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Legalise pepper spray as a means of self defense?


Y'man

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I'd like to get people's opinion on the legalisation of pepper spray to be used as a deterrent in muggings and street violence in general. Personally, I think it's a good idea. The police are having difficulty maintaining control of the streets and I think that some form of defense spray might be what's needed to even the odds. They would, of course, have to be registered and used only in an emergency or suffer the legal consequences.
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I don't know what the situation is now but when I lived in France during the late nineties and Holland during the early noughties it was legal to purchase and carry electric shock/stun devices (and even Tazers in France if one didn't mind registering with an authorised vendor) and tear-gas sprays along with lots of other defensive gadgets.


I don't recall any evidence that they made much difference to the crime rate except that criminals and victims were equally likely to use them.


Personally, I've been to and lived in countries where it was normal to carry a knife, a handgun and an assault rifle just to go to the local shop - I've never really gotten over that experience: just don't feel safe without an AK47!

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HAL9000 Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> I don't know what the situation is now but when I

> lived in France during the late nineties and

> Holland during the early noughties it was legal to

> purchase and carry electric shock/stun devices

> (and even Tazers in France if one didn't mind

> registering with an authorised vendor) and

> tear-gas sprays along with lots of other defensive

> gadgets.

>

> I don't recall any evidence that they made much

> difference to the crime rate except that criminals

> and victims were equally likely to use them.

>

> Personally, I've been to and lived in countries

> where it was normal to carry a knife, a handgun

> and an assault rifle just to go to the local shop

> - I've never really gotten over that experience:

> just don't feel safe without an AK47!


Hal,

I live in Holland. It is not, nor ever has been, legal for civilians to carry stun or taser devices or repellent sprays. Pepper spray is classified as a Class II weapon of the Weapons and Munition Act (Wet Wapens en Munitie), putting it in the same class of regulation as fully automatic fire-arms, explosive devices and other war gasses such as organophosphate nerve gasses. It is a prohibited weapon except for police officers, who carry it as a less than lethal weapon, as an alternative for using their side-arm. It has never been for sale on the open market. The same applies to taser or stun weapons, though they are classified under a different act. Where did your info come from?


France is a different matter.

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Y'man Wrote:


> I live in Holland. It is not, nor ever has

> been, legal for civilians to carry stun or taser

> devices or repellent sprays. ... Where did your

> info come from?


I don't doubt what you say about legality - I assumed they were legal in Holland as they were on sale openly.


I've just Googled Euro Spyshop of Arnhem selling a Cell Phone Stun Gun 180K volt (?299,00), Super Air Taser (? 1.259,00) and Taser Shock Gun (? 1.259,00). Looks like business as usual regarding Tasers and Stun Guns despite the legal position although the "Shockers & Sprays" section of their web catalogue no longer lists any sprays.


> Pepper spray


What I saw in Amsterdam were small, key-ring sprays promoted as anti-rape devices openly on sale. I don't know what the active ingredient was (although I can confirm its efficacy as a lachrymator): perhaps a substance that wasn't prohibited under the law as it stood at the time?


link removed - The Administrator

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"Looks like business as usual regarding Tasers and Stun Guns despite the legal position"


Sorry, the shop is just a front. You can't actually visit it and purchase these items, only order online or over the phone for sale & delivery 'outside Netherlands'. Note the phone number, it's +32 prefix, that's Belgium, just around the corner.


What you may have seen in Amsterdam were like many things, on the market for a short period while laws were passed restricting them. I never saw them but that's not to say they didn't exist. The Dutch are always wheedling things out to restrict, like the most recent things outlawed, magic mushrooms.


http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Pepper_spray

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Y'man Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Sorry, the shop is just a front. You can't actually

> visit it and purchase these items ...


Are we looking at the same website? The one I cited provides addresses for shops in Arnhem and Utrecht, their Mon-Fri opening hours and four +31 (i.e. The Netherlands) telephone and fax numbers. It also features photographs of the shops' interiors.


Here's another shop (Personal Security Systems Spyshop) in Amsterdam which (at the time) sold virtually the same product range and which I visited on several occasions.


> What you may have seen in Amsterdam were like many

> things, on the market for a short period while laws

> were passed restricting them. I never saw them but

> that's not to say they didn't exist.


