Pepper spray is one of the very best defensive implements that anyone can carry. If you need a solution to a confrontation that lies somewhere between harsh language and potentially deadly force, you won’t beat pepper spray.
Though it is legal pretty much everywhere in the United States, laws can vary greatly and if you want to stay on the right side of the bars at your local jail you’ll have to understand and adhere to these laws even when you’re carrying something as innocent as pepper spray.
Luckily, Arizona has some of the very best laws concerning the carry of pepper sprays and other defensive sprays. You can learn all about them in this article.
Your Arizona Pepper Spray Passport
Here’s a quick roundup of the most important facts about pepper spray according to the laws of Arizona:
- Arizona law allows citizens and visitors to carry any formulation of defensive spray or pepper spray that they want so long as it is not designed or intended to maim or cause permanent injury in normal use.
- There is no limit to capacity on pepper sprays in Arizona. You can carry any size that you want or feel comfortable with.
- Arizona law states that pepper spray and other defensive sprays can be used in self-defense so long as they are a reasonable use of force against unlawful Force being inflicted upon you or threatened against you.
- You cannot pepper spray someone just because they are insulting you or verbally provoking you! This is against the law!
We will go into more detail below. Keep reading.
Can You Legally Carry Pepper Spray in Arizona?
Yes. you do not need a concealed weapons permit to carry pepper spray, concealed or unconcealed, in the state of Arizona so long as the spray is otherwise legal, you aren’t carrying it in any restricted place and you are not yourself especially prohibited from carrying it.
How Much Pepper Spray Can You Carry in Arizona?
One of the very best things about Arizona concerning pepper spray is that there is no limitation on the quantity of spray that a person can carry, either in one or multiple containers.
This means you could carry a gigantic riot dispersal can if you really wanted to, or a tiny, key ring-sized fob or dispenser unit for maximum convenience and concealability.
This is great news since more spray means more chances to solve the problem, a better likelihood of dealing with multiple assailants, and the ability to completely soak someone who just won’t stop coming.
What Pepper Spray Formulas are Legal in Arizona?
Even more good news: all typical formulations of pepper spray and other defensive sprays are completely legal in Arizona so long as they are not designed or intended to name the target or cause any permanent injury in normal use.
This means that traditional and usual pepper sprays, OC, or just fine as are tear gasses. You can also carry a defensive spray that is a blend of various ingredients so long as they meet all of the legal criteria above.
Now, this is not carte blanche to use some sort of improvised spray or to whip up your own blend in the garage.
Don’t use wasp spray or any other kind of aerosol agent as this is a manner that is inconsistent with its labeling and might entail legal trouble of another kind.
Stick with tried and true, commercially sold defensive sprays and you’ll be in good shape!
When Can You Legally Use Pepper Spray in Arizona?
Arizona law permits citizens to use an appropriate level of force in response to the use of unlawful force, or the imminent, threatened use of unlawful force against themselves or someone else.
Note that you do not necessarily need to be threatened with death or great bodily injury before you resort to using your pepper spray because pepper spray is not considered to be deadly force in and of itself.
If someone is threatening to punch you or otherwise throw hands, you are entirely justified in pepper spraying them.
If someone is invading your personal space and generally ramping up towards physical violence, you will likewise probably be justified in going for your spray to calm them down.
You can read more about Arizona’s standards for the justification of the use of force in self-defense and section 13 – 404 of the Arizona State statutes. Included here, partially, for your convenience.
13-404. Justification; self-defense
A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, a person is justified in threatening or using physical force against another when and to the extent a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical force.
B. The threat or use of physical force against another is not justified:
1. In response to verbal provocation alone; or
3. If the person provoked the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical force, unless:
(a) The person withdraws from the encounter or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely withdraw from the encounter; and
(b) The other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful physical force against the person.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the strongest pepper spray you can carry in Arizona?
Arizona imposes no limitations on the strength of pepper spray or other defensive sprays that you can carry, with the exception that they cannot cause serious or permanent injury.
Generally, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about if you are buying pepper spray from a known and respected manufacturer because there is something of an upper limit on what formulations you will see sold for civilian or police usage.
Will you go to jail if you pepper spray someone?
It depends. Pepper spray is seen as a kinder and gentler defensive weapon despite the intense pain that it causes targets because it, as a rule, does not cause any serious or lasting injury.
However, pepper spray is still a weapon, and using it against someone is still using force against them and is potentially a crime.
Depending on the circumstances and the totality of the event, you may or may not be cleared at the scene if you pepper spray someone. If you aren’t, expect to spend the night in jail.
Is pepper spray considered a deadly weapon?
No, because it does not inflict death or serious bodily injury on the person that is affected by it as compared to a gun, knife, club, or other defensive implements.
However, anything that you do and anything that you use that causes someone to perish or suffer disfiguring injuries because of your actions may still be construed as deadly force in the eyes of the law.
But, that is extraordinarily unlikely to occur with pepper spray. Arizona State statute 13-105 precisely defines what is and what is not deadly force. Items are included below.
14. ” Deadly physical force” means force that is used with the purpose of causing death or serious physical injury or in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of creating a substantial risk of causing death or serious physical injury.
32. ” Physical force” means force used upon or directed toward the body of another person and includes confinement, but does not include deadly physical force.
33. ” Physical injury” means the impairment of physical condition.