Unfortunately, if pepper spray was available to everyone it would be used by criminals to help them rob people and overpower people to commit sexual offences.
However, Redweb Offender ID has synthetic DNA that ties that canister to the owner and hence the particular incident where they've sprayed it on someone. Whilst this is done to tie the criminal to the crime, if also ties the owner to the spray. So, if synthetic DNA could be put in a pepper spray and people had to prove their identity to buy the stuff then it would make it harder for it to be used in crime.
However, considering that most crimes against the person are on drunken nights out, or in the home, I believe that allowing people to carry pepper spray would cause more problems than it would solve. For a start you wouldn't be allowed to take it in most pubs and clubs because of the huge danger of drunken idiot discharging it in a crowded area.
Possible, but highly unlikely. As we have said, criminals would not be allowed them. Of course a criminal could try to steal one, it's possible, but I don't think that you could really use that possibility to ask for a blanket ban. It's akin to saying that "if officers carry batons, criminals will also use them to commit crimes, so no officer should have a baton". While I accept that it's possible, and we do hear the odd story of an officer being attacked with their own weapons, it's not really enough of a threat to justify a ban. Every criminal with a kitchen has access to a variety of spices that could cause someone pain if it got in their eyes, and could be used to assist them with a crime, but how often does it actually happen? And no one is calling for spices to be banned.
I've never needed to use my marker spray, but that doesn't mean I will never need it in the future. But all it will do is buy me perhaps a few seconds of a distraction. A pepper spray canister would be a lot more helpful.
Edited by Moxnil, 10 January 2013 - 12:11 pm.