Pepper Spray Laws

Summary of State Pepper Spray Laws

Regarding the Purchase, Possession and Use of Pepper Sprays and Aerosol Deterrents

Updated July, 2021

State and local laws can be confusing, and sometimes even contradictory. Furthermore, those laws are often changed, amended, or sometimes even repealed. As a result, keeping current on your local laws can be overwhelming.

To help you sort through that quagmire, we have compiled a summary of each state’s laws on the possession and use of non-lethal aerosol deterrents.

Although we believe our information is current at the time of this writing, it is beyond our scope to ensure that this summary is completely accurate or up-to-date. We make no claims whatsoever regarding the accuracy, currency, or applicability of these codes and statutes to your specific jurisdiction.

This information is not intended to take the place of legal counsel, nor should it be construed as any form of legal advice. Please check with your local authorities to obtain the latest information, as our politicians and bureaucrats have a tendency to change their laws from time to time.

This information is presented as a guideline only; it is your responsibility to determine the legality of the purchase and the use of any item, and ensure its compliance with state and local statutes.

Remember that Federal law prohibits the carrying of any type of chemical weapon on commercial aircraft, in federal buildings, prisons, and courts.

Pepper Spray is legal for you to possess, in all 50 states, as long as you are over the age of 18 and have not been convicted of a felony or an assault.

However, some states have restrictions regarding sizes, strengths, and how you obtain them, which we have outlined below.

Pursuant to those restrictions, we cannot ship Pepper Spray to Michigan, New Jersey or New York.
Listed below are the states that currently have restrictions regarding pepper sprays and/or aerosol deterrents.

Most of the restrictions concern the size of the pepper spray canister, and/or the age of the person purchasing it.

Note that two states, New York and Massachusetts, do not allow “sprays used against humans” to be shipped through the mail. Note also that both of those states allow the shipment of animal repellent sprays.

Alaska: Legal w/ Restrictions

Must be 18 years or over to purchase. Cannot be carried in a school unless over 21 years old.

Arkansas: Legal w/ Restrictions

Pepper spray container must be less than 5 oz.

California: Legal w/ Restrictions

Pepper spray container must be less than 2.5 oz.

Florida: Legal w/ Restrictions

Cannot carry a pepper spray container larger than 2 oz.

Hawaii: Legal w/ Restrictions

Pepper spray container cannot be larger than than 1/2 oz. License required.

Massachusetts: Legal w/ Restrictions

Must be non-felon over 18 to purchase. Legal to carry and use for self defense. Cannot ship sprays used against humans through the mail to the state. Animal sprays, such as Mace Muzzle Dog Repellent are legal.

Michigan: Legal w/ Restrictions

Pepper spray container cannot exceed 1.2 oz. Cannot contain more than 18% oleoresin capsicum (OC) or 1.4% MC.

Nevada: Legal w/ Restrictions

2 oz. container limit on CS tear gas, pepper spray is exempt.

New Jersey: Legal w/ Restrictions

Must be non-felon over 18 to purchase. Pepper spray container cannot exceed 0.75 oz.

New York: Legal w/ Restrictions

Must be non-felon over 18 to purchase. Legal to carry and use for self defense. Cannot ship sprays used against humans through the mail to the state. Animal sprays, such as Mace Muzzle Dog Repellent are legal.

North Carolina: Legal w/ Restrictions

When carrying for protection against people, container cannot exceed 5 oz.

Texas: Legal w/ Restrictions

Pepper spray container cannot exceed 5 oz.

Wisconsin: Legal w/ Restrictions

Pepper spray container cannot exceed 2 oz. Spray cannot contain more than than 10% OC (oleoresin capsicum) or 1.2% MC.

Listed below are the 50 states, with a summary of restrictions, if any, and a reference (where possible) to the actual state statute.

