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Pepper Spray Laws by State 2022

In a world where people can do whatever they please, it would click that it would be a safer place to live. Although the world can be a safe place, there are moments where protection may be required. Pepper spray is one of the most straightforward and most affordable forms of self-defense for people to possess. But before anyone goes out there and purchases one for themselves, it's essential to understand the laws surrounding its possession in each state.

Is It Legal To Carry? 

In all 50 states and Washington D.C., it is legal to use pepper spray for self-defense purposes. However, some states only allow the use and carry of pepper spray under certain circumstances.

For instance, some states have certain circumstances where people can only carry pepper spray based on its/their size, concentration, age (at least 18 years old, and/or restrictions (felons are not allowed to purchase pepper spray). Currently, 13 states have specific conditions for their pepper spray law. Washington D.C. is also included within this list.

Where Can Pepper Spray Be Carried?

Typically, it is legal to carry pepper spray in public. However, there are certain cases where pepper spray has to remain concealed or is prohibited in various buildings and establishments. One place that pepper spray is not allowed is commercial airlines. It could pose a significant risk if it ends up accidentally getting sprayed. Carrying pepper spray on these airlines is a felony that can have a fine of up to $25,000. Another place where pepper spray is not allowed is specially secured buildings, like governmental buildings and state establishments. This action became illegal after the events of 9/11 occurred in 2001. As of right now, all 50 states and Washington D.C. enforce these laws with no excuses. Anyone who is caught with pepper spray in a forbidden area will face penalties and fines.

Who Can Carry Pepper Spray?

It is implied that only people who are 18 or older can purchase and carry pepper spray throughout the country. Also, there are specific regulations that prevent certain people from accessing this self-defense tool. There are two types of people who cannot have access to pepper spray for any reason: chilren and felons. Children should not possess pepper spray under any circumstances. They could spray it recklessly and possibly end up hurting others and themselves if they're not careful. Felons also shouldn't possess or use any pepper spray. It is considered a weapon, and depending on their past charges, it can determine the types of consequences that come with carrying pepper spray.

Pepper Spray Laws by State

Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, but some states have conditions and restrictions in place. Below are the pepper spray laws for each state. Each is warranted to be true according to the best available information; however, those looking to purchase or carry pepper spray should always verify local, state, and federal laws.

Pepper Spray Laws by State 2022

State Is Legal Must be 18 Size Restriction Notes
AlaskaYesMust be 18. Cannot carry in a school.
ArkansasYesContainer cannot exceed 150 cubic centimeters
CaliforniaYesContainer cannot exceed 2.5 ounces. Must be 18. Prohibited for anyone addicted to any narcotic drug.
DelawareYesMust be 18.
FloridaYesContainer cannot exceed 2 ounces. Convicted felons cannot possess.
HawaiiYesMust be 18. Mailed containers must be less than .5 ounces.
IllinoisYesMust be 18.
MaineYesCriminal use of pepper spray is illegal.
MarylandYesMinors are prohibited from using pepper spray between one hour before sunset and one hour before sunrise.
MassachusettsYesIllegal to ship human formula pepper spray. Individuals prohibited from possessing a pistol cannot have pepper spray.
MichiganYesCannot caontain more than 35 grams of orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile and inert ingredients. Cannot be more than 18% oleoresin capsicum. Cannot contain an ultraviolet dye and more than 18% oleoresin capsicum. Minor cannot purchase.
MinnesotaYesMust be at least 16. Individuals prohibited from possessing a pistol cannot have pepper spray.
NevadaYesMinors are prohibited from possessing. Containers must be 2 ounces or less.
New HampshireNo
New JerseyYesMust be 18. Felons are prohibited from possessing pepper spray. Containers must be pocket sized and cannot release more than 3/4 oounce of pepper spray.
New MexicoNo
New YorkYesIllegal to ship human formula. Must be 18. Container must be pocket-sized. Maximum of 2 peppers sprays can be purcahsed in a single transaction. Felons or those convicted of assault cannot possess pepper spray.
North CarolinaYesContainers cannot exceed 5 ounces.
North DakotaNo
Rhode IslandYesMust be 18.
South CarolinaNo
South DakotaNo
TexasNoMust be a "small chemical dispenser."
WashingtonYesMust be 18 ot at least 14 with parental permission.
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinYesPepper spray containers must be less than 2 ounces. Pepper sprays must contain less than 10% of oleoresin capsicum. Pepper spray cannot be disguised or camouflaged. Individuals must be at least 18 years old to buy or possess pepper spray or a minor with parental permission.

Pepper Spray Laws by State 2022