Magazine article Drug Topics

On Guard

Magazine article Drug Topics

On Guard

Article excerpt

Mace OK'd

for sale in

N.Y. drugstores,

gun shops

Pharmacists in the state of New York will be offering customers more than drugs to protect their health and well-being. The New York State Assembly recently passed legislation allowing pharmacists and gun shops to sell self-defense sprays such as mace. Governor George Pataki is expected to sign the bill when it reaches him. New York had been the last state in the union to outlaw such personal protection devices.

Though legislators had been trying to decriminalize possession of these sprays for years, they were unable to overcome the opposition they faced from police organizations in the state. Recently, the Police Conference of New York agreed to support the bill when provisions were added making the use of such sprays against a police officer a felony. Improper use against a civilian will be a misdemeanor. Under this legislation, possession of mace by a person under the age of 18 or by a convicted felon is illegal.

Rudolph Guiliani, mayor of New York City, expressed some concern over unregulated sale of mace to the public, but said that he would have to see the legislation before commenting fully on the matter. Some citizens also shared his concern, fearing that the sprays could be used during fights or by children. Many citizens, however, were happy to hear the news, believing the sprays are a good alternative to guns for protection. Many New Yorkers already carry the sprays illegally. …

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