Pepper Spray Laws – Louisiana

Louisiana is another highly permissive state when it comes to civilian carry and overall possession of defensive sprays. Civilians may have any formulation they choose so long as it is not designed to inflict serious bodily injury or death, and similarly may carry any quantity that serves their purposes.

One should know, however, that due to the way several other relevant weapons laws are written in the states statutes those who have been convicted of various felonies, including crimes of violence, may not be in possession of defensive sprays. Additionally, people under the age of 18 years may not be in possession of defensive sprays.

flag of Louisiana

We will give you the rest of the information you need to know about pepper spray laws in Louisiana in the rest of this article, and make sure you check out the included relevant statutes at the very end, particularly the highlighted sections.

Fast Facts

  • Felons, and those who have been convicted of particular crimes of misdemeanor violence may not be in possession of any defensive spray in Louisiana.
  • Old typical defensive spray formulations are permitted in the state of Louisiana, including OC, CN and CS as well as blends. No spray formulation is permitted that is designed to inflict serious bodily injury or death.
  • Civilians may carry any quantity of defensive spray that they choose in Louisiana.
  • Defensive sprays may only be legally carried by those aged 18 years old or older.

Overview

Louisiana is an overwhelmingly pro-spray state, and inflicts no odious regulations regarding formulation, quantity or any other such bothersome laws on its citizens and visitors.

However, they do have an age restriction on possession and carry, and also another special restriction regarding prohibited persons.

First, you must be 18 years old or older to legally carry any defensive spray, pepper spray or tear gas, in the state of Louisiana. If you are underage, that’s just too bad.

Second, due to the way that certain other related weapons laws are worded, felons and certain people convicted of misdemeanor crimes of violence may not possess any defensive spray whatsoever in the state.

The only way around this prohibition is to have your civil rights restored if you are guilty of such crimes.

Other than that, citizens may choose any formulation of spray they desire which could be all natural OC or a blend of OC and tear gas, such as CN or CS.

Even more happily, citizens may carry any quantity of spray that they think best serves their needs. Louisiana does not restrict civilian possession based on the size of canister or the payload.

Conclusion

Louisiana is a friendly state for citizens who want to carry defensive sprays as part of a comprehensive self-defense plan.

There is no state law restricting formulation, so long as it is not designed to inflict serious injury, and furthermore the state does not bar citizens from carrying large quantities.

It is worth noting however that one must be 18 years old or older to legally carry spray in the state, and furthermore one must not be convicted of any felonies or certain crimes of misdemeanor violence.

Relevant State Statutes

RS 2 – Definitions

A. In this Code the terms enumerated shall have the designated meanings:

(1) “Another” refers to any other person or legal entity, including the state of Louisiana or any subdivision thereof.

(…)

(3) “Dangerous weapon” includes any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

(4) “Felony” is any crime for which an offender may be sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.

(5) “Foreseeable” refers to that which ordinarily would be anticipated by a human being of average reasonable intelligence and perception.

(6) “Misdemeanor” is any crime other than a felony.

(7) “Person” includes a human being from the moment of fertilization and implantation and also includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not.

(8) “Property” refers to both public and private property, movable and immovable, and corporeal and incorporeal property.

(…)

(10) “State” means the state of Louisiana, or any parish, municipality, district, or other political subdivision thereof, or any agency, board, commission, department, or institution of said state, parish, municipality, district, or other political subdivision.

(11) “Unborn child” means any individual of the human species from fertilization and implantation until birth.

(12) “Whoever” in a penalty clause refers only to natural persons insofar as death or imprisonment is provided, but insofar as a fine may be imposed “whoever” in a penalty clause refers to any person.

B. In this Code, “crime of violence” means an offense that has, as an element, the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, and that, by its very nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense or an offense that involves the possession or use of a dangerous weapon. The following enumerated offenses and attempts to commit any of them are included as “crimes of violence”:

(1) Solicitation for murder.

(2) First degree murder.

(3) Second degree murder.

(4) Manslaughter.

(5) Aggravated battery.

(6) Second degree battery.

(7) Aggravated assault.


RS 33 – Battery defined

Battery is the intentional use of force or violence upon the person of another; or the intentional administration of a poison or other noxious liquid or substance to another.

RS 34.1 – Second degree battery

A. Second degree battery is a battery when the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily injury; however, this provision shall not apply to a medical provider who has obtained the consent of a patient.

(…)

(3) Repealed by Acts 2019, No. 2, §3.

