Is Pepper Spray Legal In California? What Are California Pepper Spray Laws and Ownership Regulations?

Pepper spray in CA is legal with restrictions.

Subject to certain restrictions, Section 12403.7 of the Penal Code provides "any person may purchase, possess or use tear gas and tear gas weapons for the projection or release of tear gas if the tear gas and tear gas weapons are used solely for self-defense purposes.” The definition of tear gas also includes pepper spray. The restrictions include a prohibition against selling such a unit to a minor, and a provision limiting the size to 2.5 ounces by weight. 

The 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. Some examples of misuse include: using tear gas on people in anger, spraying it as a joke, possession of tear gas by prohibited persons, minors, drug addicts or persons convicted of felonies. 

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, CS or CN. CR is not legal for civilian use.