Pepper Spray Laws – Kentucky

Kentucky is one of the most second amendment friendly states around, and thankfully as one would expect this extends to the use of defensive sprays by civilians.

Kentucky has absolutely no laws restricting the use of pepper spray or other defensive sprays on the basis of formula, capacity or any other essential characteristics except those good sense laws that would otherwise cover appropriate use.

flag of Kentucky

Essentially, don’t whip up your own potentially toxic homebrew pepper spray or use it on someone else without a very good reason, and you won’t have any issues.

Nonetheless, we will provide you with all of the essential information below along with a selection of the most relevant statutes concerning the possession and use of pepper spray.

Fast Facts

  • Kentucky has no state-level restrictions on the type or formulation of defensive spray that civilians may possess or use. OC, CN and CS are all acceptable, as are other commercially produced defensive spray products so long as they are not intended to cause any lasting harm.
  • The state of Kentucky has no restrictions on the quantity of pepper spray that a civilian might carry. You can carry a small dispenser, a large canister or anything in between.
  • There is no age restriction concerning the possession of pepper spray so long as it’s being carried for the purposes of lawful self defense.

Overview

Kentucky’s overall friendliness towards the second amendment and weapons in civilian hands extends to pepper spray, and defensive sprays overall.

There is no restriction on the formulation of pepper spray that you choose for the protection of your person and your possessions.

Classic pepper spray, OC, is acceptable as are both typical formulations of tear gas, CN and CS. If you’re one of those people out there who prefers old school chemical mace you can carry that also.

The only consideration is that the defensive spray you choose is designed and intended to inflict no permanent harm. Kentucky’s laissez-faire attitude towards defensive sprays does not give you permission to cook up some six-devil homebrew out of any chemicals you have lying around.

Likewise, you may carry any size container of pepper or other defensive spray that you prefer, from the tiniest pocket sized personal protection container to the largest, beefiest canister designed for busting up riots. You are free to make the choice that is best for you in Kentucky when it comes to defensive spray.

Lastly, there is no age restriction concerning possession of pepper or any other defensive spray in Kentucky. Certain retailers may choose to only sell defensive spray products to people aged 18 years or older but this is not codified by state law.

Conclusion

Kentucky is among the friendliest states when it comes to civilian possession of defensive sprays. All standard formulations are permissible as are all sizes. There is no capacity limit.

Additionally, anyone can be in possession of pepper or other defensive sprays so long as they are carrying it for any legal, lawful purpose.

Relevant State Statutes

508.025 Assault in the third degree.

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when the actor:

(a) Recklessly, with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or intentionally

causes or attempts to cause physical injury to:

1. A state, county, city, or federal peace officer;

2. An employee of a detention facility, or state residential treatment facility or state staff secure facility for residential treatment which provides for the care, treatment, or detention of a juvenile charged with or adjudicated delinquent because of a public offense or as a youthful offender;

3. An employee of the Department for Community Based Services employed as a social worker to provide direct client services, if the event occurs while the worker is performing job-related duties;

4. Paid or volunteer emergency medical services personnel certified or licensed pursuant to KRS Chapter 311A, if the event occurs while personnel are performing job-related duties;

5. A paid or volunteer member of an organized fire department, if the event occurs while the member is performing job-related duties;

6. Paid or volunteer rescue squad personnel affiliated with the Division of Emergency Management of the Department of Military Affairs or a local disaster and emergency services organization pursuant to KRS Chapter

39F, if the event occurs while personnel are performing job-related duties;

7. A probation and parole officer;

8. A transportation officer appointed by a county fiscal court or legislative body of a consolidated local government, urban-county government, or charter government to transport inmates when the county jail or county correctional facility is closed while the transportation officer is performing job-related duties;

9. A public or private elementary or secondary school or school district classified or certified employee, school bus driver, or other school employee acting in the course and scope of the employee’s employment;

or

10. A public or private elementary or secondary school or school district volunteer acting in the course and scope of that person’s volunteer service for the school or school district;

(b) Being a person confined in a detention facility, or a juvenile in a state residential treatment facility or state staff secure facility for residential treatment which provides for the care, treatment, or detention of a juvenile charged with or adjudicated delinquent because of a public offense or as a youthful offender, inflicts physical injury upon or throws or causes feces, or urine, or other bodily fluid to be thrown upon an employee of the facility; or

(c) Intentionally causes a person, whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be a peace officer discharging official duties, to come into contact with saliva, vomit, mucus, blood, seminal fluid, urine, or feces without the consent of the peace officer.

