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Mace, Pepper Spray, Self-Defense Sprays and Stun Guns

It is legal to possess self-defense sprays in the District of Columbia, such as mace or pepper spray.

However, under D.C. Official Code § 7-2502.12, the only legal types of self-defense sprays are “a mixture of a lacrimator including chloroacetophenone, alphacloroacetophenone, phenylchloromethylketone, orthochloriobenazaim-alononitrile or oleoresin capsicum.”  Additionally, the self-defense spray must be propelled from an aerosol container, labeled with clearly written instructions for use, and dated with its anticipated useful life. A person may use a self-defense spray only as reasonable force to defend themselves or their property and only if the self-defense sprays meets the requirements above.

A person 18 years or older may possess a stun gun in the District of Columbia; it may only be used to protect themselves or their property. No one other than a law enforcement officer is allowed to possess a stun gun in a building or office occupied by the District of Columbia government, a penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, a halfway house, any building that is occupied by a children’s facility, preschool, elementary or secondary school, any building or grounds in which the owner or occupant clearly posts forbidding the carrying of a stun gun.

A business who sells more than five stun guns in a 12-month period in the District of Columbia, shall obtain a stun gun endorsement on their basic business license from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

For further information, please visit the MPD Firearms Registration Section, 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 3058, Washington, DC, 20001 or contact them on (202) 727-4275.