Pepper Spray State Laws

States with Pepper Spray Restrictions

Pepper spray, although made from an item you can get in the produce section, is considered a personal protection device by most civilized countries, and is restricted to some extent in nearly all of them. Pepper spray causes temporary blindness, pain, breathing problems and panic: when it's used excessively, it can kill.

In some states, you can buy pepper spray, but the amount is restricted, and you can be arrested or fined if your canister contains more than the amount specified by law. Some states regulate the allowed strength of the pepper spray: most sprays contain somewhere between 2% and 10% of capsaicin, the primary component of capsicum. Pepper sprays that also contain tear gas may be illegal in some states but not others, so that before you decide to buy a spray, you should find out what the state and local ordinances say about their possession.

According to pepper spray manufacturers, pepper spray as a personal defense personal protection device is considered legal in all 50 states, although various state restrictions may prevent shipping to several states. Some manufacturers may ship their bear spray (a stronger pepper spray made to deter an attacking bear) to states where pepper spray can't be shipped as a personal protection device. However, if someone is found to have used bear spray on a person, there are all sorts of interesting questions about its legal use (unless that person happens to be doing a highly convincing bear act). Pepper spray isn't sold to minors or to people who have been convicted of a felony. A few instances of state regulations follow: check with your local police force in the restrictions and permissible use of pepper spray in your area. And never take pepper spray with you when you travel by air.

Animal Repellents (including dog and bear sprays) can be legally shipped to and purchased from online retailers in ALL 48 continuous states, including the restricted states listed below.

                                                       States Where Pepper Sprays are Restricted

New York: Pepper Spray is sold in pharmacies and by licensed firearms dealers. Animal sprays ordered online are legal.

Massachusetts: Licensed firearms dealers sell pepper Spray. Animal sprays ordered online are legal.

Michigan: If you are over the age of 18 and have not been convicted of a felony or an, assault- we guarantee* any pepper spray, self defense, or security product listed on this page is legal to ship/use/carry in the state of Michigan at the time of purchase.

*Our guarantee applies to legality at the state level. Most cities and counties simply comply with the state level laws, however, we recommend you check with your local city or county police department for any additional restrictions.

  • Hardcase Keychain Pepper Spray  
  • Leather Keychain Pepper Spray
  • Fashionable Leather Keychain Pepper Spray
  • Pepper Spray Lipstick (1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 oz Keychain Pepper Spray Training Kit
  • Dog Pepper Spray Training Kit
  • Pepper Spray Training Booklet
  • Muzzle Dog Pepper Spray
  • Hard Case Mace Brand Keychain
  • Leather Mace Pepper Spray Keychain
  • Pepper Spray Pen
  • Inert Training Pepper Spray
  • Magnetic Door & Window Alarm
  • Door Stop Alarm
  • 130 db Pocket Whistle Alarm
  • Personal Alarm & Door Security
  • Personal Alarm with Flashlight
  • Personal Attack & Door Alarm

Wisconsin: Pepper sprays only, no stronger than 10%. Safety features required. Weight allowed 15-60 grams.

California: Weight restricted to 2.5 ounces (about 70 grams).

California state laws for pepper spray & self defense products

CA state governments and lawmakers understand that pepper spray can be a handy self-defense product for protecting your personal safety. Not only can defense sprays give you protection against a human attacker, but most vicious dogs, bears, mountain lions and other wild animals can be temporarily disabled by a single shot of pepper spray. California is a vast state with both high-population metropolitan areas, like San Francisco and Los Angeles, and more remote outdoor locations where you may encounter a wild animal. In either case, a pepper spray device can be a necessary asset of survival and personal security.

However, the state of California does have a few rules and regulations regarding the use of pepper spray. It is entirely legal to carry pepper spray and use it to protect your personal safety without having any special state or federal permits. CA laws do regulate the size and/or weight of the defense spray products you can carry and buy. The legal container size must be equal to or below 2.5 ounces of active product. There are many pepper spray items and models that comply with this state set standard.

The pepper spray carried, shipped, sold or used in California should also be labeled with a warning stating that the product is only intended for self-defense. In general, most state laws (California included) enforce that pepper spray should only be used in self-defense situations where you fear your life or safety is in danger. Illegal use of pepper spray products (perhaps dispensing them out of anger or as non-self defense violence against another person) can bring fines of $1000 and up and/or three years in prison.

Washington D.C.  You must register with the police for possession of pepper spray. Residents and visitors to DC may want to ensure their own safety by carrying a non-lethal self defense device such as pepper spray or a MACE brand chemical spray. These personal security items may be purchased in the state, but before a citizen may legally possess any type of safety spray they must first register the personal protection device at a local police station. This allows law enforcement officers to know exactly who is carrying any type of defense spray and to help make sure they are used in a lawful manner. Only people who are 18 years or older may purchase and register a canister of spray on their own, but anyone 14 or older may do so as long as they have the permission of a parent or legal guardian.

Defense sprays are registered to discourage any illegal use of these powerful self defense products. It is only lawful to use them if you are threatened with bodily harm. Just one blast of pepper spray is enough to completely incapacitate any aggressor, so it is an ideal form of self-protection in Washington D.C., or anywhere you may go.

Individuals who are wondering where to buy a defense spray in Washington will find them at any retail location where self-defense products are sold. They are also available to be ordered online. DC does not have any restrictions regarding the shipping of pepper spray in or out of the state, but all items received through the mail must be registered as soon as they are received.