Pepper Spray Laws – Idaho

Idaho is a remarkably good state when it comes to pepper spray laws because they basically “don’t have any”!

That is not entirely true, of course, as the criminal misuse of pepper spray can still get you into big trouble, but they do not institute any major restrictions of any kind on pepper spray or other chemical defensive sprays.

flag of Idaho

You can have any formulation, any blend and any size that you see fit for your purposes, and even minors can be in possession of pepper spray so long as they have the express permission of an adult or an accompanying adult when purchasing it.

You can get the full facts on Idaho’s pepper spray laws below

Fast Facts

  • Idaho is an extremely permissive state concerning pepper sprays and tear gas sprays.
  • Citizens in Idaho can own and carry pepper spray of any formulation so long as the chemicals are not intended to cause permanent harm. OC, CN, CS and blends are all allowed.
  • A citizen may carry any size canister for their defensive spray. There are no regulations on quantity allowed for self-defense or civilian ownership.


Idaho is, in many ways, a model state when it comes to pepper spray laws for civilians. Or rather, chemical defensive spray laws for civilians because Idaho does not restrict any particular formulation of defensive spray from civilian hands.

You aren’t limited to only oleoresin capsicum (OC), as CN and CS tear gases and actual chemical mace are all allowed, as are any blends of the aforementioned agents.

The only prohibition regarding defensive sprays is that the chemicals may not be designed or intended to cause any lasting harm, and do not meet the states definition for legitimate chemical weapons.

Also happily, citizens in Idaho may carry any size canister carrying any amount of solution they choose. You will not be restricted to tiny, squirt gun-like dispensers in Idaho!

You may choose a highly compact version that fits on your key ring and accompany it with an extra large can suitable for busting up riots, or fending off bears.

Even minors are allowed to be in possession of pepper sprays in Idaho so long as their parent is present to buy it for them, or gives express permission to the merchant selling the spray in question.


Idaho is a roundly excellent state as far as pepper sprays and other self-defense sprays are concerned.

The state institutes no restrictions on formulation, including blends, or the size of canister, type of agent or the quantity that may be carried for self-defense purposes. Idaho’s laws in this sector should be considered the model for the rest of the nation.

Relevant State Statutes


(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly:

(a) Develop, produce or otherwise acquire, transfer directly or indirectly, receive, stockpile, retain, own, possess, use or threaten to use any chemical weapon; or

(b) Assist or induce in any way a person to violate, or attempt or conspire to violate, subsection (1)(a) of this section.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to:

(a) The retention, ownership, possession, transfer or receipt of a chemical weapon by a department, agency or other entity of the state of Idaho or the United States; or

(b) Any person, including a member of the armed forces of the United States, who is authorized by law or by an appropriate officer of the state of Idaho or the United States to retain, possess, transfer or receive a chemical weapon; or

(c) To an otherwise nonculpable person in an emergency situation if such person is attempting to seize or destroy the weapon.

(3) (a) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of up to and including life imprisonment or by a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both.

(b) The attorney general of the state of Idaho may bring a civil action in a state district court against any person who violates this section and, upon proof of such violation by a preponderance of the evidence, such person shall be required to pay a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each violation. The imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection does not preclude any other criminal or civil statutory, common law or administrative remedy which is otherwise available by law to the state of Idaho or any other person.

(c) The court shall order any person convicted of an offense under this section to reimburse the state of Idaho for any expenses incurred by the state incident to the seizure, storage, handling, transportation, destruction or other disposition of any property or material seized in connection with an investigation of the commission of an offense by that person.

(d) The state of Idaho may obtain in a civil action an injunction against any conduct prohibited in subsection (1) of this section or the preparation or solicitation to engage in such conduct.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the possession or use of any individual self-defense device, including devices which contain pepper spray or chemical mace.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) “Chemical weapon” means the following, together or separately:

(i) A toxic chemical and its precursors, except where intended for a purpose not prohibited by this section provided the type and quantity of such chemical or precursors are consistent with such a purpose;

(ii) A munition or device that is specifically designed to cause death or other harm through toxic properties of those toxic chemicals specified in paragraph (5)(a)(i) of this section and that would be released as a result of the employment of such munition or device;

(iii) Any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection with the employment of munitions or devices specified in paragraph (5)(a)(ii) of this section.

