Pepper Spray Laws – Vermont

Vermont is a US state that gets high marks for permissibility. This state places effectively no restrictions on civilian possession, carry and use of pepper spray so long as they are not committing any crime, or using the spray in the furtherance of the commission of a crime.

All common formulations are allowed, and citizens may carry any quantity of spray that they desire. Additionally, pepper spray and other defensive sprays may be shipped freely into the state or purchased throughout wherever such devices are sold.

flag of Vermont

Keep reading to get the full scoop on Vermont’s defensive spray laws along with a selection of the most relevant state statutes included at the end.

Fast Facts

  • There are no restrictions on formula that civilians may carry in Vermont. OC, CN and CS are all allowed as are blends. The only consideration is that the product is formulated to cause no lasting injury.
  • Citizens are allowed to carry any quantity of pepper spray or other defensive spray that they choose. Vermont lacks any capacity restriction.
  • Pepper sprays are freely bought and sold throughout Vermont and maybe shipped into the state from elsewhere.

Overview

I’m happy to report that Vermont is another state with roundly excellent laws concerning pepper sprays. Mostly because they practically have none!

The only laws regarding pepper sprays and associated criminality that citizens must concern themselves with is in the criminal misuse of said sprays or using the sprays in the furtherance of crime in some other way.

Essentially, if you do not arbitrarily attack or threaten someone with your pepper spray or use it to help you carry out some other crime, you have nothing to worry about.

Residents and visitors to Vermont may carry any sort of defensive spray they want out of the “big three” formulas.

Those three formulas are OC, or genuine pepper spray, and tear gas, available in CN or CS varieties. Some self-defense spray products rely on a blend of two or more formulas and these are permitted also.

As always, make it a point to purchase a defensive spray from a trusted and major manufacturer of said products in order to assure that it will be both effective and safe. Any spray that will prove to be legal in court will have been carefully formulated to prevent any permanent harm from occurring to the target barring mishap.

More good news is that citizens desiring pepper spray may carry any quantity that they choose, from the smallest personal protection sprayer to the largest canister suitable for fending off multiple targets, large and aggressive animals or crowds of criminal malcontents bent on burning down the town.

This flexibility allows preppers to be best prepared for a variety of threats beyond those of simple self-defense.

Lastly, you’ll have no trouble obtaining any self-defense spray that you desire in Vermont. Such sprays are freely bought and sold pretty much everywhere and at all the usual suspects as far as retailers go.

You may also order any otherwise legal spray, and have it shipped directly into the state to you.

Conclusion

Vermont presents no challenges or roadblocks to citizens who desire defense spray as part of their personal protection complement.

All standard formulations of OC and tear gas are permitted and citizens can further carry any size canister with any quantity of product that serves their purposes.

Combined with the easy availability throughout the state and a lack of restrictions concerning shipping makes Vermont a great state for pepper spray users!

Relevant State Statutes

1603. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) “Destructive device” means any:

(A) explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb; or

(B) explosive, incendiary, or poison gas grenade; or

(C) explosive, incendiary, or poison gas rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces; or

(D) explosive, incendiary, or poison gas missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce; or

(E) explosive, incendiary, or poison gas mine; or

(F) device that consists of or includes a breakable container including a flammable liquid or compound, and a wick composed of any material that, when ignited, is capable of igniting the flammable liquid or compound, and can be carried or thrown by one individual acting alone; or

(G) device similar to those devices enumerated in subdivisions (1) and (1)(A)-(E) of this section.

A destructive device does not include a firearm or ammunition therefor.

(2) “Explosive” means dynamite, or any explosive compound of which nitroglycerin forms a part, or fulminate in bulk or dry condition, or blasting caps, or detonating fuses, or blasting powder, or any other similar explosive. The term does not include a firearm or ammunition therefor or any components of ammunition for a firearm including primers, smokeless powder, or black gunpowder.

