MEDIA RELEASE: It’s time to act on self-defence — Stonehouse

Picture: Atlas House

WA Liberal Democrats MP Aaron Stonehouse MLC has today thanked his parliamentary colleagues for supporting his motion that the McGowan Government consider and report on the decriminalisation of non-lethal means of self-defence.

“I want to thank the Government, the Opposition and the Crossbench for coming together and supporting this landmark motion to empower Western Australians,” said Aaron Stonehouse MLC.

“The problem with our current laws on self-defence is that it leads to innocent people being arrested and taken to court, rather than the guys who tried to do them harm.

“As it stands, you’re only allowed to carry a can of pepper spray if you have ‘reasonable grounds to apprehend’ that you may need to use it to defend yourself.

“Despite what’s written on the books, were still seeing cases of people being arrested and having to defend themselves in court for carrying pepper spray.

“Western Australians have a legal right to self-defence but have no practical ability to exercise that right. This needs to change.

“A little old lady who walks home from the bingo, and worries about some of the dark alleys, should not be criminalised because she has carried a can of pepper spray in her handbag.

“Self-defence is not a realistic option for most people without some kind of help, and especially not for many women, elderly and those with a disability. As the saying goes, when seconds count, the police are minutes away,” said Aaron Stonehouse MLC.