• European Law's Pepper Spray:

    In which EUROPEAN countries can I carry, own and use Pepper Spray?

    EUROPE

     

    Austria: Pepper spray is classified as a self-defense device.Pepper sprays may be owned and carried by adults without registration or permission.
    Justified use against humans as self-defense is allowed.
    Police also encourage vulnerable groups like pensioners and women to carry pepper spray.

     

    Belgium: Pepper spray is classified as a prohibited weapon.
    Possession is illegal for anyone other than police officers, police agents (assistant police officers), security officers of public transport companies and customs officers to carry a capsicum spray. is also authorised after obtaining permission from the Minister of Internal Affairs.

     

    Czech Republic: Possession is legal.

    Police also encourage vulnerable groups like pensioners and women to carry pepper spray.[29]

    Carrying during demonstrations and into court buildings is illegal.

     

    Denmark: Possession is still illegal for private citizens, but The Danish government has drafted a bill that would legalise the use possession of pepper spray in the home in 2019. The proposal would allow residents to use pepper spray to protect themselves in the home, for example to ward off intruders. Pepper spray would also be allowed outside the home in some situations, such as when someone has been a victim of stalking or is deemed to face a concrete threat of attack from an ex-partner or family member. As of 2008, police officers began to carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment.

    France: It is legal for anyone over the age of 18 to buy a pepper spray in an armoury or military surplus store. It is classified as a Category 6 Weapon in French law.

    Take into account the following restrictions :

    • Has to be composed of CS gas (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile or o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile)

    • Concentration must be less than 2% CS gas

    • Can not contain more than 100 ml (3 oz – the size of an airplane carryon liquid)

    • Spray rate cannot exceed 60 grams per second

    You can carry pepper spray with you, but you have to respect certain conditions.

    First off, when you carry the pepper spray around with you, it has to be concealed, and it also has to have a safety or something to prevent you from using it right away. In other words, you can’t carry it around in your hand ready to spray, or put it on your belt loop. If it’s small and looks like it could be a lipstick, I would probably recommend putting it in your pocket and having your hand on it.

    There are three rules for using self-defense in France.

    First, that you have to respond to the attack, which means that someone actually has to try to assault you or steal something from you before you can use the pepper spray legally. Otherwise, you’re the one doing the assaulting.

    Second, you have to respond to an attack using “appropriate force.” France is no Florida, and you can’t shoot a man from behind because he punched you once or looked like he was going to. Don’t Stand Your Ground. You also have an obligation to try to run and get away if you can.

    If someone attacks you with their fists, using the pepper spray or punching back would be an appropriate response, while shooting him wouldn’t be. And you can be accused of using “excessive violence” if you continue defending yourself once the attacker has been subdued.

    Third, you’re only allowed to respond in the moment, and you can’t take revenge. So if someone steals your iPhone today, you can’t spray him when you see him next week. Just get the police.

    Finland: Possession of pepper spray requires a license.
    Licenses are issued for defensive purposes and to individuals working jobs where such a device is needed such as the private security sector.
    However, the Finnish Supreme Court has recently ruled in KKO:2010:7 that owning a pepper spray is in itself not a punishable act; but, on the other hand, carrying one can be punished as a device capable of harming other people.

    Germany: Pepper sprays labeled for the purpose of defense against animals may be owned and carried by anyone (even minors). Such sprays are not legally considered as weapons.
    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] (MPA, material testing institute) are classified as prohibited weapons.

    Justified use against humans as self-defense is allowed.

    CS sprays bearing a test mark of the MPA may be owned and carried by anyone over the age of 14.

    Greece: Such items are Illegal. They will be confiscated and possession may result in detention and arrest.
    Sprays that are not labelled "animal-defence spray" or do not bear the test mark of the Materialprüfungsanstalt (MPA, material testing institute) are classified as prohibited weapons.

    Hungary: Such items are 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.

    Iceland: Possession of pepper spray is illegal for private citizens.

    Police officers carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment.

    Members of the riot police use larger pepper-spray canisters than what is used by a normal police officer.

    Ireland: Possession of this spray by persons other the Garda Síochána (national police) is an offence under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.


