Pepper Spray Laws – Oregon

Oregon is perhaps a surprisingly good state regarding civilian use and ownership of pepper spray and other defensive sprays.

Oregon seal

Considering which way the political winds are blowing in that state, and an increasingly restrictive attitude on the Second Amendment, it is nice to learn that Oregon has no major restrictions whatsoever regarding the formulation or the quantity of defensive spray the citizens may carry.

Oregon does have pepper spray specific laws on the books, but these only cover the criminal misuse of said sprays.

There is more to learn, naturally, about Oregon’s pepper spray laws, and we will share it all with you in the remainder of this article, along with a selection of the most relevant state statutes at the end.

Fast Facts

  • Oregon imposes no restriction regarding standard formulations of defensive spray. OC, CN and CS sprays are all permissible, as are blends of any kind.
  • Oregon likewise has no restriction on quantity or capacity that civilians may carry. You may carry a compact sprayer or a large canister, both are permitted.
  • One must be 18 years old or older to possess pepper spray in the state of Oregon.
  • Convicted felons may not possess any sort of defensive spray in the state unless they have had their civil rights restored.
  • Oregon has a couple of statutes on the books pertaining specifically to the criminal misuse of defensive sprays.

Overview

As mentioned, Oregon is a surprisingly permissive state regarding self-defense sprays in the hands of citizens. Oregon has no restrictions on formula and no restrictions on capacity. So far so good!

Citizens are allowed to carry OC pepper spray or any typical variety of tear gas, CN or CS. If you want, you’re even allowed to carry blends containing two or all of those typical formulas, and any standard formula may be combined with marking dye if desired.

It is also worth noting that Oregon does not restrict the type or model of dispenser: aerosol, stream, foam and gel are all permissible.

Even more happily, Oregon does not restrict what quantity a citizen may carry or the capacity of any given container. The most compact and discreet self-defense containers are allowed as are the largest and bulkiest suitable for busting up crowds or use against multiple assailants in a home defense scenario. You can carry any kind of spray and any amount that you desire in Oregon!

However, Oregon sadly restricts the legal possession of pepper sprays to those aged 18 years old or older. It is unfortunate that young adults and teenagers cannot call upon defensive sprays to protect themselves in the state, as these are one of the very best options for the purpose.

Additionally, convicted felons may not possess pepper or any other defensive spray in Oregon unless they have had their civil rights restored. Any crime that would debar someone from possessing weapons will include pepper sprays in kind.

Perhaps most interesting and applicable to our topic is Oregon’s pair of laws concerning the specific criminal misuse of pepper sprays, tear gases, defensive sprays and all like items.

The criminal misuse of pepper spray (or stun guns) against another person constitutes a misdemeanor, whereas doing the same thing against any first responder or public servant means a felony charge.

These statutes are very short and succinct, and there are no “gotchas” lurking within. So long as you do not flagrantly misbehave or commit crimes with your defensive spray you won’t have any problems.

Conclusion

Oregon is a pleasant surprise concerning civilian possession and use of defensive sprays, in stark contrast to the current political ideology at the highest levels of government.

Citizens may own and carry any formula of defensive spray that they choose and in any quantity that serves their purposes.

However, only people aged 18 years or older may possess any defensive spray legally, and additionally any convicted felon is barred from possessing defensive spray.

Relevant State Statutes

Section 163.211 – Definitions for ORS 163.211 to 163.213.

As used in ORS 163.211 to 163.213:

(1) “Corrections officer” and “parole and probation officer” have the meanings given those terms in ORS 181A.355.

(2) “Mace, tear gas, pepper mace or any similar deleterious agent” means a sternutator, lacrimator or any substance composed of a mixture of a sternutator or lacrimator including, but not limited to, chloroacetophenone, alpha-chloroacetophenone, phenylchloromethylketone, orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile, oleoresin capsicum or a chemically similar sternutator or lacrimator by whatever name known, or phosgene or other gas or substance capable of generating offensive, noxious or suffocating fumes, gases or vapor or capable of immobilizing a person.

