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Could Tasers be sold at Kmart? Calls for pepper-spray and other weapons to be sold in stores in wake of Eurydice Dixon's rape and murder

  • Victorian MP filed motion to allow women to carry pepper spray for self defence
  • Jeffrey Bourman endorsed non lethal methods like pepper spray and stun guns
  • Viewers responded on Facebook and engaged in debate with differing opinions 
  • One Facebook user said that tasers should be available at stores like Kmart
  • Pepper spray is currently a prohibited weapon and use without a permit is illegal

A social media user has argued that tasers should be available in stores such as Kmart following the alleged rape and murder of 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon.

The comment comes after a Victorian MP shared a motion he intends to file which could allow women to carry pepper spray in an effort to strengthen self defence in light of women 'afraid to walk the streets at night'.

The motion was posted to Jeffrey Bourman's Facebook page where it saw an influx of comments.

As debate continues on women's safety, Sam Cannuli commented on Facebook that 'tasers should be available at Kmart'

As debate continues on women's safety, Sam Cannuli commented on Facebook that 'tasers should be available at Kmart'

Jeffrey Bourman, a Victorian MP, shared on his Facebook page information about the motion he will introduce to parliament

Jeffrey Bourman, a Victorian MP, shared on his Facebook page information about the motion he will introduce to parliament

Sam Cannuli, wrote: 'Tasers should be available at Kmart.'

The interesting suggestion was met with comments about items that were previously sold in Kmart. 

'I bought my first shot gun from K Mart,' said Marc Huth.

The retail giant has over 200 stores across Australia and New Zealand, often easily accessible to those living in urban areas.

Another viewer, David Brown wrote: 'The debate needs to step up a gear. Women and men equally deserve the right to protect themselves. They should have a choice of lethal and non-lethal or both.' 

Jeffrey Bourman said he wanted to ensure that the government 'allows all reasonable and practical methods of self defence' including the option of 'non lethal methods … such as pepper spray and stun guns.'

Another viewer, David Brown, commented on Jeffrey Bourman's Facebook post: 'The debate needs to step up a gear. Women and men equally deserve the right to protect themselves'

Another viewer, David Brown, commented on Jeffrey Bourman's Facebook post: 'The debate needs to step up a gear. Women and men equally deserve the right to protect themselves'

In the wake of Eurydice Dixon's (pictured) rape and murder in a park less than a kilometer from her home, a fierce debate across the country has ensued about safety and violence against women

In the wake of Eurydice Dixon's (pictured) rape and murder in a park less than a kilometer from her home, a fierce debate across the country has ensued about safety and violence against women

'We need to give everyone the option to defend themselves against a stronger and probably more experienced attacker,' Mr Bourman wrote on his public Facebook page earlier in the week. 

Pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum spray, is classified under Australian law as a prohibited weapon. It's possession or use without a permit is illegal.   

Permits are rarely issued for recreational or personal security purposes.

This excludes the state of Western Australia where pepper spray is considered a controlled weapon but can be carried if a person has 'reasonable grounds' to believe they may need to use it in 'lawful defence.'

This means it's legal to sell and can be purchased over the counter at convenience and army supply stores.

A Victorian MP has filed a motion (pictured) to allow women to carry pepper spray in an effort to strengthen self defence in light of women 'afraid to walk the streets at night'

A Victorian MP has filed a motion (pictured) to allow women to carry pepper spray in an effort to strengthen self defence in light of women 'afraid to walk the streets at night'

Some of Mr Bourman's supporters were less impressed by his motion.

'Sounds like the start of a slippery slope … Don't start something of which you have no idea where it will finish,' one person wrote. 

'Get tough on these offenders. Make them think twice before they commit crimes. Putting more weapons on the streets is not the answer. Fix the issues, don't band-aid them.'

The conversation was continued on the Today show on Monday morning where presenter Alicia Loxley disagreed with the motion.

'I just feel this debate, once again, is moving completely in the wrong direction, putting the onus back on the woman to ensure that she is safe,' Loxley said.

'I think what is really sad in the wake of a tragedy like this is when the commentary goes in the wrong direction and makes women feel like they are the ones who need to take responsibility for their actions.'

In 2014 a pregnant Perth woman was fined $500 for carrying pepper spray in 2014 that she said a male friend had bought her for self protection.

Samantha Andrew said she carried the pepper spray on her 4am walk to work from Victoria Park to the Hyatt in the Perth CBD.

'I would rather be charged with carrying pepper spray than end up dead in a ditch,' she told Perth Now at the time. 

Jeff Bourman said he would file the motion to allow people to carry pepper spray for self-defence in the Victorian Legislative Council this week.

In NSW, the maximum penalty for possession or use of a prohibited weapon is 14 years imprisonment under Section 7 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998. 

Some commented on the Facebook post in disagreement of the motion, labeling it a 'slippery slope'

Some commented on the Facebook post in disagreement of the motion, labeling it a 'slippery slope'

Jeffrey Bourman (pictured) said he wanted to ensure that the government 'allows all reasonable and practical methods of self defence' including pepper spray and stun guns

Jeffrey Bourman (pictured) said he wanted to ensure that the government 'allows all reasonable and practical methods of self defence' including pepper spray and stun guns

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Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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