Pepper Spray Laws – Connecticut

Connecticut does not have any significant laws concerning civilian use or possession of pepper sprays and other defensive sprays. Formula and quantity are strictly up to the discretion of the individual so long as it is not any formulation intended to cause permanent harm.

flag of Connecticut

The only other laws tangentially related to the use of pepper spray concern inflicting harm on a person without justification.

You can get the rest of the facts concerning pepper spray laws in Connecticut below.

Fast Facts

  • All typical defensive spray formulations are permitted for civilian ownership in Connecticut. OC, CN and CS as well as blends of the above are all permissible.
  • There is no restriction on size or capacity in Connecticut. Large canisters are legal to own and possess.
  • Pepper spray may be freely shipped into the state of Connecticut from outside the state and is freely sold by a variety of merchants.
  • Misuse of pepper spray will still entail criminal charges, likely pertaining to felony assault. Never use pepper spray except for its legitimate intended purpose in Connecticut.

Overview

Connecticut really does not have anything in the way of pepper spray specific laws on the books concerning civilian possession and ownership.

You won’t find anything in there about specific formulas being allowed or forbidden, or about any payload over a certain quantity being verboten.

Likewise there are no laws on the books regarding acquisition or purchasing, and pepper spray can be freely shipped into the state from elsewhere in the state or beyond Connecticut’s borders.

Nominally, a person might have to be 18 years or older to purchase pepper spray but this is not definitive. In fact, the only laws that even tangentially relate to pepper spray and defensive spray usage is in the criminal misuse of such sprays.

If you were to use your pepper spray on someone and you were not in a legitimate self-defense scenario you could be charged with felony assault, a serious crime.

Thus it should go without saying that no one should play around with their pepper spray, use it for pranks or any other purpose unless they really, seriously need it. To do otherwise risks you being branded a criminal.

Considering how nasty Connecticut has become concerning other facets of self-defense and firearms in particular this at least is welcome news.

Conclusion

Connecticut is perhaps a very surprising “win” when it comes to pepper spray laws since they don’t really have any concerning civilian possession and carry.

Civilians may carry any size dispenser they choose and any formula they choose so long as it is not intended to inflict lasting harm.

Natural and synthetic formulations are allowed as are blends of those ingredients, and as long as someone does not use their spray illegally or in a criminal manner you’ll have no trouble purchasing, possessing and carrying any defensive spray in Connecticut.

Relevant State Statutes

Section 53-206 – Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited.

(a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a class E felony. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer’s official duties; (2) the carrying of a baton or nightstick by a security guard while engaged in the pursuit of such guard’s official duties; (3) the carrying of a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, by (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of the state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person who is found with any such knife concealed upon one’s person while lawfully removing such person’s household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person’s place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person’s place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any saltwater fisherman carrying such knife for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person while participating in an authorized historic reenactment; (4) the carrying by any person enrolled in or currently attending, or an instructor at, a martial arts school of a martial arts weapon while in a class or at an authorized event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such class, event or competition; (5) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person taking part in a supervised event or competition of the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of America or in any other authorized event or competition while taking part in such event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such event or competition; and (6) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person upon such person’s own property or the property of another person provided such other person has authorized the carrying of such weapon on such property, and the transporting of such weapon to or from such property.

Section 53a-3 – Definitions.

Except where different meanings are expressly specified, the following terms have the following meanings when used in this title:

(1) “Person” means a human being, and, where appropriate, a public or private corporation, a limited liability company, an unincorporated association, a partnership, a government or a governmental instrumentality;

(2) “Possess” means to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property;

(3) “Physical injury” means impairment of physical condition or pain;

(4) “Serious physical injury” means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;

(5) “Deadly physical force” means physical force which can be reasonably expected to cause death or serious physical injury;

(6) “Deadly weapon” means any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles. The definition of “deadly weapon” in this subdivision shall be deemed not to apply to section 29-38 or 53-206;

(7) “Dangerous instrument” means any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or serious physical injury, and includes a “vehicle” as that term is defined in this section and includes a dog that has been commanded to attack, except a dog owned by a law enforcement agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof or of the federal government when such dog is in the performance of its duties under the direct supervision, care and control of an assigned law enforcement officer;

(…)

(18) “Pistol” or “revolver” means any firearm having a barrel less than twelve inches;

(19) “Firearm” means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged;

(20) “Electronic defense weapon” means a weapon which by electronic impulse or current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, but is not capable of inflicting death or serious physical injury, including a stun gun or other conductive energy device;

(21) “Martial arts weapon” means a nunchaku, kama, kasari-fundo, octagon sai, tonfa or chinese star;

Section 53a-59 – Assault in the first degree: Class B felony: Nonsuspendable sentences.

(a) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree when: (1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or (2) with intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (3) under circumstances evincing an extreme indifference to human life he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person; or (4) with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and while aided by two or more other persons actually present, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (5) with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of the discharge of a firearm.

(b) Assault in the first degree is a class B felony provided (1) any person found guilty under subdivision (1) of subsection (a) shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which five years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court and (2) any person found guilty under subsection (a) shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which ten years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court if the victim of the offense is a person under ten years of age or if the victim of the offense is a witness, as defined in section 53a-146, and the actor knew the victim was a witness.

Section 53a-61 – Assault in the third degree: Class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when: (1) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (2) he recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person; or (3) with criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon, a dangerous instrument or an electronic defense weapon.

(b) Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor and any person found guilty under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year which may not be suspended or reduced.

Section 53a-63 – Reckless endangerment in the first degree: Class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, with extreme indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a risk of serious physical injury to another person.

(b) Reckless endangerment in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Section 53a-64 – Reckless endangerment in the second degree: Class B misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a risk of physical injury to another person.

(b) Reckless endangerment in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor.

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