Police: Nine permits granted to import pepper spray

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo –

Two years after the House of Representatives passed legislation allowing the public to use pepper spray for personal protection, the police have said nine permits have been granted to import it.

The Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed in June 2021. Then Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the bill’s processes for applying, issuing permits; eligibility and prohibition of individuals; and setting up a pepper spray register, was similar to the Firearm Users Register.

Speaking at the weekly police media briefing on Sackville Street, Port of Spain, on Thursday, public information officer Insp Michelle Lewis said applicants for permits had encountered some problems, and reminded them of the procedure.

“Yes, the application process is an online process, so you must do it online. Where the police is seeing a problem with it is when people are not uploading their receipts to be able to effect the process.

“So you can make the application online, but after that you’re supposed to go the (police) station to pay for the process and upload that receipt.”

At the police station, applicants must pay $100.

Asked if there were any difficulties in importing pepper spray in relation to laws on offensive weapons, Lewis said the amended act facilitated importation once the necessary permits were available.

“There’s a permit you have to get in order to bring it in, there’s a permit to import, there’s a permit as a retailer and there’s a permit for personal use. So if you don’t have a permit, it will be considered illegal.”