Imagine you are walking towards your car late at night and you notice someone’s been stalking you for a while now. If that person aims to cause you harm in any way, will you be able to protect yourself? Chances are, the answer is no. 

Nowadays, time and again we hear about horrendous crime acts that happen around us and therefore, knowing how to defend yourself is highly important for your peace and safety.

Owning firearms or guns is legally restricted in most countries, and people are looking for legal alternatives. One of the most popular choices for a non-lethal defense is using a Pepper Spray Gun. 

In addition to being a self-defense device in case of a personal crime, Pepper Spray guns can also be used against bears and dogs during an attack, by giving you the time to do what you should do in this situation: run.

Physical Effects of Pepper Spray Gun
Image Source: mediajungle.dk

The pepper spray is a chemical substance which irritates the eyes, resulting in a burning sensation, discomfort, pain and even temporary blindness which usually last from 20 to 90 minutes. Besides the eyes, the pepper spray can also irritate the nose, throat, and lungs, causing breathing difficulties and a runny nose.

Being legal in most countries, effective and easily accessible makes this little weapon a very smart purchase. But as with everything else, there are two sides of the coin. Choosing a Pepper spray gun over other non-lethal weapon alternatives undoubtedly carries many advantages, but the disadvantages should not be underestimated and should be considered as well before making a purchase. Let’s have a look at the main pros and cons.

Advantages:

  1. One of the main advantages of the Pepper spray guns is that they are small, portable and very convenient to carry around in a pocket or woman’s purse. They are also very easy to conceal, so no one has to know that you have it.  
  2.   Pepper spray can easily save you during a crucial situation or attack, while avoiding the risk of a lethal end. It would stop the attacker without a long-lasting effect and, although the effect lasts for a few minutes, can give you enough time to get away or disarm him legally without consequences or penalties.
  3. The use of a Pepper Spray gun is effortless and can be done by anyone, regardless of gender, physical strength or age (although in some countries having 18 years is mandatory). This is a very significant advantage, since with most alternatives the user has to apply physical force or violent action to defend himself making it an inconvenient weapon for women. In 2019, WHO published that about 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
  4.   Pepper spray is relatively easy to use and does not require any training or experience to deploy it effectively.
  5.   Last but not least, one of the reasons pepper spray is one of the most common choices for a self-defense device is the price and the availability of the product. You can buy or purchase a Pepper Spray Gun from many places at a reasonable price. Considering the fact that it is only for last resort use, it doesn’t have to be filled regularly, saving additional costs. 

Disadvantages:

  1. Although the use of pepper spray may be legal in your country, this does not mean that you can use it in every case. In most countries even if pepper spray is legal, it is only allowed when used in a last resort, when the attacker is clearly applying physical force, harm or violence. Therefore, the situation must be clear before you resort to using the device to avoid legal consequences.
  2. The spray does not always work on everyone. In fact, sometimes it might not affect a very drunk or drugged person or mentally ill, which is often the case of the attacker. What is more, many people are able to fight against the effect of the pepper spray. Law enforcement, for example, are trained to do so.
  3. The target area for the pepper spray is small (the face), making it sometimes difficult to use it properly. The attacker might be wearing a mask or glasses which would completely disarm you.
  4. Pepper spray poses an immense chance of over-contamination. People who are not experienced tend to empty the canister in stressful situations. In general, they do not use it in the tailored manner of a small controlled tailored blast, which often results in a self-incapacitation as everyone around might suffer the effects.

The Pepper spray gun is indisputably a good choice for a self-defense device, but is it legal to carry, own and use?

United States

In the United States, using pepper spray is legal in all 50 states. However, some states have regulations on the type, strength, and size of the spray.

Europe

The European Union does not regulate pepper spray, leaving member countries free to regulate it themselves.

List of countries where using Pepper Spray is prohibited:

  1. Belgium
  2. Greece
  3. Iceland
  4. Ireland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Norway
  7. Romania
  8. Sweden
  9. Hungary
  10. Luxembourg
  11. United Kingdom

In Europe, owning Pepper Spray is legal in Italy by anyone above the age of 16. In France ownership is legal for those over 18 but carry can be punished with a fine depending on the quantity and concentration. In Switzerland, Germany, and Portugal, pepper spray requires a license.

However, keep in mind that the process to obtain a license in some countries can be extremely rigorous. In the Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, Poland, Russia – possession is legal by most civilians. In 2018, Danish government legalized the possession of pepper spray but only in your home.

Tips:

·         Make sure you are always keeping it in place where you can easily and quickly access it when needed. In a situation of attack, you will not have time and chance to dig in your bag or pocket.

