Pepper Spray Laws & Restrictions

Pepper Spray Information

Pepper Spray is legal in all 50 states, however, a number of cities and states have restrictions on sizes, strengths, etc..
If you have a question, it is wise to check with your local city or state attorneys office.
Self-Defense sprays can only be purchased by those 18 years of age or older and are non felons. Pepper spray can ONLY be used for self-defense.

It is a federal offense to carry/ship pepper spray on a commercial airliner or possess it beyond the security metal detectors at the airport. State law and local ordinances regarding possession and use vary across the country.

Since laws change from time to time, the list below may not be totally accurate or complete at this time. All Safe For You accepts no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness.
We do update this list once we become aware of changes.

FOR THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION on pepper spray state laws, please check with your State, County, Province and Federal authorities regarding possession of Defense (pepper) Sprays as they may have recently changed!

We do not ship pepper spray to the following regions due to legal restrictions:

New York
Outside of the United States

States with Restrictions:

Arkansas: Limit up to 5 oz.
California: Limit up to 2.5 oz.
Florida: Limit of 2 oz.
Michigan: Limit up to 35 grams (1.2 oz)
Nevada: Limit of 2 oz.
New Jersey: Limit of 3/4 oz.
North Carolina: Limit of 1.69 oz.
South Carolina: Limit of 1.69 oz.
Wisconsin: 10% OC or less, not less than 1/2 oz, not more than 2 oz

ALABAMA: Legal – Section 13A-7-27 involves the criminal use of a noxious substance. There does not appear to be any specific statute involving self-defense sprays.


ARIZONA: Legal – There is nothing that appears to regulate or prohibit the lawful use of self-defense sprays of any kind.

ARKANSAS: Legal with restrictions. – However, it is legal to possess “**a small container of tear gas or pepper spray to be used for self-defense purposes only, but the capacity of the cartridge or container shall not exceed one hundred fifty cubic centimeters (150cc or approximately 5oz)”.

CALIFORNIA: Legal with restrictions. – Any person may purchase, possess or use tear gas and pepper spray containing up to 2.5 oz of product if they are used solely for self-defense purposes.



DELAWARE: Legal with restrictions. The only prohibitions concerning such sprays appear to be restricting their possession by minors and increasing the penalty for criminal use of the sprays, i.e., use of a spray while committing another criminal offense.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (D.C.): Legal with restrictions. – Self-defense sprays are lawful if used or possessed by a person 18 or over “in the exercise of reasonable force in defense of the person or the person’s property only if it is propelled from an aerosol container, labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use, and dated to indicate its anticipated useful life.” All pepper spray items must be registered at the local police station as soon as they are received.

FLORIDA: Legal – “Self-defense chemical sprays” are legal. They are defined as “a device carried solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size, designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more than two ounces of chemical”.


Hawaii: NO SHIP TO STATE – Section 41-37.3 It is unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale any pepper spray in the city without a license obtained pursuant to Section 41-37.4. Legal to buy, use, possess pepper spray in Hawaii, though you must be at least 18 years old.

IDAHO: Legal



IOWA: Legal




MAINE: Legal – The criminal use of chemical mace or a similar substance is a violation of the law. 17 M.R.S. Section 1002. However, the use of such a substance in defending one’s person or property is authorized.


Massachusetts – NO SHIP TO STATE– It is legal to buy, use, or possess pepper spray in Massachusetts, but there are several restrictions. It is not legal to ship human formula pepper spray to an address in Massachusetts, though animal spray can be legally shipped to the state.

Michigan: Legal – It is legal to buy, use, possess, or ship pepper spray to Michigan, but there are several restrictions.
Up to 10% OC in strength is allowed.
Canister must be less than 35 grams (approx 1.2 ounces).
User must at least 18 years old.
User cannot have any felonies on record.
Pepper spray must only be used in self defense.

MINNESOTA: Legal – The use of a self-defense spray is permitted “**in the exercise of reasonable force and defense of the person or the person’s property only if it is propelled from an aerosol container, labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use, and dated to indicate its anticipated useful life.





NEVADA: Legal with restrictions. – Nevada law prohibits possession of tear gas weapons, except for CS by an adult (no minors or felons) with no more than 2 fluid ounces in the form of an aerosol spray “which is designed and intended for use as an instrument of self-defense”.



NEW JERSEY: Legal with restrictions. -Any non-felon 18 or over may possess for the purpose of self-defense “one pocket-sized device which contains and releases not more than three-quarters of an ounce of chemical substance not ordinarily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury, but rather is intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or disability through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air”. Section 2C:39-6i.

New York- NO SHIP TO STATE – It is legal to use or possess pepper spray in New York, but New York residents may only purchase defense sprays from licensed Firearms Dealers or licensed Pharmacists in that state.

NORTH CAROLINA: Legal with restrictions. – Possession and use of self-defense sprays are lawful for non-felons so long as the device does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters (50cc or 1.69oz). Section 14-401.6.


OHIO: Legal



PENNSYLVANIA: Legal – “Chemical mace” is specifically excluded from the definition of weapons. There appears to be no regulation or restriction on the lawful use of self-defense sprays.

RHODE ISLAND: Legal – “Any person eighteen (18) years of age or over may carry on his or her person and use unless otherwise prohibited by law, any non-lethal noxious substance or liquid for his protection or the protection of others”. Section 11-47-57.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Legal with restrictions. – It is lawful to possess a container not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters (50cc or 1.69oz) containing tear gas “for self-defense purposes only”. Section 16-23-470.



TEXAS: Legal – It is permissible to possess a “small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection”. Texas Penal Code Section 46.01 (14).

UTAH: Legal



WASHINGTON STATE: Legal – There is an age restriction to persons age 18 and older or 14 with a parent or guardian’s permission.


WISCONSIN: Legal – 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 and 2 oz (14 and 57 g) 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, it 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. Pepper Spray may only be used defensively and cannot be possessed by felons.
Pepper Spray cannot be used against a peace officer and penalties remain if used in the commission of a crime. It may not be sold to minors, although minors under this bill would be able to carry pepper spray with permission of a parent or guardian. -Wisconsin Act 77


This is the most current compilation of pepper spray state laws that we are aware of (updated August 2020). Please check with your local jurisdiction if unsure.

see also: Disclaimer

Stun Gun info