Is Pepper Spray Illegal in Canada?

Pepper spray is a non-lethal self-defense weapon that has gained popularity over the years. It was initially designed to defend yourself against attacks from animals such as bears and dogs. However, it’s more popular for use against assailants and law offenders. The purchase and use of pepper spray is quite controversial. Several states have restrictions and laws surrounding pepper spray. If you reside in or plan to travel it’s important to find out is pepper spray illegal in Canada?

Pepper spray is legal in a majority of states however it’s illegal in some, like Canada. Therefore, if you’re wondering can you carry pepper spray in Canada, the answer is no. Pepper spray is illegal in Canada and you can be charged with its possession and use.

Why Is Pepper Spray Classified as a Classified Weapon?

The Canadian criminal code includes a list of prohibited weapons that are restricted from use by civilians within Canada. The list comprises crossbows, rocket launchers, pepper sprays, among others. A prohibited weapon refers to any weapon that’s designed to injure, incapacitate, or immobilize by discharging gas in the form of tear gas or mace.

Pepper spray in Canada is part of this list since it’s a device that discharges a liquid that causes temporary effects that can injure and immobilize a person. Due to the generality of the definition of a classified weapon, this is why pepper spray is illegal in Canada.

Why Do Canadian Police Carry Pepper Spray?

Is pepper spray illegal to carry in Canada? There is a lot of controversy surrounding the use and possession of pepper spray in Canada. This is especially because it’s legal for police officers but not for civilians. Despite the main aim of pepper spray Canada self defense is to ensure you are safe wherever you go, you can be charged for carrying it around and using it.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police use pepper spray to stop and incapacitate aggressive offenders, suppress protests, and control crowds. However, using it to stop kidnapping or to escape any threat is illegal.

Exceptions to Pepper Spray Legislation in Canada

As is with other states, the laws surrounding pepper spray vary and you must know what pepper spray is legal in Canada. The only exception that allows the possession and use of pepper spray in Canada involves intending to use it on animals.

There are two types of pepper sprays, one designed as an animal repellant, and one for personal protection. Animal repellent also known as bear spray is legal whereas human pepper spray is illegal. However, using animal spray on humans or for personal protection is illegal. If found carrying bear spray in an area that does not have any bears or wildlife can also lead to you being charged.

Is Pepper Spray Illegal to Carry in Canada?

If you are thinking pepper spray is legal in Canada, then you might be wrong. Pepper spray is one of the many items listed on the prohibited weapons in Canada. Classified as an offensive weapon under the Canadian Criminal Code, pepper spray can only be used by police officers and people with valid Firearms Acquisition Certifications. Using pepper spray in Canada illegally carries heavy penalties and charges if found guilty. The laws for pepper spray Toronto and pepper spray Ontario also work the same so if you’re wondering are pepper spray legal Canada and any of its areas then your answer is no.

Is Pepper Spray Illegal in Australia?

Whether you are using pepper spray for self-defense or not, it’s considered illegal to purchase and possess pepper spray products in the majority of Australia. It’s legal to use pepper spray in Western Australia. However, it’s not a free-for-all type of situation.

To carry pepper spray, you must have reasonable grounds that prove why you’re justified to carry the product. Self-defense falls into this category in some situations. However, this may not always cover you.

You can also carry and use pepper spray NSW (New South Wales). This is if you have an appropriate permit. To get this permit, there are several conditions that you must adhere to making it difficult to acquire. Therefore, if you’re wondering where is pepper spray legal in Australia, your answer is Western Australia and NSW.

Why Is Pepper Spray Illegal in Australia?

The Australian government classifies pepper spray as a weapon. The Weapons Prohibition Act prohibits the use of a tool formulated to discharge any spray or liquid meant to injure or harm a person. The laws on pepper spray vary in most jurisdictions in Australia.

In Western Australia, pepper spray is considered a controlled weapon and not a prohibited weapon. Therefore, you can own pepper spray on restricted bases. Ownership is legal if you live in a dangerous place but you have to justify your reason for use. The question can you buy pepper spray in Australia solely depends on the exact place you are in within the state. For example, pepper spray Canberra is illegal and you can be charged for possession and use.

Is Pepper Spray Legal Australia?

Pepper spray is a popular non-lethal self-defense weapon. Its possession and use are a controversial topic making it a matter of preference by a state. Despite it being legal in several states, it’s partially illegal in Australia. Depending on where you are in Australia pepper spray Australia legal varies.

Pepper spray is legal to use and possess in Western Australia and New South Wales. However, this does not mean you can use this product however you want and in any situation. In Western Australia you need a justification to use it. Self-defense is not always a good enough justification. In NSW, you need a permit that is quite challenging to acquire which discourages a lot of people from doing so.

Whether you reside in Australia or intend to visit, you need to ensure that you have all the necessary information concerning pepper sprays and its use. This will prevent you from facing the heavy penalties and charges that come with being found guilty of both possession and use.


Written by: Georgina Njoki
Freelance Copywriter and Travel Enthusiast.










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