BOSTON (AP) — The state Senate is backing a measure that would allow Massachusetts residents to purchase pepper spray without a firearms identification card.

The measure won unanimous approval on Thursday as an amendment to the $36.2 billion state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

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State Sen. Richard Ross, a Wrentham Republican, said removing the FID requirement would make it easier for women to purchase pepper spray for self-defense. But the measure would make it a criminal offense to sell pepper spray without a license or sell it to anyone under 18.

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The House earlier approved a similar measure.

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