Pepper Spray Laws – Nevada

Nevada is another state that is broadly permissive when it comes to the use and ownership of self-defense sprays, including pepper spray.

Felons may not own or employ any kind of pepper spray or other self-defense spray in the state, and any model that employs CS tear gas must contain no more than 2 oz. of solution.

flag of Nevada

Sprays containing OC, oleoresin capsicum or actual pepper spray, fall under the state’s “naturally derived ingredients” provision and are not regulated accordingly.

Though Nevada’s state statutes are easy to understand for pretty much everybody, we have taken the liberty of furnishing the most relevant laws and information for your convenience.

You can read all about it below, and at the end of this article the exact text of the state statutes governing pepper and other self-defense spray.

Fast Facts

  • Nevada allows citizens to use and carry both OC- and CS-based defensive sprays.
  • Any CS-based spray is restricted to a canister carrying no more than 2 ounces of solution.
  • Felons may not own or employ defense sprays in Nevada.


Civilians may buy and use any defense spray in Nevada that is OC-based or CS-based, with the former being legitimate pepper spray and the latter being tear gas. It is noteworthy that Nevada restricts any CS-based defense sprays to units carrying no more than 2 oz., at least for civilian employment.

There is no such restriction on pepper sprays, as pepper sprays are not defined as tear gas according to the exact wording of the statute; the active ingredient falls under the states “natural substances” provision.

Other than that, there are not too many gross restrictions on the use of defense sprays by civilians in the state of Nevada.

Any defensive spray may only be used when a physical threat or threat to property is present, and the use of that force must be reasonable; could you go around spraying people willy-nilly with your pepper spray you will be judged and prosecuted accordingly.

Also worth noting is that any seller of A defensive spray containing CS tear gas must keep a record containing the personal information of the purchaser for a minimum of two years along with the type, brand and serial number of the device.

Speaking of the device, all set units sold in the state must have the manufacturer and serial number of the device printed upon the canister.

Being in possession of a tear gas device lacking such identifying markings is actually a misdemeanor, so take care that you keep your canister in good shape if you plan on carrying one containing CS gas!


Nevada’s state laws governing the use and carry of defense sprays by civilians are pretty much in line with the rest of the nation, save that legal defense sprays are limited to OC or CS based solutions, and furthermore CS based solutions may contain no more than 2 oz of agent.

Additionally, CS based defense sprays must be marked what the name of the manufacturer and the manufacturer serial number under penalty of law, and being in possession of such a canister lacking those markings is a misdemeanor crime. Finally, felons may not own or employee defense praise in the state of Nevada.

Relevant State Statutes

NRS 202.370 – Definitions.

As used in NRS 202.370 to 202.440, inclusive:

1. “Shell,” “cartridge” or “bomb” includes all shells, cartridges or bombs capable of being discharged or exploded, when such discharge or explosions will cause or permit the release or emission of tear gas.

2. “Tear gas” includes all liquid, gaseous or solid substances intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the air. The term does not include a liquid, gaseous or solid substance whose active ingredient is composed of natural substances or products derived from natural substances which cause no permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the air.

3. “Weapon designed for the use of such shell, cartridge or bomb” includes all revolvers, pistols, fountain pen guns, billies, riot guns or other form of device, portable or fixed, intended for the projection or release of tear gas except those regularly manufactured and sold for use with firearm ammunition.

202.370 to 202.440, inclusive, to small weapons containing “CS” tear gas and to certain law enforcement, correctional and military personnel.

1. The provisions of NRS 202.370 to 202.440, inclusive, do not apply to the sale or purchase by any adult, or the possession or use by any person, including a minor but not including a convicted person as defined in NRS 179C.010, of any form of:

(a) Cartridge which contains not more than 2 fluid ounces in volume of “CS” tear gas that may be propelled by air or another gas, but not an explosive, in the form of an aerosol spray; or

(b) Weapon designed for the use of such a cartridge which does not exceed that size,

and which is designed and intended for use as an instrument of self-defense.

2. A seller, before delivering to a purchaser a cartridge or weapon which may be sold pursuant to subsection 1, must record and maintain for not less than 2 years the name and address of the purchaser and the brand name, model number or type, and serial number if there is one, of the weapon or cartridge, or both.

3. The provisions of NRS 202.370 to 202.440, inclusive, do not prohibit police departments or regular salaried peace officers thereof, sheriffs and their regular salaried deputies, the Director, deputy director and superintendents of, and guards employed by, the Department of Corrections, personnel of the Nevada Highway Patrol or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States from purchasing, possessing or transporting any shells, cartridges, bombs or weapons for official use in the discharge of their duties.

4. As used in this section, “CS” tear gas means a crystalline powder containing ortho-chlorobenzalmalononitrile.

202.440, inclusive; penalties.

1. A person, other than a convicted person, who within this state knowingly sells or offers for sale, possesses or transports any form of shell, cartridge or bomb containing or capable of emitting tear gas, or any weapon designed for the use of such shell, cartridge or bomb, except as permitted under the provisions of NRS 202.370 to 202.440, inclusive, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

2. A convicted person who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any form of shell, cartridge or bomb containing or capable of emitting tear gas, or any weapon designed for the use of such a shell, cartridge or bomb, is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

3. As used in this section, the term “convicted person” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 179C.010.

NRS 202.390 – Weapon to bear name of manufacturer and serial number; penalty for removal.

1. Each tear gas weapon sold, transported or possessed under the authority of NRS 202.370 to 202.440, inclusive, shall bear the name of the manufacturer and a serial number applied by the manufacturer.

2. No person shall change, alter, remove or obliterate the name of the manufacturer, the serial number or any other mark of identification on any tear gas weapon. Possession of any such weapon upon which the same shall have been changed, altered, removed or obliterated, shall be presumptive evidence that such possessor has changed, altered, removed or obliterated the same.

3. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

1 thought on “Pepper Spray Laws – Nevada”

  1. These statutes may have been a viable deterrent in years past, but for the past few years, things have just gone crazy! In Nevada, it’s an Open-Carry State, and I can purchase a lethal weapon which can kill someone if discharged in a self defense manner, and carry it (not hidden), yet I can’t carry CS or other form of NON-LETHAL weapon? You have gone MAD!! I guess I will tell my other family members that they will have to become proficient in the use of lethal weapons (Guns) because they cannot merely induce a NON-LETHAL aggravating spray to a would-be perpetrator, they must KILL THEM!! I guess this is the Democratic way, and I mean DEMOCRATS who have and are destroying the United States of America. In Nevada, the laws basically state: “You cannot hinder a perpetrator by spraying an agent in his/her eyes (face) if you’re under attack, you must whip out your gun and kill that SOB!” Wow, the Wild West is Alive!

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