Illinois State Pepper Spray Laws, Rules & Legal Regulations

Guaranteed Legal Our "Guaranteed Legal" Promise:
We take the time to research and stay up-to-date on IL state self defense laws and regulations, so you don't have to. We guarantee* if you are over 18 and have not been convicted of a felony or assault, any self defense spray (excluding stun guns) purchased from our website is legal to ship/use/carry in the state of Illinois at the time of purchase. Most cities and counties simply comply with the state level laws, however, we recommend you check with your local city or county police department for any additional restrictions.


Video Explanation of IL State Laws

In Plain English:
Illinois Pepper Spray Law Explanation

The Basics:

  • Pepper spray is LEGAL to use and carry in Illinois for self defense.
  • Must be over 18 years old to purchase/use/carry pepper spray.
  • Chicago only: Pepper spray cannot be used in an enclosed space with more than 20 people (like a bar, club, etc.).
  • Stun guns are illegal to be shipped/purchased/carried/used.

The windy city of Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas attract its fair share of crime and safety issues. This is typical for almost any big city environment. Crimes of assault and theft are much more common with large, centralized populations. Pepper spray, self defense training, and safety awareness can go a long way in protecting your safety and give you some peace-of -mind while navigating the city. A night out on the town, walk on a dimly lit street, or putting in late night office hours are all risky situations where a self defense product could help you escape to safety.

It is LEGAL to purchase, carry and use pepper spray for a self defense situation in the state of Illinois (including the city of Chicago). Currently, there are no Illinois state restrictions on pepper spray size, formula strength, or canister style. The laws are clear that residents over the age of 18 are allowed to use and carry non-lethal pepper spray in an appropriate manner for self defense. You are free to choose the best pepper spray for your situation and lifestyle without and legal restrictions coming from the state.

In the city of Chicago pepper spray is indeed legal to use and carry for self defense, but the city municipal code outlines a specific circumstance you are not allowed to use pepper spray.  The city law prohibits the use of pepper spray in an enclosed space (like a restaurant, bar or club) when more than 20 people present. However, a crowded public place is not a common environment for an individual to use pepper spray  for personal protection from an attacker or other criminal.

**Stun guns and tasers are not allowed to be used, carried or purchased in the state of Illinois. 

What the Official Illinois State Law Says

Illinois Compiled Statutes

(720 ILCS 5/24-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 24-1)

Sec. 24-1. Unlawful use of weapons.

(a) A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:

(1) Sells, manufactures, purchases, possesses or carries any bludgeon, black-jack, slung-shot, sand-club, sand-bag, metal knuckles or other knuckle weapon regardless of its composition, throwing star, or any knife, commonly referred to as a switchblade knife, which has a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife, or a ballistic knife, which is a device that propels a knifelike blade as a projectile by means of a coil spring, elastic material or compressed gas; or

(2) Carries or possesses with intent to use the same unlawfully against another, a dagger, dirk, billy, dangerous knife, razor, stiletto, broken bottle or other piece of glass, stun gun or taser or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character; or

(3) Carries on or about his person or in any vehicle, a tear gas gun projector or bomb or any object containing noxious liquid gas or substance, other than an object containing a non-lethal noxious liquid gas or substance designed solely for personal defense carried by a person 18 years of age or older; or

(Source: P.A. 99-29, eff. 7-10-15.)

From the Muncipal Code of Chicago

8-24-045  Noxious gas or liquid.
(a)   No person shall use any device to discharge a noxious gas or liquid in an enclosed room in any Class C-1 or Class C-2 Assembly Unit, as defined in Chapter 13-56 of this Code, or in an enclosed room in any restaurant, bar or tavern that is a Class F Assembly Unit as defined in that chapter, if more than 20 persons are present in that room, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined in Section 8-20-010 of this Code, engaged in law enforcement activity. As used in this section, “noxious gas or liquid” means mace, pepper spray or any other substance that is intended or designed to cause irritation to the eyes, nose or mouth, or to cause nausea.
 (b)   Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine $500.00, or 30 days imprisonment, or both, for each offense.
(Added Coun. J. 4-9-03, p. 106979, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 159)

Last Updated: March 2019


Q: Is Pepper Spray Allowed / Legal in Illinois?
A: YES! Pepper spray is legal to purchase, use & carry for self defense purposes.


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