·         Every pepper spray has an expiration date stamped on the bottom of the canister. If it has expired, the pepper spray will not incapacitate your enemy.

·         If you haven’t used your pepper spray in a while – which is hopefully the case – it’s well worth firing off a test shot every third or fourth month to make sure it’s still fully functional.

·         It could happen that you accidently spray yourself or someone else. Therefore, it is highly important to know how to treat the area that has been affected. First thing you should immediately do is to remove lenses and contaminated clothes and wash them before putting them again. Secondly, splash your eyes with large quantities of cold water or a diluted baking soda solution and expose the area to fresh air as soon as possible. Do not apply any other creams or medications.

What to consider when choosing a Pepper Spray Gun?

Currently, there are hundreds, if not thousands, Pepper Spray gun manufacturers on the market. Every manufacturer or brand provides Pepper Spray guns with a variety of different characteristics to fit a wide range of personal needs. Therefore, when choosing your next Pepper Spray Gun, you should have a critical look and filter them by what suits your specific needs and requirements. Consider the following questions below to identify the characteristics you should look for.

1. What’s Legal In Your Country? As mentioned above, although owning such a self-defense device might be legal in your country, there is a high chance that the government has implemented some regulations on the type, size or strength.

2. What Size Can Your Keep Within Arms Reach?  The size usually determines how many shots you have or how strong the spray is. However, if you are planning to carry your Gun in a small purse or pocket, choose a small size gun rather than the strongest one.

3. Is it your first Pepper Spray? The answer to this question is important to determine the strength and the type of your new product. For instance, some Pepper Spray Guns come with tester canisters, which would be a characteristic to look for if it is your first gun.  

Best Manufacturers

Below we will identify the top 5 (in no specific order) based on quality, price and reviews to help you make an informed decision and avoid falling into the trap of those who sell toy guns while assuring you of selling authentic pepper spray guns.

Salt Supply Pepper Spray Gun

For a military-grade self-defense device, the Salt Supply Pepper Spray Gun is unbeatable. While this gun is expensive, it checks all requirements for an ideal Pepper Spray. This gun comes in the form of a kit that includes ten pepper spray rounds, a lockable case, ten practice rounds, a user manual, and one magazine. What is most impressive about this device is that the burst can incapacitate the target from as far away as 150 feet. Furthermore, the gun has absolutely no kickback and the spray lasts a full 5 years, more than any other on the market.

Mace Pepper Spray Gun

Mace Pepper Spray gun is probably the gun that combines the most unique features compared to others. Its power stream pattern provides long-range protection up to 20 feet and it can dispense up to 7 sprays. An UV dye leaves and invisible marker on the attacker to help you identify him later. More to that, a dual mode LED strobe light distracts threats and enhances your aim. It comes with a water cartridge to help you familiarize yourself with it. The only con of this product is its bulky size, making it harder to conceal.

SABRE Ruger Pepper Spray Gun – Police Strength

SABRE Ruger Pepper Spray Gun is one of our favorites because it provides the convenience of the rivals but in a much more affordable price. What that makes this gun worth getting is its cartridge that contains five reloadable bursts. More to that, it incorporates a UV marking dye that leaves an invisible marker aiding in suspect identification. It’s very compact size makes it easy to slip into the pocket or purse.

Kimber PepperBlaster II

If you are low in budget and are looking for a strong blasting Pepper Spray Gun then opt for Kimber PepperBlaster II. The gun is very concealable, and it weighs only 4.2 pounds. It includes a combination of a powerful solution of 10% OC with benzyl alcohol for viscosity. Its ergonomic grip and lightweight design make it easy to handle. The gun includes holsters that enhance the ease of access when you need it. Kimber PepperBlaster has only one disadvantage – it provides only two shots.

FIRESTORM JPX 4 Shot Compact Pepper Spray Gun

Last on our list is the legendary FIRESTORM JPX 4 Shot Compact Pepper Spray Gun. This gun is designed for less-lethal self-defense and provides place for four separate canisters that can be fired in 5 seconds. These canisters can be shot in 23 feet reducing the chances of a blowback. The trigger is easy to operate making it an ideal device for situations where a prompt reaction is crucial. The only disadvantage this gun has is its high price. 

Owning a self-defense device can be crucial in many situations. Don’t leave your own security to chance. Now, after reading this article, you should be more aware of the legal regulations in your country regarding Pepper Spray Guns.

You can decide for yourself whether a Pepper Spray Gun is the right self-defense device for your needs, and in case it is, which type fulfills your requirements