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Pepper Spray Laws By State 2021

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)
  • 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:

  • Children
  • 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.

Alabama

  • Alabama has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Alabama.

Alaska

  • Pepper spray is legal with some restrictions.
  • State law prohibits the sale of pepper spray to individuals under 18 years old.
  • State law prohibits carrying pepper spray in a school without permission from school authorities.

Arizona

  • Arizona has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Arizona.
  • Pepper spray may not be used against verbal provocation alone or to resist arrest.

Arkansas

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Arkansas, but the container cannot exceed 150 cubic centimeters.

California

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to California, but the container cannot exceed 2.5 ounces.
  • It is prohibited for any persons addicted to any narcotic drug or persons under 18 to buy, possess, or use tear gas or tear gas products.

Colorado

  • Colorado has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Colorado.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Connecticut.

Delaware

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Delaware.
  • Individuals must be at least 18 to possess pepper spray.

Florida

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Florida, but the container cannot be more than 2 ounces.
  • Convicted felons cannot possess pepper spray.

Georgia

  • Georgia has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Georgia.

Hawaii

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Hawaii.
  • Individuals must be at least 18 to possess pepper spray.
  • Mailed containers must be less than .5 ounces.

Idaho

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Idaho.

Illinois

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Illinois.
  • Individuals must be at least 18 to possess pepper spray.
  • Chicago prohibits using pepper spray in an enclosed room if more than 20 people are present.

Indiana

  • Indiana has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Indiana.

Iowa

  • Iowa has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Iowa.

Kansas

  • Kansas has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Kansas.

Kentucky

  • Kentucky has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Kentucky.

Louisiana

  • Louisiana has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Louisiana.

Maine

  • It is legal to buy, use, possess, and ship pepper spray to Maine; however, the criminal use of pepper spray and other disabling chemicals is illegal. Use must be in self-defense, as in most other states.

Maryland

  • It is legal to buy, use, possess, and ship pepper spray to Maryland.
  • Pepper spray is considered a dangerous weapon in Maryland, but individuals have the right to use it in self-defense.
  • Minors are prohibited from using pepper spray between one hour before sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Massachusetts

  • It is legal to buy, use, possess, and ship pepper spray to Massachusetts.
  • It is illegal to ship human formula pepper spray to Massachusetts; however, it is legal to ship animal formula pepper spray.
  • Suppose an individual has been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor punishable by two years imprisonment, a violent crime, or committed to a hospital or mental illness institution. In that case, they cannot buy or possess pepper spray.
  • A firearms identification card is required for purchasers 15 to 18 years old.

Michigan

  • It is legal to buy, use, possess, and ship pepper spray to Michigan.
  • Pepper spray cannot contain more than 35 grams of any combination of orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile and inert ingredients.
  • Pepper spray cannot have more than 18% oleoresin capsicum.
  • Pepper spray cannot contain an ultraviolet dye and no more than 18% oleoresin capsicum.
  • Minors cannot purchase pepper spray.

Minnesota

  • It is legal to buy, use, possess, and ship pepper spray to Minnesota.
  • Individuals must be at least 16 years old to possess pepper spray.
  • Any individuals prohibited from possessing a pistol cannot possess pepper spray.

Mississippi

  • Mississippi has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Mississippi.

Missouri

  • Missouri has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Missouri.

Montana

  • Montana has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Montana.

Nebraska

  • Nebraska has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Nebraska.

Nevada

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Nevada.
  • Minors are not allowed to possess pepper spray.
  • Pepper spray containers must be 2 ounces or less.

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to New Hampshire.

New Jersey

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to New Jersey.
  • Individuals must be 18 years old to possess pepper spray.
  • Felons are prohibited from possessing pepper spray.
  • Pepper spray containers must be pocket-sized and cannot release more than 3/4 of an ounce of pepper spray.

New Mexico

  • New Mexico has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to New Mexico.

New York

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to New York.
  • It is illegal to ship human formula pepper spray to New York; however, it is legal to ship animal formula pepper spray.
  • Individuals must be at least 18 to possess pepper spray.
  • The paper spray container must be pocket-sized.
  • Individuals can purchase a maximum of 2 pepper sprays in a single transaction.
  • Individuals convicted of a felony or assault cannot possess pepper spray.

North Carolina

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to North Carolina.
  • Pepper spray containers cannot exceed 5 ounces.

North Dakota

  • North Dakota has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to North Dakota.

Ohio

  • Ohio has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Ohio.

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Oklahoma.

Oregon

  • Oregon has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Oregon.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Rhode Island; however, individuals must be at least 18 years old to possess pepper spray.

South Carolina

  • South Carolina has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to South Carolina.

South Dakota

  • South Dakota has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to South Dakota.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Tennessee.

Texas

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Texas.
  • State law says pepper sprays must be a "small chemical dispenser."

Utah

  • Utah has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Utah.

Vermont

  • Vermont has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Vermont.

Virginia

  • Virginia has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Virginia.

Washington

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Washington.
  • Individuals must be at least 18 years old to buy or possess pepper spray; however, those who are at least 14 can purchase or possess with parental permission.

West Virginia

  • West Virginia has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to West Virginia.

Wisconsin

  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Wisconsin.
  • Pepper 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; however, minors can with parental permission.

Wyoming

  • Wyoming has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or using pepper spray.
  • It is legal to buy, carry, use, and ship pepper spray to Wyoming.

Pepper Spray Laws By State 2021

State Is Legal Must be 18 Size Restriction Notes
AlabamaMust be 18. Cannot carry in a school.
Alaska
ArizonaContainer cannot exceed 150 cubic centimeters
Arkansas150 cubic cmContainer cannot exceed 2.5 ounces. Must be 18. Prohibited for anyone addicted to any narcotic drug.
California2.5 ounces
Colorado
ConnecticutMust be 18.
DelawareContainer cannot exceed 2 ounces. Convicted felons cannot possess.
Florida2 ounces
GeorgiaMust be 18. Mailed containers must be less than .5 ounces.
Hawaii.5 ounces if mailed
IdahoMust be 18.
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
LouisianaCriminal use of pepper spray is illegal.
MaineMinors are prohibited from using pepper spray between one hour before sunset and one hour before sunrise.
MarylandIllegal to ship human formula pepper spray. Individuals prohibited from possessing a pistol cannot have pepper spray.
MassachusettsCannot 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.
MichiganMust be at least 16. Individuals prohibited from possessing a pistol cannot have pepper spray.
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
NebraskaMinors are prohibited from possessing. Containers must be 2 ounces or less.
Nevada2 ounces
New HampshireMust 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 Jersey.75 ounces
New MexicoIllegal to shop 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.
New YorkPocket-sizedContainers cannot exceed 5 ounces.
North Carolina5 ounces
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
PennsylvaniaMust be 18.
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
TennesseeMust be a "small chemical dispenser."
TexasSmall dispenser
Utah
Vermont
VirginiaMust be 18 ot at least 14 with parental permission.
Washington
West VirginiaPepper 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.
Wisconsin2 ounces
Wyoming

Pepper Spray Laws By State 2021