Fair enough.


link removed - The Administrator

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My worry here is it could be used against the innocent offensively as well as used by potential victims defensively. Therefore no to legalisation because criminals could abuse it.


Having said that, my sister has carried pepper spray, legally available in France, in her handbag for many years.

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silverfox Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> My worry here is it could be used against the

> innocent offensively as well as used by potential

> victims defensively. Therefore no to legalisation

> because criminals could abuse it.

>

> Having said that, my sister has carried pepper

> spray, legally available in France, in her handbag

> for many years.



The way things are going in the UK, Silverfox, your sister is wise beyond, well, beyond East Dulwich Forum, I guess. I did say, in my original post, that they would have to be registered. I think they would also have to be properly supervised, one would be trained to use them corectly. Maybe have to do a course in self defense to get a license for one and suffer the legal consequences if used incorrectly. It's a sad reflection but it's coming to that, the police can't stop the mindless violence and the judicial system is no deterrent.


I think, maybe, people's minds are changed when they've been at the thick end of it all.

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HAL9000 Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Y'man Wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------

> -----

> > Sorry, the shop is just a front. You can't

> actually

> > visit it and purchase these items ...

>

> Are we looking at the same website? The one I

> cited provides addresses for shops in Arnhem and

> Utrecht, their Mon-Fri opening hours and four +31

> (i.e. The Netherlands) telephone and fax numbers.

> It also features photographs of the shops'

> interiors.

>

> Here's another shop ((Personal Security Systems

> Spyshop) in Amsterdam which (at the time) sold

> virtually the same product range and which I

> visited on several occasions.

>

> > What you may have seen in Amsterdam were like

> many

> > things, on the market for a short period while

> laws

> > were passed restricting them. I never saw them

> but

> > that's not to say they didn't exist.

>

> Fair enough.



The site you originally linked to has addresses in Arnhem ,Netherlands and Sirketi, Turkey. It is nothing but a mail drop and front. The PSS Spyshop in Amsterdam does not sell items of self defense and never has, phone them and ask, it sells electonic defense items for the extremely paranoid.

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Y'man Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> The site you originally linked to has addresses

> in Arnhem ,Netherlands and Sirketi, Turkey. It is

> nothing but a mail drop and front.


FYI, here are EuroSpy's Arnhem and Utrecht shops' addresses, opening times and telephone numbers.


> The PSS Spyshop ...


Given the legal position you have highlighted, it's probably best to leave it at that.

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Hi Y'men,


You've said that street violence is out of control and that it's got to the stage where the police have lost control and the public now need to arm themselves for safety - your comments infer a rise in crime. Can you send me a link to the stats for this rise. Thanks

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Hi Molo,

actually I said nothing quite so blatant, I merely asked for opinions on something, giving my preference and an idea of why I think that way. Since posting on EDF I've found that what some people infer from what others write is usually way off base, I do wonder why that is! It always seems to precede an argument of some kind. As far as statistics are concerned, you have the same data access as I and everyone else.


Good luck.

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No, Y'man, there is no inference on my part, you said:


"The police are having difficulty maintaining control of the streets." November 27, 04:09PM


"The way things are going in the UK, Silverfox, your sister is wise beyond, well, beyond East Dulwich Forum." November 29, 09:11AM


"It's a sad reflection but it's coming to that, the police can't stop the mindless violence and the judicial system is no deterrent." November 29, 09:11AM


By using sentences like; 'The way things are going', 'it's coming to that', you are clearly suggesting that crime is getting worse. As that is your position, I would like to know which statistics have led you to that belief. If your position is not based on any data but rather your own internal state, perhaps you could be more open about that in your postings?


[sorry posted under my partner's login before]

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Regarding data I have access to, the Met police site contains stats for 'serious crime against the person' which I guess covers the kind of violence you refer to in your OP.


http://maps.met.police.uk/tables.htm


The data for Southwark goes back to 2000 and the most recent figures are the same as 2003 after a continuing downward trend from a high in 2004/05. Hardly a crime wave and in no way justifying a change in the law. Perhaps the police should just continue doing what they have been doing for the last few years.


I have a solution to crime fear; how about placing restrictions on the sale of the Daily Mail?

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