Pepper Spray Laws in Pennsylvania

Woman Holding Pepper Spray
••• ivanmollov/iStock/GettyImages

Related Articles

Pepper spray is used for self defense to avoid the application of lethal weapons. Pepper spray causes immediate debilitating symptoms, such as temporary blindness, difficulty breathing and fatigue. Pepper spray is called "pepper spray" because its main ingredient is oleoresin capsicum, which is also what makes hot peppers spicy.

Pepper Spray Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has no regulations or restrictions on the lawful use of pepper spray. Most of the pepper spray regulations in Pennsylvania are federal. However, Pennsylvania has some pepper spray laws in addition to the federal laws. These include restrictions on mailing pepper spray or ordering it online.

Where You Can't Bring Pepper Spray

At federal and state agencies, including those in Pennsylvania, pepper spray is not allowed within the building by civilians. Also, pepper spray is not allowed within commercial planes unless it's in a checked baggage and inaccessible in flight. These are federal regulations, and the TSA can confiscate pepper spray if found in your carry on bag.

Read More: Pepper Spray and New York Law

When to Use Pepper Spray

Pepper spray should only be used when you are under attack.If you use pepper spray on someone and it isn't self defense, you could be charged with assault or battery or both. Although pepper spray isn't considered a "weapon" in Pennsylvania, the laws regarding injury to another person still apply.

Restrictions on Pepper Spray Nationwide

Although Pennsylvania's laws are lenient, many states are much more strict. Pepper spray laws can restrict the age of purchasers and require you to purchase from a licensed pharmacy or firearm dealer. Other laws limit the oleoresin capsicum concentration. Some states even require a Firearms Identification Card to carry pepper spray.


  • Pepper spray is legal in Pennsylvania without much regulation; however, you cannot bring it into most government buildings, and you can't order it online or receive or send it in the mail.