    Italy: Any citizen over 16 years of age without a criminal record could possess, carry and purchase any OC-based compounds and personal defence devices that respond to the following criteria:
    Containing a payload not exceeding 20 ml., with a percentage of Oleoresin Capsicum not exceeding 10% and a maximum concentration of capsaicin and capsaicinoid substances not exceeding 2,5%;
    Containing no flammable, corrosive, toxic or carcinogenic substances, and no other aggressive chemical compound than OC itself;
    Being sealed when sold and featuring a safety device against accidental discharge;
    Featuring a range not exceeding 3 metres.

    Latvia: Pepper spray is classified as a self-defense device.It can be bought and carried by anyone over 16 years of age. Pepper spray handguns can be bought and carried without any license by anyone over 18.

    Malta: It is illegal for use by the general public.
    There have been cases where the police force has been provided with it.

    The Netherlands: It is Illegal for civilians to own and carry pepper spray.
    Only police officers trained in the specific use of pepper spray are allowed to carry and use it against civilians and animals.

    Norway: It is illegal for civilians.
    Police officers are allowed to carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment.

    Poland: Called precisely in Polish Penal Code "a hand-held disabling gas thrower", sprays are considered a weapon. They can be carried by anyone over 18 without further registration or permission.

    Portugal: Civilians who do not have criminal records are allowed to get police permits to purchase from gun shops, carry, and use OC sprays with a maximum concentration of 5%. CS is considered a weapon and is not permitted. Police carry OC sprays of higher concentration.

    Romania: Pepper spray is legal except at sportive and cultural events, public transportation and entertainment locations (according to Penal Code 2012, art 372, (1), c).

    Russia: It is classified as a self-defense weapon and can be carried by anyone over 18.

    Usage against humans is legal.OC is not the only legal agent used. CS, CR, PAM (МПК), and (rarely) CN are also legal and highly popular.

    Serbia: Pepper spray is legal under the new law as of 2016 and can be carried by anyone over the age of 16. Use against humans in self-defence is legal.

    Slovakia: It is classified as a self-defense weapon. It is available to anyone over 18.
    The police recommend its use.

    Spain: Approved pepper spray made with 5% CS is available to anyone older than 18 years.
    OC pepper spray, recently adopted for some civilian use (e.g., one of 22 grams, with no registration DGSP-07-22-SDP, is approved by the Ministry of Health and Consumption).

    Sweden: Pepper spray falls under firearm laws, so requires weapons licence and essentially always illegal to carry in public or private. Issued as supplementary service weapon to police
    It may be carried only by police officers, prison officers, some security officers, and soldiers actively serving in the armed forces.

    Switzerland: Pepper spray in Switzerland is subject to the Chemicals Legislation. It may only be distributed to buyers above 18 years of age and against ID evidence. Self-service is not permitted and the customer ought to be made aware of safe storage, use and disposal. The vendor needs to possess the "Know-how for the distribution of particularly hazardous chemicals". Potential mailing has to be shipped as registered courier with the remark "to addressee only". The products must be classified and labelled at least as irritant (Xi;R36/37). Regulations for aerosol packages need to be observed. Sprays with greenhouse relevant propellants such as R134a (1,1,1,2-Tetrafluorethan) are banned. Spray products for self-defense with irritants such as CA, CS, CN, CR are considered as weapons in terms of the gun control law. The weapon purchase permit as well as the weapon carrier permit are required for the purchase of such weapons. In 2009, the Swiss Army introduced for the military personnel the irritant atomizer 2000 (RSG-2000) and is introduced during watch functions. The military bearer permit is granted after passing the half day training.

    Turkey: It is illegal for civilians. Police forces usually use it.

    United Kingdom: Pepper spray is illegal under Section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968: "A person commits an offence if [...] he has in his possession [...] any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing."

     

     

    Rest of the world :

     

    Canada

    Pepper spray designed to be used against people is considered a prohibited weapon in Canada. The definition under regulation states "any device designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge therefrom of (a) tear gas, Mace or other gas, or (b) any liquid, spray, powder or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person" is a prohibited weapon.

    Only law enforcement officers may legally carry or possess pepper spray labeled for use on persons. Any similar canister with the labels reading "dog spray" 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. Carrying bear spray in public, without justification, may also lead to charges under the Criminal Code.

     

    United States

    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.

    Pepper spray can be legally purchased and carried in all 50 states. Some states regulate the maximum allowed strength of the pepper spray, age restriction, content and use.

