Pepper Spray Laws

stream spray

Pepper spray is a powerful, but non-lethal self defense weapon. However if used with bad intentions, it could certainly be abused. As such, using pepper spray for violence will be punishable by law (“Assault with a weapon”, “aggravated assault”, etc).

Remember, only use pepper spray as a self defense weapon.

State Laws: Buying Pepper Spray in 2014

While the majority of states in the US have no major restrictions on the sale of pepper spray, some do.

Some state restrictions on the use of pepper spray can sometimes include:

  • No sale or use by minors
  • No sale or use by felons
  • Pepper sprays of over 10% oleoresin capsicum content prohibited
  • Restrictions on volume of spray
  • Restriction on range of spray
  • Requiring a license

Here is our compilation of pepper spray laws by state. For up-to-date information about pepper spray laws, consult your local lawmakers or police.

StateLegal Status
AlabamaLegal
AlaskaLegal; Must be over 18 to purchase. Cannot be carried in a school unless over 21 years of age.
ArizonaLegal
ArkansasLegal; Container must be less than 150cc (most pepper sprays are under this limit)
CaliforniaLegal; Must be over 18 to purchase. Container must be less than 2.5 ounces
ColoradoLegal
ConnecticutLegal
DelawareMust be over 18 to purchase.
FloridaCannot carry more than 2 ounces of chemical.
GeorgiaLegal
HawaiiMust be over 18 to purchase. Cannot carry more than 0.5 ounces of chemical. License required.
IdahoLegal
IllinoisMust be over 18 to purchase.
IndianaLegal
IowaLegal
KansasLegal
KentuckyLegal
LouisianaLegal
MaineLegal
MarylandLegal
MassachusettsPepper spray is classified as ammunition. License required to purchase and own.
MichiganCannot carry more than 1 ounce of chemical. Pepper spray must be less than 10% OC (oleoresin capsicum)
MinnesotaLegal
MississippiLegal
MissouriLegal
MontanaLegal
NebraskaLegal
NevadaCannot carry more than 2 fluid ounces of pepper spray
New HampshireLegal
New JerseyMust be non-felon over 18 to purchase. Cannot cary more than 3/4 fluid ounce of spray
New MexicoLegal
New YorkMust be non-felon over 18 to purchase. Can only purchase from a licensed dealer or pharmacy. Cannot buy more than 2 sprays at one time.
North CarolinaMust be over 18 to purchase. Container must be less than 150cc
North DakotaLegal
OhioLegal
OklahomaLegal
OregonLegal
PennsylvaniaLegal
Rhode IslandMust be over 18 to carry pepper spray
South CarolinaLegal
South DakotaLegal
TennesseeLegal
TexasLegal
UtahLegal
VermontLegal
VirginiaLegal
WashingtonMust be over 18 or over 14 with parent's permission to carry pepper spray.
West VirginiaLegal
WisconsinMust be over 18 to purchase. Pepper spray must be between 0.5-2.0 ounces and a range of 6-20 feet. Spray must contain less than 10% OC (oleoresin capsicum)
WyomingLegal

Last Words

Pepper spray is a very effective self defense weapon that is easy to use and inexpensive. It is legal to carry in all states, however certain states have restrictions. These can include restrictions on the amount of pepper spray you can carry or the strength of the spray. Most pepper spray manufacturers are aware of these state laws and sell products fall under the limits of all states.

For instance the SABRE RED Police Strength Pepper Spray – Compact, Pink Case with Quick Release Key Ring has a strength and size that is legal in all states.

For a comparison of different pepper sprays, click here.

Useful Links

More detailed pepper spray laws by state: http://www.misdefenseproducts.com/Pepper-Spray-Laws-Restrictions-sp-6.html