Pepper Spray Laws – Georgia

Georgia is another state on our list with nary a law on the books concerning defensive sprays in the hands of civilians.

flag of the state of Georgia
flag of the state of Georgia

There are no regulations concerning the formulation or specific chemicals that are permitted for use. There are no laws that govern the size of the canister or the capacity that may be carried.

There are no laws concerning age for purchasing, carrying or using. And as one would expect there are also no laws governing how defensive sprays may be purchased or whether or not they can be shipped into the state.

This is all great news for citizens. Keep reading to get the rest of the facts on Georgia and its defensive spray laws, or rather its lack of defensive spray laws!

Fast Facts

  • Georgia allows citizens to carry any formulation of defensive spray they choose. Traditional pepper sprays as well as tear gas formulations or blends are all okay.
  • Georgia does not restrict citizens from carrying any quantity of pepper spray or other defensive sprays that they choose. Small personal-size canisters, as well as large cans, are all okay.
  • There is no age restriction on the possession or carry of defensive sprays in Georgia.
  • All defensive sprays may be freely bought, sold, or shipped into the state.

Overview

Georgia is another state that can hardly be said to have laws concerning pepper spray at all.

There are absolutely no laws on the books restricting or otherwise governing what type of defensive spray a citizen chooses to arm themselves with classic pepper spray, or OC, is permissible as are various formulations of tear gas or chemical mace, including CN and CS.

You’re also permitted to carry blends of various ingredients if you choose, with the only restriction being that the defensive spray must be formulated to cause no lasting harm in normal usage.

Don’t go brewing up your own improvised formula of dubious effectiveness and quality and trying to pass that off as legitimate defensive spray.

Lastly, any quantity of defensive spray is permitted to be possessed or carried, so you can choose from any number of compact personal defense units or even larger so-called riot canisters if you are worried about crowd control.

Even better, there is no age restriction concerning defensive sprays in the state of Georgia, so anyone is allowed to carry them for self-defense.

It must be said, however, that misuse of any defensive spray that results in harm can still result in criminal charges. Under the right conditions, it might result in felony charges.

Don’t play around with your defensive spray, and definitely don’t use it for pranks or any other such juvenile hijinks unless you want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

Conclusion

Georgia is a state that is almost completely unregulated when it comes to defensive sprays in the hands of civilians.

Civilians may choose from any formulation of defensive spray that they desire, including tear gases, and may carry any quantity they choose.

The onus is on the person carrying it to select a product that is not designed to inflict any lasting harm, but other than that you don’t have a thing to worry about in Georgia.

Make sure you always behave responsibly with your defensive spray and do not use it for any purpose other than it’s intended one and you won’t have any problems.

Relevant State Statutes

16-5-23. Simple battery

(a) A person commits the offense of simple battery when he or she either:

(1) Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or

(2) Intentionally causes physical harm to another.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (c) through (i) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of simple battery shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.

(c) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery against a person who is 65 years of age or older or against a female who is pregnant at the time of the offense shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(d) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. For purposes of this Code section, “public transit vehicle” has the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-5-20.

(e) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery against a police officer, correction officer, or detention officer engaged in carrying out official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(f) If the offense of simple battery is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. In no event shall this subsection be applicable to corporal punishment administered by a parent or guardian to a child or administered by a person acting in loco parentis.

16-5-23.1. Battery

(a) A person commits the offense of battery when he or she intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another.

(b) As used in this Code section, the term “visible bodily harm” means bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim and may include, but is not limited to, substantially blackened eyes, substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts, or substantial bruises to body parts.

(c) Except as provided in subsections (d) through (k) of this Code section, a person who commits the offense of battery is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(d) Upon the second conviction for battery against the same victim, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten days nor more than 12 months, by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or both. The minimum sentence of ten days for a second offense shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, stayed, or withheld; provided, however, that it is within the authority and discretion of the sentencing judge to:

(1) Allow the sentence to be served on weekends by weekend confinement or during the nonworking hours of the defendant. A weekend shall commence and shall end in the discretion of the sentencing judge, and the nonworking hours of the defendant shall be determined in the discretion of the sentencing judge; or

(2) Suspend, probate, defer, stay, or withhold the minimum sentence where there exists clear and convincing evidence that imposition of the minimum sentence would either create an undue hardship upon the defendant or result in a failure of justice.

(e) Upon a third or subsequent conviction for battery against the same victim, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years. The minimum sentence provisions contained in subsection (d) of this Code section shall apply to sentences imposed pursuant to this subsection.

(f)

(1) As used in this subsection, the term “household member” means past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household.

(2) If the offense of battery is committed between household members, it shall constitute the offense of family violence battery and shall be punished as follows:

(A) Upon a first conviction of family violence battery, the defendant shall be guilty of and punished for a misdemeanor; provided, however, that if the defendant has previously been convicted of a forcible felony committed between household members under the laws of this state, of the United States, including the laws of its territories, possessions, or dominions, or any of the several states, or of any foreign nation recognized by the United States, which if committed in this state would have constituted a forcible felony committed between household members, he or she shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years; and

(B) Upon a second or subsequent conviction of family violence battery against the same or another victim, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

(3) In no event shall this subsection be applicable to reasonable corporal punishment administered by parent to child.

16-11-121. Definitions

As used in this part, the term:

(1) “Dangerous weapon” means any weapon commonly known as a “rocket launcher,” “bazooka,” or “recoilless rifle” which fires explosive or nonexplosive rockets designed to injure or kill personnel or destroy heavy armor, or similar weapon used for such purpose. The term shall also mean a weapon commonly known as a “mortar” which fires high explosive from a metallic cylinder and which is commonly used by the armed forces as an antipersonnel weapon or similar weapon used for such purpose. The term shall also mean a weapon commonly known as a “hand grenade” or other similar weapon which is designed to explode and injure personnel or similar weapon used for such purpose.

(2) “Machine gun” means any weapon which shoots or is designed to shoot, automatically, more than six shots, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

(3) “Person” means any individual, partnership, company, association, or corporation.

(4) “Sawed-off rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder; and designed or redesigned, made or remade, to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifle bore for each single pull of the trigger; and which has a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length or has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

(5) “Sawed-off shotgun” means a shotgun or any weapon made from a shotgun whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

(6) “Shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder; and designed or redesigned, and made or remade, to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.

(7) “Silencer” means any device for silencing or diminishing the report of any portable weapon such as a rifle, carbine, pistol, revolver, machine gun, shotgun, fowling piece, or other device from which a shot, bullet, or projectile may be discharged by an explosive.

16-11-125.1. Definitions

As used in this part, the term:

(1) “Handgun” means a firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged by an action of an explosive where the length of the barrel, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches; provided, however, that the term “handgun” shall not include a gun which discharges a single shot of 0.46 centimeter or less in diameter.

(2) “Knife” means a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense consisting of a blade that is greater than 12 inches in length which is fastened to a handle.

(3) “License holder” means a person who holds a valid weapons carry license.

(4) “Long gun” means a firearm with a barrel length of at least 18 inches and overall length of at least 26 inches designed or made and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or made to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed:

(A) Shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger or from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged; or

(B) Metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifle bore for each single pull of the trigger;

provided, however, that the term “long gun” shall not include a gun which discharges a single shot of 0.46 centimeter or less in diameter.

(5) “Weapon” means a knife or handgun.

(6) “Weapons carry license” or “license” means a license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129.

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