Just when I thought the District of Columbia government couldn’t stoop to new lows of incompetence and non-sensical behavior, it does. Apparently, self-defense spray is defined as a firearm in DC and must be registered by its owner with the Metropolitan Police Department. I kid you not! You heard me correctly. The DC Police wants to make it even more difficult for people, especially women, in a town where it’s tortuous to purchase a gun to use in self-defense.
Recently, US District Judge Frederick J. Schulling Jr. ruled DC’s ban on people carrying guns in public was unconstitutional. Yet, DC lawmakers and the Police department demonstrate a tenacity for trying to make it onerous for residents to legally defend themselves against maniacs.
How did I stumble upon this little gem of lunacy? My neighbor who lives in DC has an 18-year old daughter who decided it was probably a good idea that she carried some pepper spray to defend herself in the city and when she heads off to college in South Carolina later this month. She explained to me when she went to buy the pepper spray at the Ace Hardware store in the Tenley Town neighborhood of DC, the sales clerk handed her the “The District of Columbia Self-Defense Spray Registration Form” which is part of the Gun Control and Firearms Registration.
To say that she and her mother were perplexed and stunned by the request was an understatement. The law requires a person be a minimum of 18 years old or older to own self-defense sprays because I guess it wouldn’t make any sense to allow teenagers to defend themselves against predators and the like.
The DC law governing this “firearm” specifies only sprays consisting of permissible ingredients may be used in the city.
“However, under D.C. Official Code § 7-2502.12, the only legal types of self-defense sprays are “a mixture of a lacrimator including chloroacetophenone, alphacloracetophenone, phenylchloromethylketone, orthochlorobenazalm-
And then the law goes onto note that: “A person may use a self-defense spray only as reasonable force to defend themselves or their property and only if the self-defense spray meets the requirements above.”
When a DC police officer arrives at a crime scene where a woman has defended herself with pepper spray against rape from a male assailant, I wonder if the officer examines the spray to ensure it “meets the requirements”? Fines for the illegal sale or possession of self-defense sprays in DC can be up to $1000 or a year in jail.
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