Is Pepper Spray Legal?

Many countries or states have mixed responses to the use or possession of pepper spray in the hands of their citizens. Pepper spray is an object of self-defense used by many people. However, many see it as a harmful substance. 

Is Pepper Spray Legal?

Pepper spray is a legal defense weapon in most countries, such as the US. However, in some countries, pepper spray considers illegal.

pepper spray

If we talk about the possession of pepper spray, then countries like South Africa, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Latvia, Netherlands, Russia, USA, and Colombia, legally allow their citizens to buy and own pepper spray. There could be some restrictions regarding the age limit for owning it or places where pepper spray cannot be carried. Some countries have also mentioned the types, like OC or CS spray, that is allowed to be carried. 

Countries like Greece, Hong Kong, Iran, Singapore, Vietnam, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Canada consider it illegal for anyone in the country to own, buy or sell pepper spray. While Nigeria, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Hungary, Ireland, and Brazil only allow their defense or enforcement team or police department to own or use one. 

Is it Legal to Carry Pepper Spray?

All 50 states in the United States of America allow their citizens to use pepper spray for self-defense. However, some states have specific rules for carrying pepper spray.

Like in Florida, people can carry pepper spray in public with chemicals not more than 2 ounces. New York and Washington allow people aged 18 and above to carry it. New Jersey has banned people with felony charges from carrying one. 

So, it is legally allowed to carry pepper spray, but there could be restrictions regarding the age limit, places, or the content and quantity, for having it. 

How Long Does Pepper Spray Last?

Pepper spray contains agents that can cause inflammation to the eyes, throat, and nose. The major inflammation can last from 20 to 90 minutes, depending upon the strength of the spray. It has the potential to disable the attacker or culprit for someone in trouble to get out of the situation.

The significant effects of the pepper spray, like running nose, difficulty with breathing, or difficulty with the opening of eyes, can last up to 90 minutes. However, its effects can remain up to 24 hours. The effects may include red eyes or soreness in the throat. Many studies have shown no long-term side effects of pepper spray until someone is exposed to it multiple times. In such cases, it can result in corneal sensitivity. 

In What States is Pepper Spray Illegal?

Pepper spray is legally allowed to be carried by the general public in all 50 states of the USA. Some states have their own rules regarding the way of carrying pepper spray.

A few states have stated that only people 18 and above can carry pepper spray in public for self-defense. Some have indicated that it should be held in a concealed manner. Many establishments and places have also banned the entry of pepper spray on their premises. They may also confiscate it or ask people to dispose of it before entering such establishments. 

Places with high security, like airports and government establishments, have banned the possession of pepper spray by anyone who enters their premises. It is not allowed at the airport and inside commercial airlines as it is safe due to high security, and the general public can get harmed if pepper spray is accidentally used. People carrying such an item can also get fined up to $25,000 as it is termed a felony. 

What is the Strongest Pepper Spray Available?

There are numerous pepper sprays available in the market. Not all of them can be considered effective enough. One spray that is considered the strongest is the Sabre Red Pepper Spray. It is tried and tested by many defense teams, retail customers, and enforcement groups worldwide. They say that it is one of the strongest pepper sprays available in the market.

In a situation where one finds that self-defense is the only option they are left with, pepper spray works as a confidence-boosting agent. People rely on their pepper spray to protect them in unfortunate situations as it is their personal bodyguard. However, your bodyguard needs to be strong enough to protect you. 

The primary inflammatory ingredient in a pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum (OC). The higher its concentration is in the spray, the more robust the pepper spray will be. But, only the concentration is not enough to determine its strength. The OC used in pepper spray must also be strong. A high concentration of weak OC will result in a more ineffective pepper spray, whereas even a mediocre concentration of strong OC can make the pepper spray very strong.

Sabre Red pepper spray contains 1.33% of capsaicinoids, the highest inflammatory agent concentration available in a civilian pepper spray. Its aerosol dispenser is also remarkable. 

How Do you Clean Up After Pepper Spray?

The inflammatory component in a pepper spray is generally oil-based, which is hydrophobic in nature. So, using just water to clean the eyes or the exposed area will not work. Some recommended techniques for treatment, like milk or baby shampoo, can help. But these are not entirely effective. The most effective way is to give it some time for the effect to wear off. 

If the pepper spray comes in contact with the eyes, the highly recommended way is to blink as much as possible. This allows the tears to flush down the excessive inflammatory components from the eyes. The irritation in the eyes can remain for up to 90 minutes. However, one can use saline solution near the eyes and leave the place where the pepper spray was dispersed and move to the clean and fresh air. 

There are chances that you have pepper spray in your bag, and it accidentally leaks and comes in contact with your skin when you take out something from your bag. It may not affect your skin as much as your respiratory system, but the irritation can be unbearable sometimes. In such a situation, milk wash can help subside the burning sensation. Later, you can use a gentle liquid soap and cold water to remove the chili oil from the skin. Make sure not to rub the affected area vigorously, and always use cold milk or cold water. 

Can Civilians Buy Pepper Spray?

Yes, civilians are allowed to buy pepper spray. They can purchase them online or from local drugstores, hardware stores, stores selling sporting equipment, and navy/army supply stores. 

There are no strict rules regarding the sale of pepper spray. These can be easily bought online or through your local drugstore. However, one must know about the places it is allowed to carry, usually banned in high security or government establishments. Also, most states do not allow minors to carry one or carry it under the care of a guardian.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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