(3) “Hoax device” means any device so designed, assembled, fabricated, or manufactured as to convey the physical appearance of an explosive or incendiary bomb or the physical appearance of any of the devices enumerated in subdivisions (1)(A)-(F) of this section that is lacking an explosive or incendiary charge. (Added 1971, No. 107, § 1, eff. 30 days from April 22, 1971; amended 1975, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. 30 days from April 7, 1976.)

4001. Slung shot, blackjack, brass knuckles- Use or possession

A person who uses a slung shot, blackjack, brass knuckles or similar weapon against another person, or attempts so to do, or who possesses a slung shot, blackjack, brass knuckles, or similar weapon, with intent so to use it, shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. The provisions of this section do not apply to a law enforcement officer as to the possession and use of a blackjack, billy club, or night stick.

4003. Carrying dangerous weapons

A person who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon with the intent to injure another shall be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both. It shall be a felony punishable by not more than 10 years of imprisonment or a fine of $25,000.00, or both, if the person intends to injure multiple persons.

4004. Possession of dangerous or deadly weapon in a school bus or school building or on school property

(a) No person shall knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon while within a school building or on a school bus. A person who violates this section shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be imprisoned for not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b) No person shall knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon on any school property with the intent to injure another person. A person who violates this section shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned for not more than three years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(c) This section shall not apply to:

(1) A law enforcement officer while engaged in law enforcement duties.

(2) Possession and use of firearms or dangerous or deadly weapons if the board of school directors, or the superintendent or principal if delegated authority to do so by the board, authorizes possession or use for specific occasions or for instructional or other specific purposes.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) “School property” means any property owned by a school, including motor vehicles.

(2) “Owned by the school” means owned, leased, controlled, or subcontracted by the school.

(3) “Dangerous or deadly weapon” shall have the same meaning as in section 4016 of this title.

(4) “Firearm” shall have the same meaning as in section 4016 of this title.

(5) “Law enforcement officer” shall have the same meaning as in section 4016 of this title.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not limit or restrict any prosecution for any other offense, including simple assault or aggravated assault.

4005. While committing a crime

Except as otherwise provided in 18 V.S.A. § 4253, a person who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon, openly or concealed, while committing a felony shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

4013. Zip guns; switchblade knives

A person who possesses, sells, or offers for sale a weapon commonly known as a “zip” gun, or a weapon commonly known as a switchblade knife, the blade of which is three inches or more in length, shall be imprisoned not more than 90 days or fined not more than $100.00, or both.

4017. Persons prohibited from possessing firearms; conviction of violent crime

(a) A person shall not possess a firearm if the person has been convicted of a violent crime.

(b) A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(c) This section shall not apply to a person who is exempt from federal firearms restrictions under 18 U.S.C. § 925(c).

(d) As used in this section:

(1)(A) “Firearm” means:

(i) any weapon (including a starter gun) that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;

(ii) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; or

(iii) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.

(B) “Firearm” shall not include an antique firearm.

(2) “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.

(B) Any replica of any firearm described in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (2) if the replica:

(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition; or

(ii) 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.

(C) Any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol that is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute and that cannot use fixed ammunition. As used in this subdivision (C), “antique firearm” shall not include a weapon that incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, a firearm that is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

(3) “Violent crime” means:

(A)(i) A listed crime as defined in subdivision 5301(7) of this title other than:

(I) lewd or lascivious conduct as defined in section 2601 of this title;

(II) recklessly endangering another person as defined in section 1025 of this title;

(III) operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substance with either death or serious bodily injury resulting as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 1210(f) and (g);

(IV) careless or negligent operation resulting in serious bodily injury or death as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 1091(b);

(V) leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 1128(b) or (c); or

(VI) a misdemeanor violation of chapter 28 of this title, relating to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults; or

(ii) a comparable offense and sentence in another jurisdiction if the offense prohibits the person from possessing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) or 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20).

(B) An offense involving sexual exploitation of children in violation of chapter 64 of this title, or a comparable offense and sentence in another jurisdiction if the offense prohibits the person from possessing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) or 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20).

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