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Vancouver introduces tighter rules on bear spray sales amid spike in violence


Vancouver city council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to crack down on the sale of bear spray in the city.

New bylaws will prohibit the item's sale to anyone under 19 or without ID. Sellers will also be required to keep detailed records of each purchase, and to retain those records for at least a year. In addition, bear spray must be kept locked up or kept somewhere that is inaccessible to the public.

Failure to comply with the new rules comes with a penalty of $1,000 for each infraction.

The proposal to restrict the sale and display of bear spray came after police raised concerns about its increased use in violent crimes.

 Surrey, Chilliwack and Port Coquitlam already have similar regulations in place.

An all out ban on the substance is not being recommended in Vancouver to ensure adults who need it to protect themselves from wildlife can still purchase it.

However, city staff are urging the mayor to send a letter to the province asking it to designate bear spray as a restricted pesticide.

That would require sellers to obtain a licence, which would allow for more oversight and enforcement all over B.C.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Lisa Steacy Top Stories

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