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    With the rise in violent attacks on people, and the cuts to the amount of police officers, and slower reaction times to 999 calls should pepper spray or stun guns be legalised in the UK with licensing etc?

    I think pepper spray should be legalized, then again the government probably aren't going to as it could easily be turned against the police in the case of another riot.

    As for stun guns again i think people should have the right to use non lethal self defense weapons however again it would become problematic if people start using it to defend themselves against the police.

    I always think it's a concern legalising any "weapons" that they could get used in attacks. Any law relating to legalisation would have to be careful to make sure that use was legal in appropriate cases, whilst at the same time not over-riding the need for appropriate force. Stun guns are the bigger concern as they are not none lethal but less than lethal.

    I think a big problem is that whilst when it comes to police use of force, whilst police officers will vary in ability and vulnerability, it's far more standard than the public. It's controversial enough when police use stun guns and people die. Imagine if it's a member of the public. It's worse if it's a "vulnerable", yet with the public it could be one vulnerable group against another. You could get all sorts, an elderly man defending themselves from a teenage mugger. A young woman defending themselves from an elderly sex attacker. A a disabled man defending themselves from an able bodied woman. Even pepper spray isn't entirely none lethal, particularly in the hands of a civilian. A police officer for example would normally use it during or immediatly before an arrest, so the temporarily blinded person would not have a chance to injure themselves. A civilian though would be more likely to run, leaving the temporarily blinded person to fend for themselves, which could lead to serious injury or death. A police officer would also be expected to have a duty of care to the suspect and others around and wouldn't for example pepper spray someone standing at the top of a flight of stairs, or next to a busy road (the latter also putting road users at risk). A panicing civilian though wouldn't be expected to think like that.

    I think where they are legal, the laws are strict that they can only be used as part of appropriate force (including the need to warn before use), making use as part of a crime illegal, as well as posession with the intent to use in a criminal act. Also, those that are legal are usually different to what the police use, particularly in terms of range and power.
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