An online appeal was launched on Friday and a petition calling for the legalisation of pepper spray is now on the Jamaica House Petition online portal. Over the weekend it quickly surpassed the 15,000 mark that is required for the review of any petition.
Up to press time yesterday evening, there were 16,876 signatures on it, essentially 110.51% of the target. The closing date for collecting signatures is March 29.
The petitioners outlined the virtues of having pepper spray, saying it is handy, it is an “invaluable self-defence [tool] for anyone to use. It is recommended for persons to have and it says people should own pepper spray as it can be used on multiple attackers, it is economical, easy to carry, causes no permanent damage, and could save its carrier’s life.
The portal’s petition policy has this statement on it, “If 15,000 signatures are gathered in 40 days, we will review your petition, and if it complies with the agreed standards, the Office of the Prime Minister will then issue an official response.”
Calls for women to arm themselves with the simple product increased recently, as last Wednesday the kidnapping of Khanice Jackson, a resident of Portmore, St Catherine ended with her death.
Check out the petition here: https://opm.gov.jm/participate/jamaica-house-petition/sign-petition/?pet=125
Opposition Leader Mark Golding, took to his social media account on Saturday, to state that based on Jamaican statute it was, in fact, legal to carry the substance.
He stated that the safety of ladies is paramount! Pepper spray and mace for personal protection are not included in the definition of an ‘offensive weapon’ in JA and therefore it is legal, he referred to Section 2(2) of the Offensive Weapons (Prohibition) Act 2001.
While on the other hand, while talking to Khanice Jackson’s family, PM Holness outlines that steps are being taken to make the substance legal to carry however at the moment it’ an Offensive Weapons.
Two different message on the substance from the leaders.
Mark Golding later seemingly admitted that the Substance is illegal to carry and shared more info about plans to research on the usage of pepper spray for best practices.