Pepper spray is actually legal in all 50 states in the US. However, some states have certain requirements generally applied to the amount of the spray you can carry and how old you must be to purchase it. However, in many states you are not required to be licensed to carry it and if you meet the age requirement for purchasing it (if your state has such a requirement), you can buy it wherever it is sold. I personally have seen it sold at gas stations and cigarette shops.
Of course, use of pepper spray is regulated like any use of a weapon. It can only be used in self defense, meaning you must believe that your life is threatened or that there is a threat of bodily harm, to use pepper spray on someone.
Here is a list of states’ requirements pertaining to pepper spray.
- In California you must be 18 years of age to purchase pepper spray and can only carry 2.5 ounces of it. Misuse can be counted as a felony and you could serve 3 years in prison for misusing it and possibly be fined up to $1000.
- In Alaska you must be 18 to purchase it and cannot carry it on school grounds.
- In Arkansas you can only carry 4 ounces or less.
- In Delaware you must be 18 to buy and carry pepper spray.
- In Florida you cannot carry more than 2 ounces of the spray.
- In Hawaii only licensed dealers can sell pepper spray, you can only carry 1/2 an ounce and must be 18 to buy and carry it.
- In Illinois you must be 18 to have pepper spray, but it’s illegal in Chicago.
- In Massachusetts you can only purchase pepper spray from a licensed firearms dealer and you must be licensed to carry a firearm or have a Firearms Identification Card. Contact your local police station to find out how to obtain these licenses.
- In Nevada you must be 18 and not a felon to carry pepper spray and you can only carry up to 2 ounces.
- In New Jersey you must be 18 to carry pepper spray, cannot be a felon and you may only carry .75 ounces or less.
- In New York you must be 18 to buy and carry pepper spray and can only buy it from a licensed firearm dealer or pharmacy but not online.
- In North Carolina felons are not allowed to carry pepper spray and you can only carry up to 4 ounces.
- Anyone over 18 can carry pepper spray in Rhode Island.
- In South Carolina you can only carry 1.69 ounces of the spray.
- In Washington DC you must be registered with local law enforcement to carry pepper spray, you can carry it if you are 18 but can also carry it at age 14 with parental permission.
- In Washington you can carry the spray if you are 18, at age 14 with parental permission.
- In Wisconsin you must be 18, can’t have a concentration of OC (the active chemical compound in the spray) in the spray that exceeds 10% and you cannot carry more than 2 ounces. The canister must have a safety and must have the manufacturer’s phone number on the product.
If you are traveling by plane, your pepper spray must be carried in your luggage and not in your pocket or purse, etc.
Best Pepper Spray Products
Sabre Red pepper spray is one the most popular pepper sprays on the market, because it is one of the strongest forms of the spray and is even used by law enforcement.
Sabre Red Pepper Spray – Police Strength – Magnum 60 Tactical Spray is a top seller and for good reason. It sprays in a cone pattern which ensures better that you’ll hit your mark. It is compact, fitting into pocket or purse and comes with 10% of the OC chemical in it and contains 2 ounces of the spray, which are the requirements for possession and use in most states. As many police academy graduates will attest, because this stuff is used on them during training, this product is an effective deterrent.
Another very popular pepper spray product from Sabre is the 3-IN-1 Pepper Spray – Advanced Police Strength – Compact Size with Clip. This one is easy to carry and can clip onto clothing, pockets, belts. It contains pepper spray, military tear gas and UV marking dye for identifying attacker. This product lets out a powerful stream to handle multiple attackers and also to prevent the spray from blowing back onto you. This spray cannot be shipped to Alaska, Hawaii, DC, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin because of certain restrictions, including banning of combining agents, requiring only licensed firearms dealers to sell product and the banning of tear gas altogether. However, it is safe to say the tear gas in this unit adds power to your defense because not only would the assailant be dealing with pepper spray in the eyes but also tear gas which doesn’t even need to make direct contact to have him hacking and coughing.
A very effective product from Sabre is the Sabre Red Pepper Gel – Police Strength – Professional Size with Flip Top, Belt, Holster and 18 Foot Range. One of the advantages to this product is that the stuff sticks and therefore adds to the misery and deterrence of the attacker. This stuff can be used against aggressive dogs and aggressive humans effectively. Police and military both have attested to the effectiveness of this product.
Most of the regular pepper spray canisters have a range limited to around 10 feet, more or less. You might want to consider purchasing a pepper spray gun, which usually has a longer range, up to 25 feet. These products are also more ergonomically correct, meaning they are easier to use. Many of us are more accustomed to the grip of a gun so handling of a pepper spray gun is more natural, and the safety is located where the hammer of a regular gun would be, conveniently where you can flip it off safety with your thumb. You just flip the latch on the barrel to open the gun to load a cartridge. They also come with a practice cartridge that sprays water, so you can test the gun out and check out its range. A top selling pepper spray gun is the Mace Pepper Spray Gun.