In most states OC pepper spray is legal to possess and carry. You should check with your local law enforcement office or your state’s Attorney Generals office for any pepper spray regulations for your state. In some states where pepper spray is legal, there is size, age or other restrictions.
It is important that you give some thought in advance to how you will carry your OC pepper spray. It is recommended you carry your pepper spray device in the same place whenever possible. That way, you won’t have to think, you can just react to the moment. We suggest you practice drawing your spray from wherever you are keeping it. Good, accessible locations include inside a pants pocket, loose outer pockets of a jacket or on a key chain.
You cannot carry OC pepper spray on board commercial aircrafts. This is a Federal crime that can carry up to a $25,000 fine. You may check your OC pepper spray with your checked baggage. Be sure to notify the ticketing agent when you check your baggage. Do not carry pepper spray into secured locations such as Federal buildings, State buildings or anyplace where you pass through a security checkpoint.
If you need to use your pepper spray, make sure you have enough distance between you and the attacker. Aim the spray at the eyes and facial region of the threat. Release a 1 to 2 second burst of spray and move out of the way, keeping your eyes on the attacker. OC pepper spray can sometimes take a couple of seconds to cause a reaction. Additional pepper spray shots are sometimes needed. It is important to remember to spray and move. Once the threat is eliminated seek help and call the police.
Contact with OC pepper spray induces an immediate and intense burning sensation of the skin and causes the eyes to automatically shut, burn, tear, and swell. In addition, pepper spray causes inflammation of the nose, throat, and sinuses, which causes burning and shortness of breath. With the attacker disoriented and unable to see, you can easily escape and get help.
It is recommended that you test your OC pepper spray upon purchase and every 90 days thereafter. To do this, first go outside and determine which direction the wind is blowing. Remember to always stand upwind from the direction you are spraying. Depress the firing mechanism for half a second. Be aware that every time you test your spray you reduce the contents of the canister. If you are regularly testing a keychain model, you will need to replace the OC pepper spray unit every 9 to 12 months.
OC pepper sprays, over time will lose their potency. So the answer is yes, OC pepper sprays do expire. Any use of the pepper spray over the expiration date is not recommended. Although typical spray lives are 2 plus years, we recommend you replace your pepper spray every 12 to 16 months. This is good way to always be sure that your spray is at full potency.
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