The Act incorporates provisions within the Firearms Act, Chap 16:01, to regulate the use and possession of pepper spray in Trinidad and Tobago, including its manufacture, importation, distribution and sale.
The following new definitions are inserted:
“Minister” means the Minister with responsibility for National Security.
“pepper spray” means any inflammatory agent which when applied on a
person’s body my cause the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, throat and lungs of the individual to become inflamed resulting in the immediate closing of the eyes, difficulty breathing, runny nose and coughing;
“Pepper Spray Import Permit” means a permit which authorises the holder to import pepper spray into Trinidad and Tobago during the period and from the source specified in the permit.
“Pepper Spray Permit” means a permit which authorises the holder during the period specified in the permit to –
a) Manufacture, produce, export, divert, sell or distribute pepper spray; or
b) Purchase, acquire or have in his possession pepper spray.
Some notable changes in the legislation include the following:-
•The unlawful possession of any pepper spray constitutes a strict liability offence for the purpose of prosecuting offences under Part I, sections 16B, 16C, 17A (2), 40A or PART IV of the Act
•The Minister, by Order, is empowered to approve the type, strength and volumetrical contents of pepper spray that would be permitted in a cannister, in circumstances where pepper spray is being manufactured, produced, imported, exported, diverted, sold or distributed under this Act. Any pepper spray that is not approved by the Minister is a prohibited weapon under this Act.
•Only persons holding a Pepper Spray Import Permit or a Pepper Spray Permit issued by the Commissioner of Police or a police officer authorised by him, are allowed to manufacture, produce, import, export, divert, sell or distribute pepper spray or to purchase, acquire or have pepper spray in their possession.
Any person over the age of eighteen is eligible to be issued with a Pepper Spray Import or a Pepper Spray Permit. Any child who is sixteen or older with the written permission of their parent may be issued a Pepper Spray Permit.
A person who is authorised to buy or own pepper spray must only use pepper spray in self-defence
A person who uses pepper spray to commit a crime would be liable on summary conviction to a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars (TTD $250,000) and imprisonment for five (5) years, or on conviction on indictment to a fine of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars (TTD $750,000) and imprisonment for fifteen (15) years.