Is Pepper Spray Legal in Hawaii

Pepper spray is a non-lethal, self-defense tool used by people for their personal safety or for the safety of their loved ones. There are also specially designed pepper sprays that you can use against aggressive animals such as dogs and bears. The question, is pepper spray legal in Hawaii will most probably come up when determining the legality of pepper spray in different states.

Every state has different rules and regulations concerning the use of pepper spray within their borders. Pepper spray is legal in over 50 states but it’s important to determine whether this includes the state you are in as well as one you plan to visit. Illegal possession, shipping, and purchasing of pepper spray can have severe consequences hence the need to do some research on the topic. Here, we discuss the pepper spray state laws Hawaii, and the rules of regulations of buying and using this self-defense tool.

Pepper Spray Laws in Hawaii

Pepper spray is a self-defense tool that has gained popularity over the years. All 50 states in the United States consider this tool legal. However, the rules and regulations surrounding pepper spray vary depending on a specific state. Pepper spray is legal to use and possess in Hawaii but there are critical legal laws and regulations that you must follow to ensure you are legally complicit.

According to Hawaii state laws, pepper spray is classified as a restricted weapon. This means that you can use and possess this tool as long as you follow the right protocol when it comes to its rules and regulations. Here are some of the regulations you must be aware of before you decide to use pepper spray:

1. Age Restriction

Before purchasing pepper spray, one important question that you must ask is, are pepper spray legal in Hawaii? The answer is yes. However, this only applies to citizens that are 18 or older. You are not allowed to carry and use pepper spray if you are under the age of 18.

2. Chemical Composition and Size Restriction

Pepper spray Oahu and pepper spray Honolulu is legal but only in certain amounts and sizes. The legal strength of any pepper spray that is on sale in Hawaii is 2.5 ounces. Anything more than that is considered illegal.

The size of your container is also an aspect you must consider when buying pepper spray permitted in the state. The legal size of a pepper spray container in Hawaii is 0.5 ounces or smaller.

The main ingredient found in pepper spray is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). The composition of this chemical varies from one pepper spray can to another. However, the legal composition of any pepper spray in Hawaii should be no more than 10%.

3. Labeling and Packaging Requirements

For you to carry a pepper spray can around Hawaii, it must clearly be labeled with a warning that indicates it’s appropriate for self-defense only. It must also include that using this tool for any other use apart from self-defense is a criminal offense and doing this may lead to severe charges. Other critical aspects that must be present on your container is the date of manufacture, the manufacturer, and the expiration date.

4. Where to Carry Pepper Spray

Although pepper spray is legal throughout the state, there are restrictions that apply to some places. Some of the public places that you are legally allowed to carry pepper spray include parks, shopping centers, and sidewalks. The places you are not allowed to carry pepper spray include;

  • Government buildings
  •  Schools
  • Private businesses
  • Airports
  • Public transportation such as buses and trains

Pepper spray is generally not allowed in these areas but the rules and regulations may differ in some such as private businesses. The owners decide whether they allow their customers to carry pepper spray around or not. Remember it’s only for self defense and using it for anything else is illegal.

Where to Buy Pepper Spray in Hawaii

As we’ve discovered, pepper spray is legal to purchase, possess, and use in Hawaii as long as you follow the rules and regulations. However, pepper spray is not as readily available as in other states. Although the choices are limited, you must also ensure you are buying from the right stores.

Various retail stores, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, and outdoor supplies stores stock pepper spray. It’s important that you check that the store you intend to buy from is a licensed dealer.

You are also allowed to ship pepper spray to Hawaii. Unlike in a lot of other states, Hawaii allows its citizens to order their pepper spray online and ship it to Hawaii. This is if the retailer is licensed and you have proven to be of age.

Traveling with Pepper Spray Hawaii

If you intend to bring your pepper spray with you when traveling inter-island, there are a few things you need to know. According to the Transportation Security Authority (TSA), it’s legal to carry pepper spray on a flight. This only applies to checked luggage and it must meet certain requirements.

To fly with your pepper spray, it has to have a safety mechanism that will prevent any spillage or accidental discharge. There are also volume limit restrictions and you can only carry a certain amount. Ensure that you check the specific regulations of the specific airline you intend to use before flying. Note that it’s prohibited to carry pepper spray in carry-on bags.


A majority of people in the world choose to use pepper spray as their self-defense tool. This is because it’s effective and easy to use. However, the legality of its use and possession varies from one state to another. It’s important to check whether pepper spray is legal in a certain state or country before proceeding to use it.


Written by: Georgina Njoki
Freelance Copywriter and Travel Enthusiast.





Leave a Comment