Mass. lawmakers seek change to 'self-defense spray' laws - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Mass. lawmakers seek change to 'self-defense spray' laws

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Lawmakers are expressing their support for a bill seeking to make so-called "non-lethal self-defense" sprays more accessible to Mass. residents in the wake of the murder of South Boston resident Amy Lord.

State Rep. Dan Winslow took to Twitter Saturday to show his support for a bill sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Ferguson.

"Instead of giving women in Boston rape whistles, why don't we make it easier to give them mace? I support @KimFergusonMA H2145 #mapoli #gop," tweeted the Norfolk Republican.

Ferguson, a Republican from Holden, proposed changes to the definition of "ammunition" back in January that would give a new definition for the term "defensive spray."

"'Defensive Spray' shall mean tear gas cartridges, chemical mace or any device or instrument which contains or emits a liquid, gas, powder or any other substance designed to incapacitate," reads the definition under Ferguson's proposed change.

The ultimate goal of the bill is to do away with licensing requirements for receiving self-defense spray. The bill was referred to the House committee on Ways and Means on June 3.

Women at a program hosted by police in South Boston expressed their interest in receiving Mace Friday.

Hundreds of people received whistles at the event following assaults on two women in South Boston and the murder of 24-year-old Amy Lord. During a press conference Friday, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis called a man charged in the two assaults a person of interest in Lord's murder. Edwin Alemany, 28, of Boston, was deemed unfit for arraignment Thursday. The 28-year-old, who has a lengthy criminal record, was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital where he will undergo a mental evaluation.

Under the current law, Mass. residents must carry a restricted firearms identification card to own pepper spray. Some have criticized the law, claiming that the process of applying for an FID card takes weeks, while others say the current law helps to prevent against the self-defense spray falling into the wrong hands.

To read more about Ferguson's bill, click here.

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