Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carrying Pepper Spray in Michigan

Personal defense sprays can be an effective deterrent if the owner is under attack and has been educated in their use. I am often asked by both victims and advocates what is allowed for their personal safety. Michigan law does not allow the use of actual pepper spray but does allow canisters of the tear gas known as CS. The canisters cannot contain more than 35 grams per can, no stronger than 2% concentrate of the active ingredient Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) . No combinations.
The 2% concentration mainly indicates how long the spray's effects last.

No one under 18 is permitted to buy any type of defense spray. People who are of age in MI may purchase canisters of the approved tear gas and carry them in public, but they must only be used to defend the owner or others against an attack. Circumstances in which the use of tear gas would be lawful include fending off an assailant, protecting personal property from a thief and warding off a wild animal.

Always test your spray outside with the wind to your back. It is advisable not to leave your canister in extreme environment such as a hot car or in the vehicle during the winter. Read the directions that come with your spray to ensure proper and safe use.

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