To help Italians defend themselves against sudden attacks by criminals, the right wing newspaper Libero Quotidiano will promote a low-priced pepper spray gun which will be available at all newsstands in main cities from Oct 20, the paper reports.
While the original price of the pistol is $68.3, it will be available to Libero readers for $50.3 as a special offer. The gun will be attached to the regular newspaper.
Those who wish to buy it have been advised to contact their news agent to book the model Midifendo GA3.
According to Libero, this pepper pistol is perfectly legal, non-lethal, easy to carry and effective in use. The gun, which weighs just 120 grams, has a maximum range of three metres. Firm grip, small size, tilting safety lock and snap-resistant trigger are its main features.
The gun contains two shots of a liquid chilli extract which, if sprayed on the attacker, will immediately cause coughing, spasms, nausea, tearing, disorientation and irritation lasting about an hour.
Doubts have been raised about the legality of using this device since pepper spray can be used only from a range of three metres, according to Italian law. Moreover, the device comes in the form of a pistol.
But Gionata Lenzi, the founder of the start-up Mi Difendo.it which distributes the pistol in Italy, clarified that the products are not considered as weapons and they can be purchased anywhere.
Lenzi said 70% of GA3 buyers are men who want their wives and daughters to carry them for their own safety.
According to him, the gun will also be useful for old people, businessmen, sportsmen, campers, travellers, and risky professionals such as shopkeepers, tobacconists, petrol pump workers, jewellers, taxi drivers and security guards.
Sale of the pepper gun is prohibited to children under 16.