Alabama: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Alaska: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 11.61.210 (a)(6) prohibits the sale of a defensive weapon to a person under 18 years of age. Such a defensive weapon cannot be possessed in a school without permission of certain school authorities, unless the person is 21 years of age or older. [Source]

Arizona: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Arkansas: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 5.73.124 makes the possession of tear gas or pepper spray illegal. However, it is legal to possess “a small container of tear gas or pepper spray to be used for self-defense purposes only, but the capacity of the cartridge or container shall not exceed one hundred fifty cubic centimeters (150cc)”, which equals about 5 ounces. [Source]

California: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 12403-7 restricts the canister size to 2.5 ounces, and must be in aerosol form, no projectiles. Sale to a minor is prohibited. [Source]

Colorado: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Connecticut: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Delaware: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

District of Columbia: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Florida: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 790-001 restricts the canister size to 2 ounces. [Source]

Georgia: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Hawaii: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 41-37-3 restricts the canister size to 1/2 ounce, and there are licensing requirements. Must be 18 yrs or older. [Source = 404 not found]

Idaho: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Illinois: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Indiana: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Iowa: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Kansas: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Kentucky: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Louisiana: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Maine: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Maryland: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Massachusetts: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 122C restricts the sale or possession of pepper spray to anyone less than 18 years old – unless they have a valid firearms ID card. Must be purchased from a licensed firearms dealer in MA. Massachusetts residents can purchase Animal Pepper Spray devices online. [Source]

Michigan: Legal w/ Restrictions

Michigan Penal Code 750.224d restricts the size of a pepper spray canister to “not more than 35 grams” (1/2 oz.), and “not more than 18% oleoresin capsicum”, or 1.4% MC.  [Source]

Minnesota: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Mississippi: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Missouri: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Montana: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Nebraska: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Nevada: Legal w/ Restrictions

Nevada Code NRS 202.370 restricts the size of a tear gas canister to “not more than 2 fluid ounces.” Pepper spray is exempt. [Source]

New Hampshire: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

New Jersey: Legal w/ Restrictions

New Jersey Code N.J.S.2C:39-5 restricts the size of a pepper spray canister to .75 ounces or less. Must not have been convicted of a felony. [Source]

New Mexico: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

New York: Legal w/ Restrictions

Section 265.20 of NYS Penal Law restricts the sale or possession of pepper spray to anyone under 18 years old, and anyone convicted of a felony. Must be purchased from a licensed dealer in NY. New York residents can purchase Animal Pepper Spray devices online. [Source]

North Carolina: Legal w/ Restrictions

North Carolina Penal Code Section 14-401.6 restricts the possession of tear gas or pepper spray canisters to less than 150 cubic centimeters, or 5 ounces, and to anyone convicted of a felony. [Source]

North Dakota: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Ohio: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Oklahoma: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Oregon: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Pennsylvania: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Rhode Island: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

South Carolina: Legal w/ Restrictions

South Carolina General Law 16-23-470 restricts tear gas canister size to less than 50 cubic centimeters. This does not apply to pepper spray that does not contain tear gas.

South Dakota: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Tennessee: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Texas: Legal w/ Restrictions

Under 5 oz. max. [ Need Source ]

Utah: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Vermont: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Virginia: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Washington: Legal

Washington Code Section RCW 9.91.160 explicitly authorizes the sale and use of “personal protection spray devices” such as “mace, pepper mace, or pepper gas.” There is an age restriction to persons age 18 and older, or 14 with a parent or guardian’s permission. [Source]

West Virginia: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Wisconsin: Legal w/ Restrictions

Wisconsin Code Section 941.26 restricts pepper spray canister size to 2oz or less, and limits strength to 10% OC (oleoresin capsicum) or 1.2% MC. Can not have been convicted of a felony. 18 years or older. [Source]

Wyoming: Legal

We have found no state law prohibiting or regulating a defensive aerosol spray product.

Disclaimer

  • KnightOwlSurvivalStore is not responsible for any physical harm or damage from the use or misuse of any self-defense weapons purchased from us, including, but not limited to, Stun Guns, Tasers, Batons, Pepper Sprays, and Knives.
  • By purchasing a self-defense weapon from us, you understand and acknowledge that KnightOwlSurvivalStore does not warrant that you may legally purchase, possess, or carry these products according to any state or local laws. You also acknowledge that you have determined their legality before purchasing and that you are an adult of at least 18 years of age and under no legal disability.
  • By purchasing a self-defense weapon from us, the buyer warrants that he/she is in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding the purchase, ownership and use of the item. The buyer expressly agrees to indemnify and hold harmless KnightOwlSurvivalStore for any claims resulting directly or indirectly from the purchase, ownership and use of such item in compliance with, or in violation of, any federal, state or local laws or regulations.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser to comply with all local, state and federal laws or statues pertaining to the possession and/or use of any of the products we sell. Please check your current local laws before ordering any self-defense weapon from us.

While we do not agree with any legislation that infringes on a person’s right to self-protection, by whatever means he or she is most comfortable with, we are required to abide by these restrictions, however inane they might be.

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