GUN OWNERS ACTION LEAGUE (GOAL) APPLAUDS PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE ON RELEASE OF BIPARTISAN BACKED BILL THAT REFORMS PEPPER SPRAY LAWS
BOSTON - The Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts (GOAL) today applauds the efforts of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security for giving its bill, H. 2145, An Act Relative to Non-lethal Self Defense Sprays, a favorable report from the committee. The bill removes the requirement that a person obtain a license in order to possess pepper spray.
Massachusetts is the only state in the nation that requires a person to obtain a license to own pepper spray. Current violation of these laws can result in up to two years in jail and the required concealed weapons permit can cost up to $100.
H. 2145, filed by Rep. Kim Ferguson (R-Holden), is one of five bills filed this session to remove the licensing requirement for pepper spray. The bills are backed by a bipartisan alliance of legislators including Committee Chairman, Sen. James Timilty (D-Walpole) and House Minority Leader, Rep. Bradley H. Jones (R-North Reading).
“House Bill 2145 boils down to a matter of increased self-defense options, especially for women,” said Rep. Ferguson. “By allowing Massachusetts’ residents and non-residents, aged 18 or older, to carry self-defense spray as a protection against potential attackers, we as a Legislature will reaffirm our commitment to public safety in all circumstances.”
“We are excited to see movement on this common sense bill,” said Jim Wallace, Executive Director of GOAL. “Recent FBI reports show that Massachusetts has some of the highest violent crime rates in the Northeast. We should be allowing adults, from college students to the elderly, to utilize the most common nonlethal defense there is. This bill is about personal safety and I am happy to see that the legislature recognizes the need for citizens to protect themselves.
GOAL is confident that it will get the bill to the Governor’s desk by the end of the legislative session.