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With rise in bear spray assaults, Edmonton changes bylaw to regulate sales

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The City of Edmonton has amended its bylaw to regulate sales of bear spray.

Local schools have seen a large increase in bear spray assaults since 2015, Edmonton Police Service data shows.

As a result, the city amended its business licence bylaw to make Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray — or bear spray — harder to buy and to improve public safety.

Amendments include prohibiting selling bear spray to minors, requiring adults to sell it, and recording transactions with information such as serial number, name and date of birth.

"Maintaining the safety and well-being of Edmontonians is key to ensuring our city remains an inviting and liveable city," Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said. "Regulating and enforcing the possession and use of OC spray will not only reduce its illegal use but help make our whole community stronger and safer."

Bylaw violations related to transaction recording or product security are subject to a $1,000 fine. Violations of the minimum age for seller and buyer could come with a $2,000 fine.

Subsequent fines would be doubled.