(2) (a) For violations of subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section, assault in the third degree is a Class D felony.

(b) For violations of subsection (1)(c) of this section, assault in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor, unless the assault is with saliva, vomit, mucus, blood, seminal fluid, urine, or feces from an adult who knows that he or she has a serious communicable disease and competent medical or epidemiological evidence demonstrates that the specific type of contact caused by the actor is likely to cause transmission of the disease or condition, in which case it is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) As used in paragraph (b) of this subsection, “serious communicable disease” means a non-airborne disease that is transmitted from person to person and determined to have significant, long-term consequences on the physical health or life activities of the person infected.


508.030 Assault in the fourth degree.

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree when:

(a) He intentionally or wantonly causes physical injury to another person; or

(b) With recklessness he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

(2) Assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor.


508.050 Menacing.

(1) A person is guilty of menacing when he intentionally places another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.

(2) Menacing is a Class B misdemeanor.


527.010 Definitions for chapter.

The following definitions apply in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Booby trap device” shall have the same meaning as set forth in KRS 237.030.

(2) “Deface” means to remove, deface, cover, alter, or destroy the manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark.

(3) “Destructive device” shall have the same meaning as set forth in KRS 237.030.

(4) “Firearm” means any weapon which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.

(5) “Handgun” means any pistol or revolver originally designed to be fired by the use of a single hand, or any other firearm originally designed to be fired by the use of a single hand.


527.020 Carrying concealed deadly weapon.

(1) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon when he or she carries concealed a firearm or other deadly weapon on or about his or her person in violation of this section.

(2) Peace officers and certified court security officers, when necessary for their protection in the discharge of their official duties; United States mail carriers when actually engaged in their duties; and agents and messengers of express companies, when necessary for their protection in the discharge of their official duties, may carry concealed weapons on or about their person.

(3) The director of the Division of Law Enforcement in the Department of Fish and

Wildlife Resources, conservation officers of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and policemen directly employed by state, county, city, or urban-county governments may carry concealed deadly weapons on or about their person at all times within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, when expressly authorized to do so by law or by the government employing the officer.

(4) Persons carrying concealed weapons in accordance with KRS 237.109 or licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon pursuant to KRS 237.110 may carry a concealed firearm or other concealed deadly weapon on or about their persons at all times within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, if the firearm or concealed deadly weapon is carried in conformity with the requirements of KRS 237.109 or 237.110. Unless otherwise specifically provided by the Kentucky Revised Statutes or applicable federal law, no criminal penalty shall attach to carrying a concealed firearm or other deadly weapon at any location at which an unconcealed firearm or other deadly weapon may be constitutionally carried. No person or organization, public or private, shall prohibit a person from possessing a firearm, ammunition, or both, or other deadly weapon in his or her vehicle in compliance with the provisions of KRS

237.109, 237.110, and 237.115. Any attempt by a person or organization, public or private, to violate the provisions of this subsection may be the subject of an action for appropriate relief or for damages in a Circuit Court or District Court of competent jurisdiction.

(5) (a) The following persons, if they hold a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon pursuant to KRS 237.110 or 237.138 to 237.142, may carry a firearm or other concealed deadly weapon on or about their persons at all times and at all locations within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, without any limitation other than as provided in this subsection:

1. A Commonwealth’s attorney or assistant Commonwealth’s attorney;

2. A retired Commonwealth’s attorney or retired assistant Commonwealth’s attorney;

3. A county attorney or assistant county attorney;

4. A retired county attorney or retired assistant county attorney;

5. A justice or judge of the Court of Justice;

6. A retired or senior status justice or judge of the Court of Justice; and

7. A retired peace officer who holds a concealed deadly weapon license

issued pursuant to the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, 18

U.S.C. sec. 926C, and KRS 237.138 to 237.142.

(b) The provisions of this subsection shall not authorize a person specified in this subsection to carry a concealed deadly weapon in a detention facility as defined in KRS 520.010 or on the premises of a detention facility without the permission of the warden, jailer, or other person in charge of the facility, or the permission of a person authorized by the warden, jailer, or other person in charge of the detention facility to give such permission. As used in this section, “detention facility” does not include courtrooms, facilities, or other premises used by the Court of Justice or administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(c) A person specified in this section who is issued a concealed deadly weapon license shall be issued a license which bears on its face the statement that it is valid at all locations within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and may have such other identifying characteristics as determined by the Department of Kentucky State Police.

(6) (a) Except as provided in this subsection, the following persons may carry concealed deadly weapons on or about their person at all times and at all locations within the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

(…)

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