(b) Except as otherwise provided, “person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, association, trust, estate, public or private institution, the state of Idaho or any political subdivision thereof, or any political entity within the state, any foreign government or nation or any agency, instrumentality or political subdivision of such government or nation located in the state of Idaho.

(c) “Precursor” means any chemical reactant that takes part at any stage in the production, by whatever method, of a toxic chemical. The term includes any key component of a binary or multicomponent chemical system.

(d) “Purposes not prohibited by this section” means:

(i) Any peaceful purpose related to an industrial, agricultural, research, medical or pharmaceutical activity or other activity;

(ii) Any purpose directly related to protection against toxic chemicals or chemical weapons;

(iii) Any military purpose of the United States that is not connected with the use of a chemical weapon or that is not dependent on the use of the toxic or poisonous properties of the chemical weapon to cause death or other harm; or

(iv) Any law enforcement purpose, including any domestic riot control purpose and the imposition of capital punishment.

(e) “Toxic chemical” means any chemical that, through its chemical action on life processes, can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to animals, including humans. The term includes all such chemicals, regardless of their form or method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, munitions or elsewhere.


(1) The legislature hereby finds that the people of Idaho have reserved for themselves the right to keep and bear arms while granting the legislature the authority to regulate the carrying of weapons concealed. The provisions of this chapter regulating the carrying of weapons must be strictly construed so as to give maximum scope to the rights retained by the people.

(2) As used in this chapter:

(a) “Concealed weapon” means any deadly weapon carried on or about the person in a manner not discernible by ordinary observation;

(b) “Deadly weapon” means:

(i) Any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger or firearm;

(ii) Any other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance that is designed and manufactured to be readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury; or

(iii) Any other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance that is intended by the person to be readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

(c) The term “deadly weapon” does not include:

(i) Any knife, cleaver or other instrument that is intended by the person to be used in the processing, preparation or eating of food;

(ii) Any knife with a blade six (6) inches or less; or

(iii) Any taser, stun-gun, pepper spray or mace;


It shall be unlawful to directly or indirectly sell to any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years any weapon without the written consent of the parent or guardian of the minor. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not in excess of six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this section, “weapon” shall mean any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or gun.

18-3302E. POSSESSION OF A WEAPON BY A MINOR. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen (18) years to possess or have in possession any weapon, as defined in section 18-3302A, Idaho Code, unless he:

(a) Has the written permission of his parent or guardian to possess the weapon; or

(b) Is accompanied by his parent or guardian while he has the weapon in his possession.

(2) Any minor under the age of twelve (12) years in possession of a weapon shall be accompanied by an adult.

(3) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.


An assault is:

(a) An unlawful attempt, coupled with apparent ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another; or

(b) An intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.


A battery is any:

(a) Willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another; or

(b) Actual, intentional and unlawful touching or striking of another person against the will of the other; or

(c) Unlawfully and intentionally causing bodily harm to an individual.


(1) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:

(a) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement; or

(b) Uses a deadly weapon or instrument; or

(c) Uses any vitriol, corrosive acid, or a caustic chemical of any nature; or

(d) Uses any poison or other noxious or destructive substance or liquid; or

(e) Upon the person of a pregnant female, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to an embryo or fetus.

(2) For purposes of this section the terms “embryo” or “fetus” shall mean any human in utero.

(3) There shall be no prosecution under subsection (1)(e) of this section:

(a) Of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant female, or person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law.

(b) Of any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant female or her embryo or fetus; or

(c) Of any female with respect to her embryo or fetus.

(4) Nothing in this chapter is intended to amend or nullify the provisions of chapter 6, title 18, Idaho Code.

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