Pepper Spray Laws
An important factor to remember about any weapon you carry for self-defense is that there are laws pertaining to it. Most people wrongly assume that pepper spray is unregulated because it is a non-lethal weapon. Currently 17 states regulate pepper spray in some way. In general, pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, but some states put different restrictions on possessing and carrying pepper spray.
As an adult possessing a weapon of any kind, you have a tremendous amount of responsibility. You have a responsibility to use your weapon correctly and safely, and you also have the responsibility to follow the law. Always consult your local laws before carrying pepper spray.
Carefully consider the following questions before carrying and using pepper spray for self-defense:
Home or Concealed Carry?
This is a big decision that affects most of the laws around pepper spray. In general, what you do on your property is your business. There are few laws regarding the type of pepper spray you can use to defend your home. For example, if you want to protect your apartment, dorm, or house with something like the SALT Pepper Spray Gun, you can openly carry it on your hip in most places if you so chose.
How much can I carry?
Many states prohibit the overall size of the pepper spray you can carry. This means you may be limited to carrying 2 ounces, or even 1.69 ounces, or you may be able to carry as much as 4 ounces. Be sure to look into this before you buy.
Can I carry it everywhere?
Some states restrict where you can carry a weapon and treat all weapons the same. This means you may not be allowed to carry it on campus, at a primary school, or government buildings. Carrying a weapon of any kind is prohibited in all federal buildings.
Where can I buy it legally?
Most states allow you to buy pepper spray everywhere. You can buy it from a flea market, a Wal-Mart, or online from a trusted retailer like SALT Supply Co. Other states may restrict you to FFL holders or pharmacies.
Does concentration matter?
Much like the amount you can carry, the concentration of the OC is another component to consider. Some states restrict the pepper spray sold by it’s OC Concentration.
Prohibited person carry?
What is a prohibited person? Most commonly it is someone unable to pass a background check. Some states prohibit felons from owning, possessing, or purchasing pepper spray.
How old do you need to be?
The vast majority of states actually do not have an age limit or required age to possess pepper spray. The few that do restrict it to people ages 18 and older.
Carrying pepper spray or pepper spray guns of any type is an empowering way to protect yourself. However, doing so illegally will make it more trouble than it’s worth. The last thing you want is to find yourself on the wrong side of the law trying to protect yourself. Do the necessary research to answer the questions above and you will be well prepared to make an informed decision. Also, remember that laws change, so to avoid fines or potential jail time, make sure you stay up to date on the laws of pepper spray.