Are you aware of the pepper spray laws in your state? In most areas, buying a can of pepper spray for protection is easy enough when you turn 18. In others, however, laws are in place that regulate who can purchase the substance and how much of capsaicin – the pepper chemical – can be allowed. Where pepper spray can be purchased also varies, as some states even have laws requiring a resident to purchase the chemical in person. If you’re considering using this as a method of protection, checking your local laws is advised before trying to purchase a product.
Where and how old a person can be are two important factors in purchasing this substance in various states. Massachusetts has the most stringent regulations out of all 50 states. In the state, the chemical may only be purchased from a licensed firearms dealer and the person carrying the substance must have a Firearms Identification Card or License to Carry Firearms after obtaining. In New York, New Jersey, and Washington state, a person must purchase the substance in person and have proof of age. Additionally, New Jersey won’t allow felons – even over the age of 18 – to purchase the substance, while Washington state will allow 14 year olds to carry it with consent from a guardian.
Restrictions of the concentration and strength vary by state, as well. In Wisconsin, for example, the maximum concentration of capsaicin allowed is 10 percent in a formula between 15 and 60 grams or a half to two ounce spray. This spray, additionally, must be greater than six feet and extend no more than 20 feet. In Michigan, similarly, capsaicin can be no more than two percent of the active ingredients. New Jersey and California, additionally, limit sizes to three-quarters of an ounce for a chemical substance and 2.5 ounces total, respectively.