in Massachusetts, but state law requires you obtain a Firearms Identification Card, or an FID card, in order to buy and carry pepper spray.

Massachusetts is 1 of 6 states that impose restrictions on chemical spray: “mace.” However, now state lawmakers want to change that.

In an amendment to the state budget, the House and Senate both overwhelmingly approved a measure to make it easier for people to buy pepper spray.

Even though the amendment would allow people over 18 to buy mace without an FID card, it would still restrict some people with criminal history and history with mental health issues and substance issues from buying and possessing pepper spray.

Jim Munroe of Springfield told 22News, “I understand that if anybody can get pepper spray, there’s going to be somebody who’s going to abuse it, I get that, but I also think that it needs to be readily available for those who are vulnerable.”

Todd Lepore of Springfield said, “It’s no different than a pocket knife or something of that nature. It’s something people can use to defend themselves.”

The amendment will also make it a criminal offense to sell mace without a license or to sell to a minor.

The amendment is part of the $36 billion state budget. So it’ll go through the same process the budget goes through before it gets signed into law.

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