    • California: As of January 1, 1996 and as a result of Assembly Bill 830 (Speier), the pepper spray and mace programs are now deregulated. Consumers will no longer be required to have training, and a certificate is not required to purchase or possess these items. Pepper spray and mace are available through gun shops, sporting goods stores, and other business outlets. California Penal Code Section 12400 - 12460 govern pepper spray use in California.[51] Container holding the defense spray must contain no more than 2.5 ounces (71 g) net weight of aerosol spray.
      • Certain individuals are still prohibited from possessing pepper spray, including minors under the age of 16, convicted felons, individuals convicted of narcotic/drug addiction, individuals convicted of assault, and individuals convicted of misusing pepper spray.
    • Massachusetts: Before July 1, 2014, residents may purchase defense sprays only from licensed Firearms Dealers in that state, and must hold a valid Firearms Identification Card (FID) or License to Carry Firearms (LTC) to purchase or to possess outside of one's own private property. New legislations allow residents to purchase pepper spray without a Firearms Identification Card starting July 1
    • Florida: Any pepper spray containing no more than 2 ounces of chemical can be carried in public openly or concealed without a permit.[55][56] Furthermore, any such pepper spray is classified as "self-defense chemical spray" and therefore not considered a weapon under Florida law.
    • Michigan: Allows "reasonable use" of spray containing not more than 18% oleoresin capsicum to protect "a person or property under circumstances that would justify the person's use of physical force" It is illegal to distribute a "self-defense spray" to a person under 18 years of age.
    • New York: Can be legally possessed by any person age 18 or over. Just allowed with no more than % 0.67 capsaicin content
      • 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 Law265.20 14) 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.
    • New Jersey: Non-felons over the age of 18 can possess a small amount of pepper spray, with no more than three-quarters of an ounce of chemical substance.
    • Virginia: Code of Virginia § 18.2-312. Illegal use of tear gas, phosgene and other gases. "If any person maliciously release or cause or procure to be released in any private home, place of business or place of public gathering any tear gas, mustard gas, phosgene gas or other noxious or nauseating gases or mixtures of chemicals designed to, and capable of, producing vile or injurious or nauseating odors or gases, and bodily injury results to any person from such gas or odor, the offending person shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony. If such act be done unlawfully, but not maliciously, the offending person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the use of tear gas or other gases by police officers or other peace officers in the proper performance of their duties, or by any person or persons in the protection of person, life or property."
    • 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.
    • 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 12 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.
    South America
    • Brazil: Classified as weapon by Federal Act n° 3665/2000 (Regulation for Fiscalization of Controlled Products). Only law enforcement officers and private security agents with a recognized Less Lethal Weapons training certificate can carry it.
    • Colombia: Can be sold without any kind of restriction to anyone older than 14 years.
      • Use has not been inducted on the law enforcement officer's arsenal.
    Australia
    • New South Wales: Possession of pepper spray by unauthorized persons is illegal, under schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998, being classified as a "prohibited weapon".
    • Northern Territory: 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.
    • Tasmania: Possession of pepper spray by unauthorized persons is illegal, under an amendment of the Police Offences Act 1935, being classified as an "offensive weapon". Likewise, 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", leading to confusion within the police force over what constitutes "lawful excuse". Self-defense as a lawful excuse to carry such items varies from one officer to the next.
      • Pepper spray is commercially available without a license. 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.
    • South Australia: in South Australia, possession of pepper spray without lawful excuse is illegal.
    • Western Australia: The possession of pepper spray by individuals for self-defence subject to a "reasonable excuse" test has been legal in Western Australia following the landmark Supreme Court decision in Hall v Collins [2003] WASCA 74 (4 April 2003).
    • Victoria: Schedule 3 of the Control of Weapons Regulations 2011 designates "an article designed or adapted to discharge oleoresin capsicum spray" as a prohibited weapon.
    • Queensland: in Queensland, pepper spray is considered an offensive weapon and can not be used for self-defence
    New Zealand
    • Classed as a restricted weapon.
      • This means people would need a permit from the police to obtain or carry pepper spray.
      • Front-line police officers have routinely carried pepper spray since 1997. New Zealand Prison Service made OC spray available for use in approved situations in 2013.
      • New Zealand Defence Force Military Police are permitted to carry OC spray under a special agreement due to the nature of their duties.
      • The Scoville rating of these sprays are 500,000 (sabre MK9 HVS unit) and 2,000,000 (Sabre, cell buster fog delivery). This was as a result of excessive staff assaults and a two-year trial in ten prisons throughout the country.