9 Reasons You Should Carry Pepper Spray


Collection of Pepper Sprays

I have been thinking about the benefits of carrying pepper spray. I did some research and this is what I found.

Pepper spray is an easy, non-lethal self-defense tool. It’s effective and can be used at a distance from the target. It’s legal is many places and a license is not required to carry pepper spray. Pepper spray works on animals. Minors can carry pepper spray in some places.

1. Non-Lethal

Pepper spray is the best non-lethal self-defense tool. You should have a non-lethal option even if you carry a pistol. Most self-defense scenarios are non-lethal. They are simple assaults and it’s a crime to shoot an attacker who is not using lethal aggression. According to the Justice Department, simple assaults are more than 4x more common than aggravated (deadly force) assaults.(source)

Pepper spray usually has no lasting effects on those exposed to it. Typically after 4 to 6 hours, the burning sensation, and airway restrictions are totally gone. Those who experience longer and more severe problems from pepper spray usually have chronic health problems such as asthma.

2. Effective

Pepper spray is great at stopping attackers. It’s effectiveness comes from the compound capsaicin. When it hits the eyes, they will involuntarily close. This causes temporary blindness and eye pain. Upon entering the nose, throat, and lungs, airways will become restricted. Intense pain and coughing will also effect the respiratory system.

For maximum effect, the spray needs to directly hit the eyes and nose. The gif below shows me spraying a dummy.

Pepper Spray on mannequin

3. Distance

Pepper spray puts distance between a defender and attacker. Unlike stun guns and knives that put a defender within arms reach. Most pepper sprays have an effective range of at least 10 feet or 3 meters. This give space to spray an assailant then run away, and avoid being grabbed.

Pepper spray is legal in many places. It can be purchased and used defensively in many places including all 50 U.S. states.

Some states restrict the size of the container and the percent of capsaicin used.

Minors, felons, and those addicted to narcotic may not purchase, possess, or use pepper spray in some states.

Also, pepper spray is often legal where pistols are not. School campuses, government buildings, and business with no gun signs are often places where pistols cannot legally be carried. Depending on your state and city pepper spray might be a legal self-defense option in places like these.

4. Legal In Many Places

Pepper spray is legal in many places. It can be purchased and used defensively in many places including all 50 U.S. states.

Some states restrict the size of the container and the percent of capsaicin used.

Minors, felons, and those addicted to narcotic may not purchase, possess, or use pepper spray in some states.

Also, pepper spray is often legal where pistols are not. School campuses, government buildings, and business with no gun signs are often places where pistols cannot legally be carried. Depending on your state and city pepper spray might be a legal self-defense option in places like these.

5. No License Required

Pepper Spray can be purchased and carried is most places without a license. Consequently, it’s a much less costly to carry pepper spray than a handgun.

6. Easy to Get and Use

Pepper spray is easy to purchase and use. Many pepper sprays are small enough to fit in a pocket, purse, or holster. This smallness also makes pepper spray easy and comfortable to conceal.

It is also easy to use. Commonly, pepper spray has a safety feature that is disengaged with the thumb. After this, a user only needs to aim and press the trigger with that same thumb. As long as a user is not panicked, pepper spray is simple, easy, and fast into action.

How to Use Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is much easy to use than a pistol. There is no recoil, loud noise, or fear of shooting lethal bullets. Those who might be intimidated by a firearm might be more eager to carry and use pepper spray.

Pepper spray will not cause hearing loss. Unprotected ears always receive permanent hearing loss from close gunfire.

Also getting pepper spray is convenient and affordable. Models with wrist straps, key rings, or belt clips are available for as little as $12 or less.

Popular online retailers such as Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart sell pepper spray. It is often sold in local retailers too.

7. Pepper Spray is Not a Gun

Some people don’t want to carry a gun around. Pepper spray gives gun shy people a good self-defense tool and peace of mind without the responsibility of carrying a pistol.

8. Works on Animals

Pepper spray works good on animals including dogs and bears. Yes, bullets are very good at stopping dog attacks, but pepper spray is often the better choice.

Dogs bark aggressively more than they attack. Pepper spray stops dog aggression without the need to kill someone’s loved animal and having to explain gunfire to police.

Bears are very large and fast animals. It’s true that well placed bullets will stop a bear attack.. Hitting a bear in the face with spray is arguably easier to do than get stopping hits with bullets. Shooting under stress is hard. Even trained shooters will shoot less accurately during a bear attack. A face full of pepper spray usually makes bears retreat. Also, many state parks do not permit firearms. Bear pepper spray might be the only legal defensive option.

Bear pepper spray is different than self-defense spray for everyday carry. It comes in large canisters. Also, bear pepper spray is usually not a stream or gel, but a fog ejection. These pepper fogs are more vulnerable to cross wind movement than streams and gels.

9. No Age Limit

Most states do not restrict pepper spray to people over 18 years of age. This gives minors a great self-defense option.

Pepper Spray FAQ

How to Use Pepper Spray?

There are two things to always do when using pepper sprays.

Pepper spray should be sprayed at one ear and to the other with a continuous stream. This will get the spray in an attacker’s eyes and noise. The result will be involuntary eyelid closure and painful breathing.

Also, vertical, canister type pepper sprays should be shot using the thumb. This will insure a strong grip with 4 fingers grasping the canister. Shooting with the index finger will result in only 3 fingers gripping the can. The picture below shows the right and wrong way to hold.

How to hold pepper spray and how to not hold pepper spray

Does Pepper Spray Expire?

Yes, pepper sprays lose their effectiveness over time. They are always leaking pressure. After the expiration date, a pepper spray might not effectively shoot it’s contents. To be super safe, you can replace your pepper spray a year before expiration.

What’s the Difference Between Mace and Pepper Spray?

Mace is a company that makes pepper sprays. Just like the word “Xerox” was used to refer to copying documents, some people use “Mace” to refer to pepper spray.

Can Minors Carry Pepper Spray?

In many jurisdictions, it is legal for people under 18 to possess and use pepper spray for self-defense. For example, California permits 16 year olds to carry pepper spray in public. It is often illegal for minors to purchase pepper spray.

Andrew Jordan

I’m a lifelong native of Memphis, TN. Shooting drills especially with 22LR are one of my passions. My concealed carry permit application was submitted on my 21st birthday. The P10C is my EDC pistol. I invented the patented 15 round 5.56 stripper clip. You can also find me on the “Concealed Carry Andrew” Youtube channel.

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