Is Pepper Spray Legal in Florida?

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Florida sits in the middle of the safest states in the US.

Like in the other 49 states, many of its citizens choose to have firearms for self-defense purposes.

However, having a gun in your bag can be cumbersome as several establishments prohibit carrying a deadly weapon on their premises.

That’s why some consider irritant sprays as a hassle-free, non-lethal way to protect themselves.

While it can be a viable alternative, you should first ask, “Is pepper spray legal in Florida?

Why Choose Pepper Spray For Self-Defense?

Pepper spray, sometimes referred to as OC spray, is a product that discharges chemical irritant droplets. It is widely used as a non-lethal self-defense weapon.

For decades, many have attested to its effectiveness, portability, and budget-friendly price.

One of the primary advantages of carrying pepper spray canisters is that the rules governing them are more lenient than other self-defense weapons.

Plus, you can easily toss it in your purse or backpack, ensuring you have protection wherever you are.

It’s also easy to use, as simple as pressing a button to release the solution.

After all, any self-defense weapon is virtually useless if you can’t bring it anywhere or lack the skills to wield it properly.

What matters most is that you can carry protection with you any time and place since you can’t predict where you need its help.

OC cans are one of the non-lethal, defensive weapons you can have at all times.

Despite being small enough to put in your keychain, pocket, or bag, a self-defense spray can render an attacker distracted for several minutes.

That should give you time to act accordingly and call for help or backup.

Can You Purchase and Use Pepper Spray in the US?

This less-than-lethal weapon is legal in all 50 states, meaning almost anyone has access to pepper spray.

You are not required to get a weapon license if you want to keep a pepper spray with you.

That said, OC spray is classified as a defensive weapon, which indicates you can’t use it to attack others.

Although the weapon laws on self-defense chemical spray are less prohibitive, some states may impose specific restrictions on pepper spray usage.

Also, because OC spray requires cold and dry storage environments, warmer states may have limitations on the amount of pepper spray you can carry.

Is pepper spray legal in Florida? The short answer is yes. The state recognizes pepper spray as a viable and lawful self-defense device.

However, any type of defensive spray is only permitted to be discharged when another person endangers your safety.

Similar to other states, you are only allowed to use it during a legitimate self-defense situation.

You can carry a pepper spray in public, but state restrictions limit how much each individual can have on them.

Florida only allows a pepper spray container to contain up to two ounces of chemical irritant.

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Other Non-Lethal Weapons in Florida

While pepper spray is a practical solution for personal protection, it is not the only option you have.

Let’s explore some other weapons you can carry while living in the Sunshine State.

You may carry these weapons for self-defense under the 2021 Florida Statutes of 790.053.

Nonlethal Stun Gun

Stun guns and Tasers utilize an electrical charge to incapacitate a target momentarily.

In Florida, a license is not required to purchase or carry a self-defense stun gun. However, specific rules prohibit owners from possessing and using a non-lethal electric weapon.

It is illegal to wield it in a reckless, rude, aggressive, or threatening manner unless it is for self-defense.

The act is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor.

It becomes a third-degree felony if committed on or near school property that hosts school-sanctioned activities.

16-year-olds and below in Florida cannot carry a dart-firing stun gun or other electric weapons unless they are under an adult’s direct supervision.

Tear Gas Gun

The state categorized the tear gas gun as a concealed weapon. Any of the items under this section requires a firearm license before you are allowed to carry it.

Law enforcement officers primarily use this chemical weapon for crowd control.

While it can induce non-lethal effects, it could be a destructive device if discharged in certain establishments.

Billie

A Billie is a short club primarily used by police and other law enforcement personnel.

Since it is classified as a concealed weapon, you need to obtain and carry a license that allows you to own one.

This weapon is primarily associated with the police and private security, which implies that it’s not the most practical option for civilians to carry around.

On top of that, unless you have the skills and physique to wield it, a Billie won’t do much help in self-defense.  

Penalties for Concealed Weapons

Carrying or brandishing a concealed weapon without the appropriate permit is regarded as a breach of the peace in Florida.

You might face a first-degree misdemeanor prosecution if you are suspected of carrying a concealed weapon.

If you are found guilty, you may have to pay a fine of $1,000 and spend up to one year in prison.

Depending on the weapon and scenario, a guilty person may face a third-degree felony charge.

For example, carrying a hidden handgun without a permit can land you in jail for up to five years.

Probation is a possibility, but you will have to pay a $5,000 fine either way. Also, offenders with prior convictions may incur higher penalties for concealed carrying.

Safety in Florida

As one of the most naturally picturesque places in the world, some people are concerned about the safety and security of living or vacationing in Florida.

According to the most current annual crime report, total crime rates in states have declined considerably in recent years.

Property crime rates are also on a steep decline, which is great news for anybody who has plans to relocate to the Sunshine State.

Overall, Florida is considered a safe location to live, and it has proven to be a peaceful place full of life and adventures.

Using Pepper Spray in Florida

Like in most states, carrying pepper spray is completely legal in Florida.

With some exceptions to the volume allowed, there are essentially no rules against purchasing, possessing, and using pepper spray in the state.

However, you must be mindful that the item is intended solely for self-defense.

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