A Comprehensive Overview of Pepper Spray Laws by State

is pepper spray legal to carry in my area?

Pepper Spray State Laws

Pepper spray is a popular self-defense tool used by millions around the world to protect themselves from potential threats. However, like any self-defense tools or weapons, there are laws and regulations governing its possession, sale, and use. In this blog, let's get into self defense pepper spray laws, covering everything from its legality to restrictions and requirements.

What is OC Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray, also known as OC spray or capsicum spray, is a chemical compound that irritates the eyes, causing temporary blindness and discomfort. It's typically used for self-defense against humans and animals. Pepper spray comes in various forms, including canisters, sprays, and pepper spray gel, with different strengths and concentrations of the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum (OC). It's essential to understand the strength and effects of pepper spray before exploring the laws surrounding its use.

Is Pepper Spray Illegal?

The legal status of pepper spray varies from country to country and even from state to state within certain countries like the United States. In general, pepper spray is legal for civilian use in most places, but there are restrictions and regulations to consider. In the United States, pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, but some states have specific laws regarding its size, concentration, and where it can be carried. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the laws in your area to ensure compliance.

Who can carry Pepper Spray?

Generally, only adults aged 18 and above can buy and carry pepper spray across the country. There are rules preventing certain people from having it, though. Primarily, two categories of people are prohibited from possessing pepper spray: minors and felons. It is imperative that minors do not have access to pepper spray due to the potential for reckless usage, which could result in harm to themselves or others. Additionally, felons are legally prohibited from possessing or utilizing any form of pepper spray. Given its classification as a weapon, the implications of carrying pepper spray for individuals with prior convictions can vary based on their criminal history.

What States in the US Can You Legally Carry Pepper Spray without Restrictions?

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington 
  • Washington DC - Emergency legislation passed in fall of 2023 by the DC Council allowed the sale and use of pepper spray and pepper guns for self-defense.
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Which States is Pepper Spray Illegal or Have Additional Requirements?

  • Arizona - Product container cannot exceed 150cc.
  • Arkansas - Product canisters cannot exceed 150 cc or 5.07 fluid oz.
  • California - Product canisters cannot exceed 2.5 fluid oz.
  • Hawaii - The retailer must be licensed to sell pepper sprays and gels.
  • Massachusetts: Requires a Firearms Identification Card (FID) to purchase pepper spray.
  • Michigan: Pepper spray cannot contain more than 35 grams (or 18%) of oleoresin capsicum (OC).
  • Nevada - Product canisters cannot contain more than 2 fluid oz.
  • New Jersey - Product canisters cannot contain more than 2 fluid oz.
  • New York: Product canisters are limited to a maximum of 0.75 oz. and a strength of no more than 0.7% major capsaicinoids, and they can only be sold by licensed firearms dealers and licensed pharmacists, with shipping to New York being prohibited; purchases must be made in person, with a maximum of two sprays per purchase.
  • North Carolina - Product canisters cannot exceed 150 cc or 5.07 fluid oz.
  • South Carolina - Product canisters cannot exceed 1.69 fluid oz.
  • Wisconsin: Product canisters must not exceed 2.0 fluid oz., with the oleoresin capsicum (OC) content ranging between 15 to 50 grams; pepper sprays and gels must have a range of 6 to 20 feet, and all products must include a safety feature to prevent accidental deployment; furthermore, the product cannot be disguised or resemble a non-pepper spray item.

Pepper Spray Restrictions and Requirements

While pepper spray is legal in many places, there are restrictions and requirements that users must adhere to. These restrictions may include age restrictions, prohibiting the sale of pepper spray to minors, as well as restrictions on where and how pepper spray can be carried. For example, some states prohibit carrying pepper spray in certain locations like schools or government buildings. Additionally, there may be requirements for labeling, packaging, and registration of pepper spray products.

Using Pepper Spray Responsibly

Even in situations where pepper spray is legal and allowed, it's essential to use a personal security product responsibly and ethically. Pepper spray should only be used in self-defense situations where there is an imminent threat of harm. It should never be used as a tool for aggression or intimidation. Proper training and education on pepper spray use is essential to ensure that it is used effectively and safely.

Best Pepper Spray for Self Defense

When considering the best pepper spray for self-defense, it's crucial to prioritize effectiveness, reliability, and ease of use. Look for pepper spray products from reputable brands like Fazer Defense Ultimate Pepper Spray. Fazer has unique features like ​​ UV marking dye, blinding LED lights, and an alarm with 125 decibels. You're not just carrying pepper spray; you're carrying peace of mind. You can read more about Fazer’s features here. 

Pepper Spray Alternatives

In addition to pepper spray, there are other self-defense alternatives available on the market, including stun guns, tasers, and personal alarms. These alternatives may be subject to similar laws and regulations as pepper spray, so it's essential to research and understand the legal status of each option before purchasing or using them.


Pepper spray is a valuable tool for self-defense, but it's essential to understand the laws and regulations governing its use. By familiarizing yourself with pepper spray laws and requirements in your area, you can ensure that you are using it responsibly and legally. Consider Fazer Defense Pepper Spray. With Fazer, you can experience the freedom to walk tall, knowing you have a reliable means of protection.

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