State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Chili Pepper Spray/Pepper Spray (Mace/Tear Gas)

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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 Sections 12400 - 12460 govern pepper spray use in California.

Certain individuals will still be prohibited from possessing pepper spray:

  • Minors under the age of 16
  • Convicted felons
  • Individuals convicted of narcotic/drug addiction
  • Individuals convicted of assault
  • Individuals convicted of misusing pepper spray

It will still be a federal offense to carry/ship pepper spray on a commercial airliner or possess it beyond the security metal detectors at the airport.

Pepper spray may only be used in situations involving imminent physical threats or fear of bodily harm and may NOT be used to prevent theft or in situations of verbal abuse.

A police officer may cite or arrest a person who does not comply with regulations stated on the pepper or mace product.

Sacramento Police Department
5770 Freeport Blvd, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 264-5471

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