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Is Pepper Spray Illegal in California?

Is Pepper Spray Legal in California?

For many people, pepper spray can be a necessary asset for survival and personal safety. In the state of California, it is legal to purchase or own pepper spray containers that are 2.5 ounces or less. Pepper spray can be used in self-defense against human attackers, most vicious dogs, bears, mountain lions, and other wild animals.

What is Pepper Spray & When to Use It

Pepper spray is a chemical that can cause serious pain and even temporary blindness because it is derived from a chili plant. Once sprayed on someone’s face, it causes them to respond by closing their eyes, coughing, and tearing up. It can cause severe discomfort for about 30 minutes or more depending on the strength and amount used.

Pepper spray use is only permissible for self-defense. It is important to note that displaying it in a threatening manner is also considered the use of pepper spray.

California Pepper Spray Laws

  • If you plan to use or possess pepper spray in California, it must have a warning label that states the product is only intended for self-defense and can be used in self-defense situations where you fear your life or your safety is in imminent danger.
  • In California, it is a criminal offense to use pepper spray against another person out of anger or in a way that is not considered self-defense. Doing so can result in a fine and/or up-to 3 years in state prison. If you are facing these charges, contact our criminal lawyer in Dublin for fierce representation!

How Old Do You Have to be to Carry Pepper Spray in California?

Under Penal Code § 12403.7, the following people are ineligible to own or possess pepper spray:

  • A person who has been convicted of a felony or any crime involving an assault
  • A person who has been convicted for the misuse of tear gas
  • An individual who is addicted to any narcotic drug
  • A minor child or person

It is illegal to sell or furnish any tear gas or tear gas weapon to a minor. Also, purchasing, possessing, or using any tear gas weapon that releases a projectile, or releases the tear gas by any method other than an aerosol spray, or that contains more than 2.5 ounces of aerosol spray is illegal under California law.

Have you been arrested for the possession or use of pepper spray or tear gas? We can help. Contact our Dublin criminal defense attorney to get started on your case today.