• Welcome to SVTPerformance!

CA Legality of Pepper Spray and Bear Spray

Discussion in 'Donut Shop' started by WTF, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. WTF

    WTF law abiding citizen Established Member

    Messages:
    2,502
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    From what I understand to be legal it has to be 2.5oz or less and have the CA warning sticker on it. Got it. But is there a concentration limit? What about mixtures - ones that add a small percentage of tear gas?

    What about Bear Spray? The reason for my interest in bear spray is its ability to spray a stream at a safe 30ft range vs the small distance of personal little 2.5oz hand held ones for self defense. Correct me if I'm wrong but I understand they're basically the same thing as pepper spray but doesn't follow the 2.5oz limit rule because it's considered a "pesticide". However the use on humans is a serious offense as that's not its intended use (felony I believe). But here's the thing:

    I mountain bike and hike frequently. I encountered a mountain lion on trail a few weeks back. Thankfully it was a non confrontational encouter and I have all my limbs! The Kitty went his way and I went mine. :beer: However I've read plenty of news reports on attacks, some in gruesome detail and after my encounter with the big kitty, it's been on my mind ever since. And of course remembering back in my child hood, I've had the good ole unleashed dog chase the crap out of me, it really seems ignorant to think you'll be safe out there, ANYTHING can happen.

    Obviously bear spray, with it's increase range and volume would offer the best protection but in the event I do encounter a person on trail and HE/SHE is the attacker with intent to maim or kill, can you honestly say I cannot legally use the bear spray to defend myself?! I'm sure a bat is illegal to use on someone as well but in the event of defending oneself, that is no longer a rule is it? Or would I still get charged, jailed, and convicted because I used "bear spray" on a human attacker? :dw:

    Thanks!
     
  2. mswaim

    mswaim Dark Side Poster Established Member

    Messages:
    3,026
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2000
    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    The answer to your question would be determined after-the-fact, since under the California Penal Code (22810) you cannot possess or deploy a canister containing more than 2.5 oz.

    If you deploy something other than the law allows, the circumstances would be weighed and considered in the decision to charge you or not.

    My gut tells me you would face tough questions concerning why you did not carry an additional 2.5 oz. can which is designed and sold for personal protection.
     
  3. WTF

    WTF law abiding citizen Established Member

    Messages:
    2,502
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I see and that makes sense - the legality of it will be assessed after-the-fact. But remember bear spray is legal in CA because it's not considered the same thing as a personal defense pepper spray (even though chemically it is the same). It's considered a "pesticide". It would be the equivalant of someone attacking your camp site and you grabbed the nearest bottle closest to you and spray him down. It could be wasp spray for all we know - how could that be "an issue" that it was used in a self-defense situation?

    So in this hypothetical situation, the authorities will question my reasoning for carrying bear spray and my answer will be this (and this is the truth, for better or for worse):

    "The intent is to NOT use it on a human but rather provide protection from mountain lions, bears and dogs if the situation were ever to occur. Bear spray has a much greater spray range and there's no fear of "running out" which volume is an issue when you have something spraying 30ft out of a 2oz bottle. However it was on-hand and in the heat of the moment it was used to defend myself." Do you think that's unreasonable?

    Definitely not playing the devil's advocate here - I genuinely want to know a LEO's point of view on this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  4. mustanginky

    mustanginky Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    2,107
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Location:
    la grange kentucky
    isn't bear spray a higher concentration of OC than regular OC? i'd guess if you sprayed someone with bear spray, you'd face prosecution, especially in california. not 100% on that. look up existing cases where someone did it, i'm sure it's happened just not sure if you'd be able to find the case.
     
  5. mswaim

    mswaim Dark Side Poster Established Member

    Messages:
    3,026
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2000
    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    Since it is considered a "pesticide" capable of severely injuring or killing the person you spray, you would need to show you needed to use deadly force.

    Would it kill an average person - probably not.

    Could it severely injure someone already sensitive to the acceptable level of pepper spray - most likely and that would work against you.

    California does not have a "stand your ground" law, so you need to be careful.
     
  6. WTF

    WTF law abiding citizen Established Member

    Messages:
    2,502
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Thanks mswaim, this was helpful. I had to look up what "stand your ground" law was and it was eye-opening. I think part of the confusion that people succumb to is the differences in laws across states. :read:

    I honestly didn't know we had an obligation to flee first, fight second. I guess it just depends on how effective your ability to flee is. It also surprises me that it would be considered "deadly force" and my justification would have to be the same as responding to an attacker with something as lethal as a gun shot(s). Hey look no CCW needed but just as lethal. Ridiculous. But hey, it is what it is...

    I just I'll stick with the smaller range, smaller volume 2oz sprays and take my chances with the big cats. To be honest, I fear being judged by my peers more than maiming and death from wild animals.

    Again thanks for your time, mswaim.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  7. mswaim

    mswaim Dark Side Poster Established Member

    Messages:
    3,026
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2000
    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    I don't disagree with you; I wish our state took personal protection more seriously and would consider some sort of a "stand your ground" law, but they are too busy legislating college education rights for illegal aliens.

    You can always pick up an X26 Taser for those human interactions gone wrong. ;-)
     
  8. WTF

    WTF law abiding citizen Established Member

    Messages:
    2,502
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Good point! Has a little bit more of an intimidation factor, too.

    Better yet, maybe I can program one of these to follow me around.



    [​IMG]
    iRobot and Taser to produce (non)lethal bots -- Engadget

    What could go wrong? :-D
     
  9. oldmodman

    oldmodman Well-Known Member Established Member

    Messages:
    16,544
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    West Los Angeles

Share This Page