C. Whoever commits the crime of second degree battery shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than eight years, or both. At least eighteen months of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence if the offender knew or should have known that the victim is an active member of the United States Armed Forces or is a disabled veteran and the second degree battery was committed because of that status.

RS 35 – Simple battery

A. Simple battery is a battery committed without the consent of the victim.

B. Whoever commits a simple battery shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.


RS 36 – Assault defined

Assault is an attempt to commit a battery, or the intentional placing of another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.


RS 38 – Simple assault

A. Simple assault is an assault committed without a dangerous weapon.

B. Whoever commits a simple assault shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than ninety days, or both.


RS 94 – Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities

A. Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities is the intentional or criminally negligent discharging of any firearm, or the throwing, placing, or other use of any article, liquid, or substance, where it is foreseeable that it may result in death or great bodily harm to a human being.

B. Except as provided in Subsection E, whoever commits the crime of illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than two years, or both.

C. Except as provided in Subsection E, on a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five years nor more than seven years, without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence.

D. The enhanced penalty upon second and subsequent convictions provided for in Subsection C of this Section shall not be applicable in cases where more than five years have elapsed since the expiration of the maximum sentence, or sentences, of the previous conviction or convictions, and the time of the commission of the last offense for which he has been convicted. The sentence to be imposed in such event shall be the same as may be imposed upon a first conviction.

E. Whoever commits the crime of illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle located upon a public street or highway, where the intent is to injure, harm, or frighten another human being, shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five nor more than ten years without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence.


RS 95 – Illegal carrying of weapons

A. Illegal carrying of weapons is:

(1) The intentional concealment of any firearm, or other instrumentality customarily used or intended for probable use as a dangerous weapon, on one’s person; or

(2) The ownership, possession, custody or use of any firearm, or other instrumentality customarily used as a dangerous weapon, at any time by an enemy alien; or

(3) The ownership, possession, custody or use of any tools, or dynamite, or nitroglycerine, or explosives, or other instrumentality customarily used by thieves or burglars at any time by any person with the intent to commit a crime; or

(4)(a) The intentional concealment on one’s person of any switchblade knife, spring knife, or other knife or similar instrument having a blade which may be automatically unfolded or extended from a handle by the manipulation of a button, switch, latch, or similar contrivance located on the handle.

(b) The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to the following:

(i) Any knife that may be opened with one hand by manual pressure applied to the blade or any projection of the blade.

(ii) Any knife that may be opened by means of inertia produced by the hand, wrist, or other movement, provided the knife has either a detent or other structure that provides resistance that shall be overcome in opening or initiating the opening movement of the blade or a bias or spring load toward the closed position.

(5)(a) The intentional possession or use by any person of a dangerous weapon on a school campus during regular school hours or on a school bus. “School” means any elementary, secondary, high school, or vo-tech school in this state and “campus” means all facilities and property within the boundary of the school property. “School bus” means any motor bus being used to transport children to and from school or in connection with school activities.


RS 95.1 – Possession of firearm or carrying concealed weapon by a person convicted of certain felonies

A. It is unlawful for any person who has been convicted of, or has been found not guilty by reason of insanity for, a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) which is a felony or simple burglary, burglary of a pharmacy, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, felony illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities, manufacture or possession of a delayed action incendiary device, manufacture or possession of a bomb, or possession of a firearm while in the possession of or during the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, or any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law which is a felony, or any crime which is defined as a sex offense in R.S. 15:541, or any crime defined as an attempt to commit one of the above-enumerated offenses under the laws of this state, or who has been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States or of any foreign government or country of a crime which, if committed in this state, would be one of the above-enumerated crimes, to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon.

B. Whoever is found guilty of violating the provisions of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five nor more than twenty years without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence and be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 14:27, whoever is found guilty of attempting to violate the provisions of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than seven and one-half years and fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars.

C. The provisions of this Section prohibiting the possession of firearms and carrying concealed weapons by persons who have been convicted of, or who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity for, certain felonies shall not apply to any person who has not been convicted of, or who has not been found not guilty by reason of insanity for, any felony for a period of ten years from the date of completion of sentence, probation, parole, suspension of sentence, or discharge from a mental institution by a court of competent jurisdiction.

D. For the purposes of this Section, “firearm” means any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, submachine gun, black powder weapon, or assault rifle which is designed to fire or is capable of firing fixed cartridge ammunition or from which a shot or projectile is discharged by an explosive.

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