, the container holding the defence spray must be less than 2.5 Oz.
In the state of Maine
, criminal usage of pepper spray or similar products is a violation of law[Requires clarification], but usage of said products for self-defence as well as possession are legal
, residents may purchase
defence sprays only from licensed Firearms Dealers in that state, and must hold a valid Firearms Identification Card (FID) or License
to Carry Firearms (LTC).
In Michigan, pepper spray is legal
if it has less than 2% of the active ingredient, this decreases the length of the effects but not the SHU. Sprays containing a mixture of CN/CS are also banned.
In the state of New York
, pepper spray may be legally possessed by any person age 18 or over; however, it must be purchased in person (i.e. cannot be purchased by mail-order or internet
sale) either at a pharmacy or from a licensed firearm retailer (NY Penal Law 265.20 14 (a)), and the seller must keep a record
of purchases. The use of pepper spray to prevent a public official from performing his/her official duties is a class-E felony.
allows non-felons over the age of 18 to possess a small amount of pepper spray, with no more than three quarters of an ounce of chemical substance.
In the State of Washington
, persons over 18 may carry personal-protection spray devices. Persons over age 14 may carry personal-protection spray devices with their legal guardian's consent.
In Wisconsin, tear gas is not permissible. By regulation, OC products with a maximum OC concentration of 10% and weight range of oleoresin of capsicum and inert ingredients of 15-60 grams are authorized. This is 1/2 oz. and 2 oz. spray. Further, the product cannot be camouflaged, and must have a safety
feature designed to prevent accidental discharge. The units may not have an effective range of over 20 feet and must have an effective range of six feet. In addition there are certain labeling and packaging requirements: must state cannot sell to anyone under 18 and the phone
number of the manufacturer has to be on the label. The units must also be sold in sealed tamper-proof packages.
In many (but not all) other states, pepper spray can be purchased at various stores and carried legally by anyone over 18. However, many states do not say anything about age.
,all products with a label containing the words pepper spray, mace, etc, or otherwise originally produced for use on humans are classified as a prohibited weapon. Only law enforcement officers and individuals with special government
authorization may legally carry or possess pepper spray. Any similar canister with the labels reading "dog spray" and/or "bear spray" is regulated under the Pest Control Products Act - while legal to be carried by anyone, it is against the law if its use causes 'a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person' or harming the environment
and carries a penalty up to a fine of $500,000 and jail time of maximum 3 years. Of course, the legality of using spray intended for animal deterrent on a person would be determined in court on a case-by-case basis.
In Hong Kong
, pepper spray is classified as "arms" under the "Laws of Hong Kong". Chap 238 Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance. Without a valid license
from the Hong Kong
Police Force, it is a crime to possess and can result in a fine of $100,000 and to imprisonment for 14 years.
, pepper spray is legal and does not require any licence; however they are not sold over the counter and may only be used in self-defence.
In Iran, the use of pepper spray is forbidden and is only used by police forces.
In Iraq ,OC spray is carried by U.S. military guard force members working in detainee operations.
In the Northern Territory of Australia
, capsicum spray is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited weapon under the Weapons Control Act.This legislation makes it an offence for someone without permit
, normally anyone who is not an officer of Police/Correctional Services/Customs/Defence, to carry a prohibited weapon.
In Tasmania, Australia
, possession of capsicum spray by unauthorised persons is illegal, under an amendment of the Police Offences Act 1935, being classified as an, "Offensive weapon". Similarly, possession of knives, batons and other any other instrument that may be considered, "Offensive Weapons" if they are possessed by an individual, in a Public Place, "Without lawful excuse". Self-defence is not a lawful excuse to carry such items. Authority to possess and use Oleo-resin Capsicum devices remains with Tasmania Police Officers (As part of general-issue operational equipment), and Tasmanian Justice Department (H.M. Prisons) Officers.
In The Philippines
the use of pepper spray for self defence is legal, and it is freely available in stores.
In South Korea
Pepper spray containing OC is legal; however, gas-gun types need a simple licence to own. CS is only available for police and private security
In Belgium it is classified as a prohibited weapon, and it is illegal for anyone other than police officers to carry a capsicum spray. The use by the security
services of public transport companies is also authorised after obtaining permission from the minister of internal affairs.
possession of pepper spray is illegal for private citizens. As of 2008, police officers carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment
. This was introduced following the shooting of a number of mentally ill citizens – in 2006 also killing 4 people – who had behaved violently or in a threatening manner, leaving the police force in want of a defensive, non-lethal weapon. However, the police have also continued carrying guns
, using them as frequently as before, causing the Danish civil liberties organization KRIM to conclude that pepper spray has not displaced the use of guns
, but merely added to the arsenal of weapons of the police force.
it is classified as a device governed by the firearm act and possession of pepper spray requires a licence. Licences are issued for defensive purposes and to individuals working jobs where such a device is needed such as the private security sector. The Finnish Supreme Court, although, has recently ruled in KKO:2010:7 that owning a pepper spray in itself is not a punishable act; but on the other hand, carrying one can be punished as a device capable of harming other people.
pepper sprays labelled for the purpose of defence against animals
may be owned and carried by anyone (even minors). Such sprays are not legally considered as weapons §1. Carrying it at (or on the way to and from) demonstrations may still be punished Sprays that are not labelled "animal-defence spray" or do not bear the test mark of the Materialprüfungsanstalt de:Materialprüfungsanstalt (MPA) (material testing institute) are classified as prohibited weapons. Justified use against humans as self-defence is allowed. CS sprays bearing a test mark of the MPA may be owned and carried by anyone over the age of 14.
In Hungary pepper spray is reserved for law enforcement (including civilian members of the auxiliary police), civilians may carry canisters filled with maximum 20 grams of any other lachrymatory agent. However there is no restriction for pepper gas pistol cartridges.
, an Garda Síochána have recently been given pepper spray in an attempt to reduce attacks on its officers, however they remain an unarmed force. Possession of this spray by persons other than Gardaí is an offence under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, as the spray is legally classed as a firearm.
possession of pepper spray is illegal for private citizens. Police officers carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment
In Latvia pepper spray in canisters is classified as a self-defence device and can be bought and carried by anyone over 16 years of age, and pepper spray handguns can be bought and carried without any licence by anyone over 18.
In the Netherlands
pepper spray is illegal for civilians to own and carry. Only police officers who are trained in the specific use of pepper spray are allowed to carry and use it against civilians and animals
pepper sprays are classified as a self-defence device (not a weapon) and can be carried by anyone over 18. Usage against humans is legal. OC is not the only agent used, CS, CR, PAM (МПК) and (rarely) CN are also perfectly legal and highly popular.
In Slovakia pepper spray is classified as a self-defence weapon, and it is available to anyone over 18. Use against humans is officially prohibited.
In Switzerland pepper sprays are classified as a self-defence device (not a weapon) and can be carried by anyone. Use against humans is legal.
approved pepper spray made with 5% CS is available to anyone older than 18 years. Recently adopted for some civilian use, OC pepper spray (e.g. one of 22 grams, with no registration
DGSP-07-22-SDP, is approved by the Ministry of Health
, possession of pepper spray is legal with a weapons possession license. Police officers, prison officers, and military police have pepper spray possession licenses.
In the United Kingdom, "Any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing" is a Prohibited Weapon, under S.5 of The Firearms Act 1968. The same act covers other prohibited weapons such as automatic firearms and rocket launchers, all of which can only be possessed by permission of the Home Secretary. Although legal for police officers, recent debates have arisen whether such a weapon should be legal for civilians as means of defensive purposes only.