Pepper spray can be a great self defense tool to have on hand, whether you love to run outdoors or simply need a little added protection while walking on campus or to a parking garage at work. Pepper spray is a non-lethal way to keep yourself safe! However, before you run out and make a pepper spray purchase there are a few things you need to think about.
What’s Legal In Your State?
Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states but some states have stricter laws regarding it than others. It’s important you know what’s legal in your state before making your purchase. For example, in New York residents can only buy pepper spray from licensed Firearms Dealers or licensed Pharmacists in the state.
In Massachusetts,residents are only legally permitted to purchase defense pepper sprays from licensed Firearms Dealers within the state.
In addition, Wisconsin residents can only use pepper sprays with only pepper included (no tear gas, no UV dye and no combo sprays allowed). Residents can only use a 10% solution or less and can only have cans that contain between 15-16 grams (or 2oz or smaller). Lastly, Wisconsin residents must only carry pepper spray devices that include a safety feature, which most quality sprays do these days.
What Size Is Best For You?
After you understand your state’s laws, you’ll need to think about what size pepper spray you’ll need. Sizes of pepper spray usually determines how much can be dispensed and for how long.
Small units of pepper spray are great for those who want a keychain pepper spray or pocket clip pepper spray product. This is idea for joggers or those who want to protect themselves while on-the-go.
Those who buy medium sized sprays (2 oz.) can often keep their canister in their purse or on a belt. Most people who buy 4 ounce are larger and meant for wearing with a belt holster. They don’t typically carry them in their purse or pocket due to the larger size.
What Are You Protecting Yourself From?
There are several types of pepper spray, depending on what you’re protecting yourself from. If protecting yourself from a human attacker, be sure to get human pepper spray. If protecting yourself from an animal, dog or bear, be sure to get the corresponding pepper spray. Different sprays are created for different purposes, so think about what you need protection from before making a purchase.
How Will You Want to Carry It?
Since pepper spray products come in various styles, it’s important to think about how you’ll carry it. If you like the idea of carrying it on your keychain then be sure to get a keychain pepper spray product. If you’d rather carry it in your purse, pick a product appropriate for your purse. Various holsters are available for the larger size pepper sprays (4oz and above) for waistband or belt attachment.
Do You Know How To Safely Use Pepper Spray?
Most importantly, before you buy pepper spray it’s important you understand how to use a pepper spray product. Educate yourself (our Pepper Spray Usage section is a great start) on the effects of pepper spray, how to test it, how to use it and what to do if you’re accidentally exposed to the spray.
After you’ve done your research and have thought it through completely, you’ll be ready to purchase your pepper spray product and start protecting yourself. Keep in mind pepper spray units usually need to be replaced every year to 18 months and you should get into the habit of testing them every 3 to 4 months to ensure they’re working properly.