(3) “Tear gas weapon” includes:

(a) Any shell, cartridge or bomb capable of being discharged or exploded, when the discharge or explosion will cause or permit the release or emission of tear gas or oleoresin capsicum.

(b) Any revolver, pistol, fountain pen gun, billy or other form of device, portable or fixed, intended for the projection or release of tear gas or oleoresin capsicum.


Section 163.212 – Unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas or mace in the second degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas or mace in the second degree if the person recklessly discharges an electrical stun gun, tear gas weapon, mace, tear gas, pepper mace or any similar deleterious agent against another person.

(2) Unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas or mace in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.


Section 163.213 – Unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas or mace in the first degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas or mace in the first degree if the person knowingly discharges or causes to be discharged any electrical stun gun, tear gas weapon, mace, tear gas, pepper mace or any similar deleterious agent against another person, knowing the other person to be a peace officer, corrections officer, parole and probation officer, firefighter or emergency medical services provider and while the other person is acting in the course of official duty.

(2) Unlawful use of an electrical stun gun, tear gas or mace in the first degree is a Class C felony.


Section 163.175 – Assault in the second degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if the person:

(a) Intentionally or knowingly causes serious physical injury to another;

(b) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon; or

(c) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Section 163.165 – Assault in the third degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if the person:

(a) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon;

(b) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;

(c) Recklessly causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;

(d) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes, by means other than a motor vehicle, physical injury to the operator of a public transit vehicle while the operator is in control of or operating the vehicle. As used in this paragraph, “public transit vehicle” has the meaning given that term in ORS 166.116;

(e) While being aided by another person actually present, intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another;

(…)

Section 163.160 – Assault in the fourth degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree if the person:

(a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another;

(b) With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon; or

(c) With criminal negligence causes serious physical injury to another who is a vulnerable user of a public way, as defined in ORS 801.608, by means of a motor vehicle.

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

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, assault in the fourth degree under subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section is a Class C felony if the person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree and:

(a) The assault is committed in the immediate presence of, or is witnessed by, the person’s or the victim’s minor child or stepchild or a minor child residing within the household of the person or victim;

(b) The person has been previously convicted of violating this section or ORS 163.165, 163.175, 163.185, 163.187 or 163.190, or of committing an equivalent crime in another jurisdiction, and the victim in the previous conviction is the same person who is the victim of the current crime;

(c) The person has at least three previous convictions for violating this section or ORS 163.165, 163.175, 163.185, 163.187 or 163.190 or for committing an equivalent crime in another jurisdiction, in any combination; or

(d) The person commits the assault knowing that the victim is pregnant.

(4) For purposes of subsection (3) of this section, an assault is witnessed if the assault is seen or directly perceived in any other manner by the child.

Section 163.195 – Recklessly endangering another person.

(1) A person commits the crime of recklessly endangering another person if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

(2) Recklessly endangering another person is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 166.210 – Definitions.

As used in ORS 166.250 to 166.270, 166.291 to 166.295 and 166.410 to 166.470:

(1) “Antique firearm” means:

(a) Any firearm, including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system, manufactured in or before 1898; and

(b) Any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (a) of this subsection if the replica:

(A) Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition; or

(B) Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

(2) “Corrections officer” has the meaning given that term in ORS 181A.355.

(3) “Firearm” means a weapon, by whatever name known, which is designed to expel a projectile by the action of powder.

(4) “Firearms silencer” means any device for silencing, muffling or diminishing the report of a firearm.

(5) “Handgun” means any pistol or revolver using a fixed cartridge containing a propellant charge, primer and projectile, and designed to be aimed or fired otherwise than from the shoulder.

(6) “Machine gun” means a weapon of any description by whatever name known, loaded or unloaded, which is designed or modified to allow two or more shots to be fired by a single pressure on the trigger device.

(7) “Minor” means a person under 18 years of age.

(8) “Offense” has the meaning given that term in ORS 161.505.

(9) “Parole and probation officer” has the meaning given that term in ORS 181A.355.

(10) “Peace officer” has the meaning given that term in ORS 133.005.

(11) “Short-barreled rifle” means a rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle if the weapon has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

(12) “Short-barreled shotgun” means a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun if the weapon has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.