May 26, 2006, Newsletter Issue #19: Using Pepper Spray in California

Tip of the Week

What is the pepper spray law in California? Misuse of tear gas in California comes with state penalties of up to a $1000 fine and/or up to three years in prison, not to mention a possible felony conviction on record. Examples of misuse include using tear gas on people in anger, spraying it as a joke, or possession of tear gas by prohibited persons. Minors, drug addicts or persons convicted of felonies, assault or misuse of tear gas are legally prohibited from possessing tear gas, although there are few barriers to procurement of tear gas by these people. To be legally purchased, possessed or used in California, any canister must have a label that says "WARNING: The use of this substance or device for any purpose other than self-defense is a crime under the law. The contents are dangerous--use with care." The maximum legal net weight for a canister is 2.5 ounces, or 70 grams of OC.

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